“Artists have gotten very educated about the advantages of giclée printing. We’re able to give them a new way to market their work.”
For output, Holyfield chose the Canon imageProGraf printer with its 12-color Lucia ink system, powered by an ErgoSoft RIP. “It gave us a much faster printer with the wider color gamut we needed,” he says.
But there was still one piece missing in his fine-art workflow. Early on, he drew on experience with panoramic photography when digitizing original art. The camera remained fixed in place while the art was attached to a pegboard. He moved each original horizontally and vertically within the frame of view, capturing the art in sections, then reassembled these in Photoshop. It worked, but digitizing the art was both labor intensive and time consuming.
Holyfield explained to his father, Bob, what he was trying to accomplish, and the elder Holyfield designed a motorized system that still serves the company today. “Our device allows the originals to be securely held while being moved horizontally and vertically using a remote control,” explains Holyfield.
The system can accommodate originals as large as six-feet wide and four-feet tall, but most of the work is much smaller. “We typically shoot nine frames to photograph an 18 x 24-inch original, which generates a 100- to 150-mg 16-bit file,” he notes.
For proofing, he’ll print a scaled-down version of the original, and a three-inch swatch at full size. “You have to find out what their expectations are,” he advises. “Some want us to spend as much time as it takes to get the best match to the original, and are willing to pay for it,” he notes. “Others are just looking for a cost-effective solution.”
Holyfield honestly explains his capabilities and the limitations of fine-art reproduction during initial consultations with each artist: “It would be foolish to tell them we can always deliver an exact color reproduction of their original,” he admits. “We’re dealing with the color gamut of the printer, versus the color palette available to artists.”
Most require minor tweaks to the file before printing; and, occasionally, artists prefer the vibrancy of the digitized version to their original. Whether they work in oils or acrylics, pencils or photography, once they’ve had that first print done they tend to return to Megapixel DI.
“Artists have gotten very educated about the advantages of giclée printing,” he concludes. “We’re able to give them a new way to market their work, and it’s become a very enjoyable part of our business.”
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