Magazine Describes Art-Printing Methods and Evolution of the Term Giclée

Why is there so much confusion around the term giclée? That was one of the questions Kim Hall asked me to cover in the article on “The State of the Art of Art Reproduction” that I wrote for the July/August issue of Professional Artist magazine.

For the main body of the article, I interviewed a number of experienced fine-art printing experts. They helped me explain how and why different types of printing methods have evolved and are currently used for art reproduction. Printing methods include: lithography; serigraphy; electrographic digital presses; and aqueous, solvent and latex inkjet printers and inkjet printers that use UV-curable inks).

After explaining how printing technology has evolved, I decided to address the “giclée” question in a sidebar.  I thought about the many different ways the term has been used since I first started writing about digitally printed fine art in the mid-1990s.

Most often I have seen the term used for art reproductions made with pigment inks on aqueous inkjet printers. But I have also seen the term “giclée” used with digitally printed photographs as well as art prints output on solvent or latex inkjet printers. Prints made on color copiers or with fast-fading dye inks have also been called giclées.  The lack of a print-technology-specific definition for giclée has made it difficult for gallery owners and museum curators to establish their value.

For the article, I asked the printmaker who coined the term “giclée” to share his thoughts on why there’s so much confusion. Jack Duganne, of Duganne Atelier in Santa Monica, California, said his original intent “was that a print could be called a ‘giclée’ if the person who created it (or contracted to have it printed) would be using it as a fine artwork—a print that would be signed by the artist.”  Although the term later became associated with inkjet printing, he believed the term would be used for many forms of digital output. Today, the definition of giclée seems to change to suit the needs of whoever is selling giclées—regardless of whether the prints are signed or not.

To avoid confusion, some artists and printmakers are moving away from the term “giclée” and being more specific in describing what printing technology  was used to make the print.

While writing the article, it occurred to me that the term “giclée” isn’t the only word being redefined as technology continues to evolve. Even in the era of sharing photos on Facebook, some online sources still define a “photograph” as an “an image, especially a positive print, recorded by a camera and reproduced on a phototosensitve surface.” The rapid adoption of digital publishing technology and e-readers is also likely to change to how we define books and magazines.  We’re already starting to use more specific terms such as “photo prints” or “printed books” or “printed magazines.”

Other Articles in the July/August issue

The July/August issue of Professional Artist contains a wealth of articles designed to help artists adapt to ongoing changes in how art is produced and marketed. Some of the marketing-related  articles in this issue include:

  • Blogging for Artists by Terry Sullivan
  • Using Pinterest to Promote Your Work by Katie Reyes
  • Is Email Marketing Effective? by Daniel Grant
  • Best Business Practices: Introducing New and Different Work to the Public by Jodi Walsh
  • 22 Golden Rules for Saving Time by Renee Phillips, the Artrepreneur Coach

Other articles in the issue talk about embracing change, working with art galleries, weathering painful criticism, introducing new and different work to the public, using CFL lighting systems to photograph artwork, and using ArtBooks data to make business decisions. The cover art “Slow Rise, Five Feet” shows a painting of an underwater scene by Samantha French.

You can buy single copies at many Barnes & Noble stores, download a digital version of the current issue for $3.95, or subscribe for $37/year in the U.S.


Professional Artist Magazine: July/August 2012 Issue

Professional Artist Magazine: The State of the Art of Art Reproduction



Add QR Codes to Public Displays of Your Art

ARTISTS. PHOTOGRAPHERS. Displaying art prints and photographs in high-traffic public settings such as restaurants, cafes, hotels, and salons can be an effective way to have your work seen by more people. And when you hang a label with your website URL near the displayed art, you can attract new visitors to your online galleries.

Immediatag, a new company in Austin, Texas, has developed a way for you to increase the marketing power of your public art labels by adding a QR code to the label displayed with each art piece. When people scan the QR code with their iPhones or Android devices, they can see a mobile-optimized landing page with additional information about the displayed work.

The mobile landing page will contain a clean image of the piece, as well as pricing information, contact details, and other information such as how and why the art was created.

Immediatag’s analytics enable you to track how many times the label was scanned and how many visitors come to your website as a result of the scanned QR code. If you haven’t gotten any new traffic or scans over a certain period of time, consider placing your art in a new location.

You don’t need any programming skills to use Immediatag. You can use point-and-click tools and simple forms to generate both the codes and the landing-page content. The Immediatag dashboard makes it easy to upload, insert, and format images and video for your mobile landing page.

To learn more about the pricing plans (starting at $9.95/month) and the 30-day free trial offer, visit the Immediatag website. On the “Contact” page you can sign up for a half-hour demonstration webinar during which you can submit specific questions.



Blog Post: Hey Artists! Get Your QR Code On!


Xanadu Gallery Offers Art Marketing Workshop

ARTISTS. If the thought of continuously marketing your own artwork overwhelms you, you’re not alone. With so many media channels now available to art sellers and buyers, how do you determine which marketing activities will yield the most sales?

That’s one question art-marketing expert Barney Davey will address during the new “Road to Art Marketing Success” workshop sponsored by Xanadu Gallery. The first workshop is scheduled from 9 am to 1 pm on Saturday, March 31 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Phoenix, AZ.

If your work already sells well when the appropriate buyers see it, Davey can help you focus your efforts so that your work is seen by more of the right buyers. Rather than recommend a one-size fits all approach, he will help you pinpoint the most appropriate art marketing tools for your career and capabilities.

The goal of the workshop is to help you streamline and manage your marketing processes so you can gain more sales and more studio time. You will learn how to:

•   Get better results by blending new and old school art marketing tools.
•   Leverage the power within your websites and blogs.
•   Evaluate and strategically use social media and online galleries.
•   Generate sales in the healthcare fine art, hospitality design, and licensing markets.
•   Turn your email list into your most valuable marketing tool.
•   Create easy, effective ways to request and receive steady referrals.
•   Use the power of publicity and press releases to energize your marketing.
•   Coordinate your marketing activities to maximize their potential.

Through his bestselling art marketing books, blogs, and workshops, Davey has helped thousands of visual artists craft effective ways to get their work to market. His art-business articles have been featured in magazines such as Art World News, Art Business News, and The Artist’s Magazine.

If you can’t attend the first session in Phoenix, you can add your name to the seminar mailing list on the workshop-registration page to be notified of future presentations of the workshop.


The Road to Art Marketing Success Workshop

Xanadu Gallery

Barney Davey: Art Print Issues



App Lets Artists Reference 3D Human Anatomy Models

MARA3D AppMARA3D, an artist-based mobile app development company in Montréal, Canada, has announced its first mobile application: “MARA3D: David Giraud Male Anatomy.” The app is currently available for Apple iPod touch, iPhone, and iPad on the Apple iTunes App Store for USD $3.99. Support for other mobile OS platforms, including Android is expected for early 2012.

The app gives artists a revolutionary new tool for referencing and interacting with 3D human anatomy models. MARA3D makes finding an artistic perspective, angle, and shading reference fast and easy.

Instead of working with a live model in a studio, MARA3D lets you study a virtual model wherever you happen to be working. You can study the model in multiple poses, with layers of detail, and from unlimited viewing angles. The app lets you choose from four viewing modes: skin, grayscale musculature view, color musculature view, and silhouette.

Other features include real-time dynamic lighting, grid overlay, saved views, and full 3D gesture-based interaction.

The models featured in the app are the original artwork of the male human anatomy by David Giraud, a computer-graphics expert whose creations have been featured in some popular games. A complimentary female hybrid model is included as a free preview for a forthcoming Female Anatomy MARA3D app by David Giraud.

“Helping artists grow and cultivate their craft is extremely important to me,” said Giraud. He believes MARA3D can be an inspirational reference tool that adds value to an artists’ study and workflow.



MARA3D: David Giraud Male Anatomy

About MARA3D

E-Book Suggests Ways to Price Fine Art Prints

Cover of How to Price Digital Fine Art Prints by Barney DaveyARTISTS. A new 46-page e-book from art-print expert Barney Davey can help you determine the “sweet spot” price range for your art prints. Once you find the “sweet spot,” you won’t lose sales because your work is overpriced or lose revenues because your work is underpriced. In other words, you will get fair value for each art print you sell.

Entitled “How to Price Digital Fine Art Prints: Tips from Top Art Marketing Minds,” the e-book offers useful information on how to price digital reproductions of original art (giclées) , fine-art photography prints, and digital fine-art prints (prints of digitally created art). The book offers insights, advice and experiences from a variety of experts in art marketing, digital printmaking, art-print publishing, and digital arts.

Their insights reinforce the fact that pricing giclees and digital fine art prints is a subjective undertaking. Although you won’t find a magic pricing formula that works equally well for all artists, you can read a range of viewpoints and ideas that can guide you in creating a pricing strategy that works for you. Below are some of the questions addressed in the book:

  • Is pricing by the square inch the best method?
  • What are some other ways to price prints besides per square inch?
  • How important is consistency in pricing art prints across different distribution channels? For instance, does it harm an artist to have different prices on an artist website or blog, galleries, juried shows, online venues, art fairs and so forth?
  • Should pricing for sale through galleries and dealer always be considered? In other words, if an artist is not in a gallery now, should her art prices include the markup to galleries? Or, only if there are plans to include galleries for distribution.
  • Is there a range or formula for pricing open edition prints versus limited edition prints? In other words, if an open edition print from an artist sells for $200, should a limited edition print of the same size sell for $500, or 25% more?
  • Does it do any harm for artists to create limited editions in different sizes?
  • Can an artist number open editions?
  • Should artists give galleries exclusives on certain images?

In the introduction to “How to Price Art Prints,” Davey admits that “Lining up your work and making decisions about what they are worth is a daunting task, especially at first.” But he says, it can become easier over time, especially when you start working with established criteria to facilitate the process.

“To be successful at pricing your work, you have to learn to remove your personal feelings about your work from your actual observations of its current market value,” states Davey. While this can be difficult to do, developing a system for pricing your prints can help you be more objective. Many of the ideas in the book can not only help you make smarter decisions about pricing your fine-art prints, but also your originals as well.

Barney Davey publishes the popular Art Print Issues blog and the online magazine Giclée Business News. A previous post on this blog discusses the recently updated version of  Davey’s popular book: “How to Profit from the Art Print Market.”


E-Book: How to Price Digital Fine Art Prints

Book: How to Profit from The Art Print Market


Learn How to Profit from the Art Print Market


E-Book Lists Seven Essential Practices for Professional Artists

ARTISTS. “Seven Essential Practices for the Professional Artist” is a 20-page e-book that can be downloaded free from the website:

The book was written by Michele Théberge, an exhibiting artist who has spent the past 20 years developing effective practices to sustain a balanced and thriving art career.

“Before things started to happen for me, I suffered from enormous self-doubts and questioned my work constantly,” says Michele. “I knew I wanted to make art my life, but I had no idea how to approach an art career.”

She says she read books and took courses with advice about being a professional artist, but “What I didn’t get was the confidence or a clear strategy to follow through on much of it.”

Over the years, Michele began to fuse what she had been learning from decades of meditation and spiritual growth with the basics of making and showing art. Her techniques began to bring results. She grew more confident and was invited to be in shows and was sought out by residencies and galleries rather than having to pursue them.

The seven essential practices outlined in the book involve consistency, awareness of your thoughts, creativity, connection, well-being, organization, and clear intentions.

The seven practices form the basis of an eight-week Artist Mentorship Program Theberge has developed to help artists create their own studio habits. The next eight-week program begins June 15, and includes nine recorded seminar modules and weekly assignments to help you gain momentum. During the three live group calls, you can ask questions, get feedback, and share victories. In the private, online forum, you can connect with other artists in the program, chat, post your artwork, get feedback, and share resources.

“Artists who have worked with me in the program have reported feeling more confidence and clarity in the work as a result of establishing a regular studio practice,” writes Theberge.

She says many artists mistakenly measure their success by focusing on whether their work is getting outside recognition: “That kind of outward focus is a creativity squelcher. If you are looking toward something outside of yourself to validate your work, such as a sales, exhibitions, or accolades, it will be hard to maintain your creative practice during the inevitable up-and-down cycles of your career.”

She says her own career started to turn around when she recognized how her negative thinking patterns were holding her back: “I started to think differently about my work and its place in the world. I began to embrace the value of my work and ceased to worry about those who weren’t interested in it. This new attitude prompted intelligent, heartfelt action.”

Theberge says, “I want emerging artists, budding artists, even people who are afraid to call themselves artists to know that someone cares and that their work is valuable and it matters. It makes me sad when someone gives up on their dream because they don’t have the wherewithal or the support or mindset to keep it going. When you are creative, it’s not just for you. It helps lift everyone around in ways big and small.”


The Mindful Artist E-Book: Seven Essential Practices for the Professional Artist

The Mindful Artist Mentorship Program

About the Artist: Michele Thebérge