The creation of the Digigraphie® label is relatively recent. Digigraphie® was officially launched on 13th November 2003, at the centenary of the Autumn Exhibition. But its practice is much older. For several years, photographers, sculptors and painters, as well as service providers (photo laboratories and lithographic studios), have been using the technology of Epson printers to produce prints on art paper. This in turn has opened the doors to a new discipline: the digital reproduction of a work of art.
The search for a name
But what should a high quality, digital art print created with an Epson printer be called? This question arose as long ago as 1991 in the USA, when Jack Duganne, head printer at Nash Editions, needed a generic term to describe the works of the artist Diane Bartz, produced using inkjet technology. He used the French term “jet d’encre” (inkjet) which he refined to “gicleur” (jet/sprayer) and then “Giclée” (sprayed). A new label was born. (Source “Digital Printing” by Harald Johnson, Eyrolles editions).
French artists were also faced with the same problem as Duganne. They immediately chose discard the expression “ink jet print”, which they found to be inappropriate for an art print. Some of these artists therefore decided to create their own label. This was the case for Philip Plisson, the marine artist who created “Pixographie”, or Jean-Noël l’Harmeroult, the fashion photographer who called his works “Hyperchromes”.
These two image professionals therefore used a personal label to describe their limited-edition art prints created using Epson Professional photo printers.
The arrival of the “Digigraphie®” label
Faced with these developments, Epson France registered the name Digigraphie® with the INPI (Institute Nationale De La Propriété Industrielle / National Industrial Property Institute) and the OHIM (The Institute for the registration of European Trade Marks) in 2003. The trade marks then became European. All those who comply with the usage rules may now use this label.
Why Digigraphie® and Who is it for?
More freedom and visibility for artists
Artists are the primary beneficiaries of this new label. Digigraphie® gives artists more freedom, more visibility and allows them to control their own production.
By definition, an original work is unique. Digigraphie® offers every artist the opportunity of wider distribution of their creation by offering a high quality limited-edition.
A fully-fledged artist
Digigraphie® gives pride of place to imagination and creation. “I am an author, composer and interpreter” Philip Plisson loves to stress. The photographer is not just content with taking a photograph, but also produces the print and gives the image the layout he prefers. The possibilities are endless.
Epson printer technology enables artists to control the quality and quantity of their production. Digigraphie® prevents any plagiarism as each piece of work is numbered, stamped and signed. Each print is part of a limited-edition. Once the limited-edition quantity is reached, there are no additional prints.
Prints as required
Artists are free to print their works over time, when they wish, without the risk of tarnishing their creation. Digigraphie® guarantees perfect reproduction of colours and nuances. The work does not change over time. Artists can, therefore, produce their works based on demand.
Better use of heritage
Using Digigraphie®, means extending the life of a work. Artists have a new form of expression and a new support for renewing their heritage. It is a valuable alternative to either single work or large print-runs.
Composed of the pioneers of this technique, Epson set up a committee uniting several photographers, sculptors and painters. Its role: to define the rules of use for the label, ensuring its harmonisation across the different artistic disciplines during its evolution over time and, finally, to advise on the adaptation of the Epson technology to their specific requirements.
The use of the term Digigraphie relates exclusively to a print produced:
By an Epson SureColor P-series or Stylus Pro professional printer
With Epson UltraChromeTM or Ultrachrome HDTM or Ultrachrome K3TM inks
On certified paper
Authenticated: numbered & signed by the artist, marked with the relief stamp and accompanied by its certificate.
If one of these four obligations is not complied with, the printed work cannot, in any case, be qualified as Digigraphie®. This obligatory qualification is the guarantee, for the artist as for their clients, of ensuring the fidelity and permanence of the reproduced work.
The Artist undertakes, in the context of the use of the Digigraphie label, to exclusively produce works in limited series.
The concept of limited series is defined by three criteria freely determined by the Artist:
The number of proofs reproduced
The format of the reproduction of the work
The support on which it is printed.
If, for a defined series, the printer, paper or format is changed, it is obligatory that this become the subject of a new series. The artist undertakes not to exceed the determined print run number, as indicated on the Digigraphie certificate given to each acquirer of a work.
If these commitments are not complied with, Epson reserves the right to withdraw the embosser from the Artist, together with their Digigraphe referencing. On their part, the Digigraphe Artist may withdraw from this programme without prior notice and without particular reason, but having notified Epson in advance.
Technologies and Materials
Digigraphie® describes a print created: By an 8-colour (min.) Epson Stylus Pro professional printer, with Ultrachrome™ or Ultrachrome K3™ or Ultrachrome HD™ inks on certified paper authenticated numbered and signed by the artist, embossed and accompanied by its certificate.
The 8-colour (min.) Epson Stylus Pro professional or Epson Surecolor P-series printers have printing characteristics which meet the expectations and requirements of photographic and pictorial artists.
Print quality and faithfulness:
Very high print quality = 2880 dpi
A wide palette of colours = min. 8 colours
Black and white printing = 2 blacks and 1 grey
Stylus Pro 11880
Stylus Pro 3880
Stylus Pro 4880
Stylus Pro 4900
Stylus Pro 7880
Stylus Pro 7890
Stylus Pro 7900
Stylus Pro 9880
Stylus Pro 9890
Stylus Pro 9900
SureColor SC-P5000 Std
SureColor SC-P7000 Std
SureColor SC-P9000 Std
Preservation of the work of art over time:
Pigmented inks (mineral-based) with resin ensure the longevity of the print over many generations.*
*Source: Wilhem Research
EPSON certified paper
Epson Traditional Photo Paper 300g
Epson Water Resistant Matte Canvas 375g
Epson Premium Canvas Satin 350g
Epson Somerset Velvet fine art paper 255g
Epson Velvet fine art paper 260g
Epson Ultra Smooth fine art paper 250g
Epson Ultra Smooth fine art paper 325g
Epson Watercolor paper – Radiant White 190g
Epson Doubleweight Matte Paper on Diasec® process 180g
Epson Cold Press Bright
Epson Cold Press Natural
Epson Hot Press Natural
Epson Hot Press Bright
Epson Japanese Kozo Paper Thin, 70g/m2
Epson Fine Art Cotton Smooth Bright 300g/m²
Epson Fine Art Cotton Smooth Natural 300 g/m²
Epson Fine Art Cotton Textured Bright 300g/m²
Epson Fine Art Cotton Textured Natural 300g/m²
Hahnemühle certified paper
Hahnemühle Museum Etching 350g
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Bright White 310
Hahnemühle Torchon 285
Hahnemühle William Turner 190 / 310
Hahnemühle Albrecht Dürer 210
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Pearl 320
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Baryta 315
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® 188 / 308 / 500
Hahnemühle Photo Rag® Satin 310
CANSON® certified paper
Canson® Infinity Rag Photographique 310 g/m²
Canson® Infinity PrintMaKing Rag 310 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Edition Etching Rag 310 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Velin Museum Rag 315 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Aquarelle Rag 310 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Velin Museum Rag 250 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Rag Photographique 210 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Aquarelle Rag 240 g/m²
Canson® Infinity Rag Photographique Duo 220 g/m²
The advantages: instantaneous drying, smear proof
The guarantee: Durability tests done by the independant institutes Wilhelm and LNE, from 60 to 100 years and beyond. Check folowing durability tests results for Epson: Canson® and Hahnemuhle
The Hahnemuhle paper mill has been producing quality artist’s papers for over 425 years. Since its founding in 1584 they have developed experience and a tradition of excellence in art materials that is now been brought to the digital age, and fine art Inkjet printing.