What are print artworks...

1) What is a print in art?
A print in art is any work of art made in multiple iterations or editions, created through a transfer of image onto another surface, quite often on paper or fabric. The 4 best-known traditional print techniques are:
  1. etching

  2. lithography

  3. screenprint

  4. woodcut

 In 1991, printmaker Jack Duganne coined the phrase “giclée print”, which is the production of high quality prints using ink-jet printing technology. The process has evolved over the years to become a standard signifying high quality printed artworks. With improving printer, ink and paper making technologies, giclee printing has gained popularity as medium of choice by many print artists.  Epson and Canon are well known high tech companies with specialised fineart printers capable of producing high quality fineart prints.

Giclee prints now offers good value for collectors just like any art mediums. Depending on how or which direction the artists pursues, the notion of scarcity, availability, popularity, quality and affordability applies.


2) What are Limited, Open or Proof editions?
  1. Signed Limited Edition

    ~ production is limited to a specific number of copies. Every edition is considered an original/unique piece. Each print is usually numbered, e.g., Edition 1/8, artist signed and very often accompanied with a certificate of authenticity by the artist.


  2. Open Edition

    ~ no specific number of prints have been designated. The artist can or may choose to print any number of prints he/she desires.


  1. Artists' Proof print

    ~ a print edition traditionally kept as the artist's own collection or as a final test print copy before actual production begins. Very often, “Artist Proof” prints are highly valued since only one AP should exist.

 Although limited edition works are usually signed, there are some older printed artworks that are not signed or numbered. Nevertheless, they are still highly priced due to their significance and beauty from the era they were created. An example of such a print (created using woodcut method) is The Great Wave by artist Katsushika Hokusai which dates back to the 1820s. It is believed about 5000 – 8000 original prints exists today. They are highly sought after when they do appear for sales or auctions, and are collected by many great museums around the world.


3) How long can a giclee print artwork last?

Many factors can affect a giclee art print's longevity. Some factors as follows:

  • Temperature

  • Exposure to bright light source

  • Exposure to moisture through humidity

  • Pollutants in the air of display or storage place

  • Storage conditions

  • Framing quality


Giclee prints life expectancy under average lighting conditions:

  • more than 150 years for coloured prints

  • more than 200 years for black and white prints


Paper and ink qualities are affected by changes in temperature, humidity and contaminants and hence dictates it's longevity. The physical factors that affects traditional paintings applies to printed artworks as well. Factors such as how they are made, handled, framed, displayed and stored are important points in ensuring their physical longevity.

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