ColorWorks Custom Lab         

Fine Art Reproduction & Framing

(907) 474-0002


Giclee' Prints


What is the Giclee' Reproduction Process?

( pronounced "ghee-clay" ).



The Giclee' process was born in the early 1990's, when rock musician Graham Nash and his associate Mac Holbert uncovered a new capability of the Iris inkjet printer. Those early machines had been developed for producing digital graphic prints, but it had not occurred to the manufacturer that this equipment would be adopted by artists as a method of reproducing fine art prints. In 1991, thanks to Mr. Nash's vision, the world's first fine art print company opened its doors. Since then technological advances in the equipment, media, inks and craftsmanship have improved immeasurably.

 Heidi Hahn Giclee' printWhy Giclee'?

Giclee printing has many advantages over other print making methods. For example, each piece is individually produced so that you can make one reproduction at a time if desired, which means you are not obligated to finish an edition.

You can order prints as needed, without large up-front costs and storage problems associated with offset lithography. This allows you to test a market, a new idea or image, without a large investment. Giclee printing gives you, the artist, more control of your career, by giving you the ability to publish fine art reproductions in modest quantities.

Artists can build inventory over a period of time, or in response to the market. Reprints are as simple as picking up the phone, or sending an e-mail. After the initial print is made, turnaround time is as fast as two to three days. 

 Quality Advantage:

The Giclee’ prints that ColorWorks produces are done using a 12 ink color process. The advantage to using a 12 ink process over four, or even six or 8 color printers, is the ability to produce a wide color gamut. Other color printers cannot handle reproducing intense colors like fire engine red, canary yellows and similar intense colors. Intermediate shades of ink such as light cyan and light magenta allow for much smoother tonal transitions, and a less grainy appearance. This results in a three-dimensional quality unmatched by other printers. Four separate shades of black inks allows for very neutral tones to be reproduced accurately, in additon to outstanding black and white images. Variable ink droplets (small for highlights and larger for smooth tone areas) further smooth out the appearance. Even under a 10X loupe the prints look outstanding.

All Giclee’ I produce are done on 100% cotton "rag" papers, and utilize pigmented ink that has been tested to last over 100 years, as determined by Henry Wilhelm. In short, only the finest materials are used in the Giclee’ process. Advanced color management systems are also employed,  which are further described on the copy page. All artists receive up to two free proofs of their artwork, ($50.00 min. print order required) prior to the final Giclee’ being produced.  To further refine the process, I invite every artist to come into the shop after the initial proof is made for their approval.  No Giclee’ are ever printed before approval, and no funds are collected upfront.


The Process:

  •  Artwork is first digitized via either a flatbed scanner or digital scanning back. This is further described on the copy page. Once your work is digitized, it is further refined by eye on the computer monitor to match the artwork as closely as possible. Refinements to specific color value, hue and intensity are adjusted at this point. 
  • A proof is then made on the artist choice of media, and the results are then compared to the original for accuracy. Further refinements and a second proof may be printed at this point.    
  • The artist is then invited to view the sample proof, and to further discuss  refinements or give their approval for final printing. 
  • Full size proofs are possible at a reduced cost if needed, limit one per order.  

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