The newest buzz in inkjet printing is all about black and white. All inkjet printers will offer black and white printing, however very few will make the effort to deliver real monochrome inkjet.
Here’s the expos© about true black and white inkjet and canvases.
Today’s digital prints are all made with either color photo paper or color inkjet printers. You can try to submit your images in greyscale but they will nevertheless be printed using a RGB or CMYK process. One of many drawbacks of color printing of black and white images is that it inevitably leads to color casts. Early on in the expansion of inkjet technology this was a major problem. Though today’s processes are much better than before, you will still notice some colors, mostly in the mid-tone areas. These colors can vary depending on the nature of the ambient light. Colorimetry experts call this phenomena is called metamerism. Besides color casts, other phenomena, like increased contrast and poor shadow detail, define the limits of “color” based black and white printing. Unfortunately all printers commonly used for giclee printing are color printers.
What’s worse is that black and white inkjet prints made with colored ink will take on different tonal appearances in different kinds of lighting – daylight, shadow, incandescent, fluorescent. Even with my very tight controls. It can drive you nuts, chasing neutral tones.
If you regularly do your own inkjet printing, like I do, you know just how annoying the problem of color cast can be. I know I’m really good at color correction in Photoshop, which of course has a lot to do with the final tones, but even a slight imbalance of my “eye” or clogging of just a few of the jets in the printing mechanism will throw off my best effort.
The Giclee Factory has tooled up to offer a solution to this problem: Monochrome printing.
It’s more complicated in the technique, but with special printer drivers and a special set of inks. Printing using only black and grey inks it is possible to solve all the problems of black and white printing. With black and grey inks there is no color cast, no metamerism, no increased contrast and all those details in the shadows are saved. Different light sources on your art now will reflect only a slightly different, but expected, color shift.
The only drawback is that you have to dedicate one or more printers to black and white printing. This is probably not something you want to try at home, even if you are a dedicated color artisan. And very few companies are willing go that far for customer satisfaction, but at The Giclee Factory, they did just that.
Louis Charbonneau, the owner, has a long history in photo lab management, as well as a passion for limited edition reproductions of all kinds of fine art. You have him to thank for his due diligence in bringing true black and white printing to you at excellent pricing.
A couple of further notes: The Giclee Factory is in Quebec, Canada, but there are no worries about uploading or shipping. Files are easily uploaded right on their site, nothing complicated, and there’s a place to add your personal instructions. They take care of the import and shipping for you; you need do nothing. You’ll find in your shipping contents packet there is a NAFTA value statement and commercial value invoice appropriate to customs and FedEx delivery. Yes, there is a shipping charge, but your bottom line remains about 30-40% less than what most domestic pro labs are charging.
Now for the Contest Rules to be eligible to win a free 16×20 canvas wrap from The Giclee Factory.
In the comment box, leave a short description of how you are using canvas wraps or other giclee printing in an innovative manner. One lucky person will receive a free, delivered 16×20 or smaller from The Giclee Factory. You choice of canvas, stretched or not, either size stretchers, or a watercolor.
- Comment must include your full name and email, and we must be able to reach you to award the gift.
- Please keep comments to about 100 words.
- Comment content is about how you use or would like to use canvas or giclee watercolors for creative business, portrait, personal or art uses.
- Sara Frances will be the sole judge of the most interesting and original comment, which is the sole criteria for the gift award. Judge’s decision is final.
- Comments and ideas will be featured in future articles, with your credit, and we may contact you to learn more about you and your photographic work.
- Comments will close for the purpose of this gift award on May 15, 2012.
- Fulfilling the gift order is the sole responsibility of The Giclee Factory, which is in no way connected with Sara Frances, “Going Pro” blog or Pixiq.
I highly recommend The Giclee Factory, printing the way you’d do it yourself.