So I feel like I'm abusing our Epson by using it only for films when it is fully capable of printing high end giclee prints. We have had plenty of requests for short run digital prints in the past which I have just sent elsewhere since I'm not at all knowledgeable in that area.
I did some testing on some french paper I had laying around and was just not very happy with the results. They just looked like very large inkjet prints to me (colors were fairly faded).
Would anyone have some good paper suggestions, tips on driver settings, how to set up files? I've never used a RIP before, is that suggested? Its a world I've never dabbled in.
I've never cared for giclee prints at all, because I always just thought of them as big inkjet printouts. I recently saw one made by Jay Foran that runs Alpha Repro and it was insane. I had always heard he was ' the guy' from tattooers, but I was looking at this print and thought it was a watercolor painting for sure, like completely convinced I was accidentally given the original to look at instead of a print.
I know his methods are way beyond a nice epson printer, and when it was explained it sounded like he was sort of injecting the paper with ink. It was crazy for sure. I know none of that gives input to your question, so good luck. I know these were actually printed on watercolor paper, so I guess I would recommend going beyond the French paper and using a 100% cotton rag maybe.
this place is good for paper > Archival Inkjet Fine Art Photography Papers : Inkjetart.com
the key to a good digital print is the paper. they have to be coated with some special chems to interact with the ink and bring out the colors accurately
Hahnemuhle and moab rule. using the correct drivers/printer profiles are a must usually come with an order of paper and are specific to that paper.
you can also download them.
Thanks ferg! That helps a lot. I've had a few people show me giclees just like logan explained (looked like watercolors, I had trouble telling the difference). Excited to see if I can pull something like that off. A lot of tattoos artists ask us for the giclees because they prefer doing watercolor art. I've tried pressuring towards working with them to do a nice screen print, but most of the time there is no interest in the process that would go into making nice separations.
What defines a good paper for me is that it prints cleanly without shedding too much lint. All paper sheds lint but some more than other. Lint clogs up the heads creating banding. Mind the gap.
Only use rag papers on your high quality stuff.
"I've tried pressuring towards working with them to do a nice screen print, but most of the time there is no interest in the process that would go into making nice separations."
This is key. In 'the world' most people don't know/could give a shit how a thing was printed, only how it looks, and most artists want exact reproduction of their genius and skill with a brush, pen or pencil, not to create 'original prints' or have to learn some whole new process and accept a different look to their art.
And treated paper is key, as is constant daily calibration and cleaning of the printer, as is printing at highest resolution.