Astrid uses a variety of different print solutions and will carefully select the finest paper/print type combination which she believes will suit each individual image the best. All the materials she uses are of professional, archival quality and she works closely with excellent suppliers in the UK to produce her work to a perfect quality. All prints are approved for quality by Astrid herself, and the same goes for framing and other finishes where relevant to the product.
Giclée and C-type Prints
Q: What is a giclée print?
A: The French word “giclée” is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb “gicler” meaning “to squirt”. Giclée prints are made using the latest professional inkjets, using papers that are hand-picked from professional ranges to give maximum choice and quality to the final print.
Q: What is a C-type?
A: In a nutshell, silver based C-type prints are real photographic prints, created on light sensitive professional photographic paper using a finely balanced red, green and blue light source.
Q: Can you tell me a bit more about C-types?
A: Remember the time when digital cameras didn’t exist and you had all your photos developed on light sensitive paper from a negative? That is exactly the technology Chromira printers are using, but in a highly advanced way. Photographic c-type prints are obtained through the exposure of a special type of paper to intensive lights of different colour – red, green and blue.
Q: What is the difference between C-type prints and Giclée prints?
A: Chromira printers can reproduce over 16 million colours per square inch while giclee prints’ maximum amount of colours is only 256. The difference in maximum amount of colours is significant and is always taken into consideration depending on the type of image that is being printed.
Q: What is the life expectancy of the prints?
A: When exposed to daylight, with both C-type and giclée printing, the minimum life expectancy is around 40 years. If kept away from direct sunlight or protected from the exposure to UV radiation, giclée prints can survive up to 200 years (in comparison with C-type prints that have the life expectancy of about 80 years). These figures are estimates based on accelerated light tests, as neither of the printers have been around for long enough to fully prove this.
Q: How durable are the prints?
A: C-type prints tend to be more resistant to physical damage. The surface of giclee prints is considered rather sensitive and can easily get scratched, hence special care while handling them is vital. Ideally, all giclee prints should be laminated or protected behind a glass layer in order to prevent any damage to the surface.
Q: What do you mean by a Photo-Etching?
A: We etch a photographic image into a printing plate, apply ink and print by hand on top quality papers. The process is technically known as photogravure. Gravure was developed in the 1850’s and was the premier method of printing photographic images, as it remains today when practiced with care and skill.
Q: What does a photo-etching look like?
A: To print an etching the plate is pressed into the paper by running through a hand operated etching press. This pushes the plate into the paper leaving a very distinctive plate mark around the image, at the same time the ink on the plate transfers to the paper. So you can see and feel both the plate mark and the ink on the paper.
Q: What makes a photo-etching so special?
A: The method combines the image, inks and papers in a unique way, producing a result, which is completely different from normal photographic prints. The print appears more human and has a much greater connection with the viewer.