bp default image

Fine-Art Systems and Media Expand

Seven companies introduce new products for fine art.

Big Picture
More and more fine artists are embracing inkjet technology for producing their fine art. There has been an explosion of fine-art printing systems--designed for art from black x white photography to 12-color systems for fine-art and photography--as well as a variety of new media--from photographic papers to canvas. Here are the latest tools for digital fine artists.

Media Street Debuts Archival Black-and-White Printing System: Media Street's Generations QuadBlack (GQ) pigment ink is one of the cornerstones of its new archival black-and-white inkjet system for printing black-and-white photography. The system comprises the GQ inks, a special RIP, printing curves and ICC profiles, and matched Media Street substrates. Media Street claims that this combination of tools and products will produce museum-quality prints, even with an entry-level, sub-$100 printer (such as the Epson Stylus Photo R200).

The launch of the new system for Epson Stylus Photo R200/R300 printers was slated to take place in the first quarter of 2005; additional printers are slated for later this year.

In addition, Media Street has launched MyGallery (http://mygallery.mediastreet.com), an online and off-line photo facility to store, share, and print photos (at home or at Media Street's Generations Print Lab). This free service can be used by professional photographers to share images with customers, or by consumers to upload and print their personal photos. Part of the MyGallery's service is the ability to use FXFoto photo-management software. (Media Street: www.mediastreet.com)

Epson Initiates UltraGiclee Print Certification Program: Epson has created a new UltraGiclee print certification program, which will guarantee the longevity of certain Epson fine-art prints.

The UltraGiclee certified fine-art prints will be warranted to resist noticeable fading from 80 years from the original date of purchase. The print must be created on select Epson professional printers using select professional media and Epson UltraChrome ink. In addition, the prints must be framed, handled, and displayed according to the specific warranty conditions.

In order to earn UltraGiclee certification, printmakers will attend a training class on proper training and finishing techniques. Classes will be offered in late spring in various cities across the country; details on these classes will be offered at www.epson.com/ultragiclee beginning March 2005.

Wilhelm Imaging Research has independently tested the printers, inks, and papers used in the certification program for the fine-art, fine-art reproduction, and fine-art photography industries, Epson reports. Final prints made according to the program's specifications will be registered and accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. (Epson: www.epson.com)

Drytac Offers Inkjet-Printable Canvas Line: Drytac has added a line of printable canvas to its media offerings. These fine-art canvases are compatible with most water-based printers such as Epson, HP, and Roland, and can use dye- and pigment-based inks. Both are 18-mil thick, 11-oz polyflax/cotton canvas, and come in widths from 24- to 50-in. wide.

-- 901WR Water-resistant Matte Inkjet Canvas has a water-resistant inkjet coating, and its matte finish is suitable for fine-art reproduction. The coating allows texture gel and aqueous acrylic paints to be applied directly to the image after printing.

-- 901 Glossy Inkjet Canvas has a topcoat designed for excellent color definition when using pigmented inks; but it also works well with dye-based inks. It can be used for photos, signage, and fine-art reproduction.

In addition, Drytac now offers 24-hr online shopping at its website. US customers can shop for overlaminates, mounting adhesives, dry mounting tissues, framing products, finishing accessories, and inkjet-printable media. Users can also search by product name or SKU number. (Drytac: www.drytac.com)

Premier Introduces 7 New Fine-Art Media: Premier has introduced several new wide-format media: PremierArt Luster Rag, Hot Press, and Water Color papers. All are compatible with dye-or pigment-based aqueous wide-format thermal or piezo printers such as HP, Canon, and Epson. These fine-art papers are designed for use by fine-art photographers, artists, and archivists, and are available in standard sheet and roll sizes.

PremierArt Luster Rag is an acid-free, 100% cotton rag paper. The 335-gsm, 23-mil, moulde-made paper features a single-sided coating that is instant-dry.

PremierArt Hot Press, available in four weights from 205 to500 gsm, is moulde-made 100% cotton rag paper. Its coating, which Premier reports provides a high D-max, intense color density, and photographic image clarity, is water-resistant and instant dry. The 205-gsm paper is 12 mil thick and coated on two sides; the 250-gsm paper is 15 mil thick and is coated on one side; the 325-gsm paper is 17 mil thick and coated on two sides; and the 500-gsm paper is 26 mil thick and coated on a single side.

The 210 or 310 g textured PremierArt Water Color papers are alpha cellulose acid- and lignin-free. They feature a single-sided instant-dry coating, a cold-press texture, and are 12- and 15-mil thick. (Premier Imaging Products: www.premierimagingproducts.com)

Fredrix Announces 575WR Inkjet Canvas: Fredrix 575WR inkjet canvas is a thin (17-mil, 9.5 oz) matte-finished canvas that offers superior water resistance, a soft look, and bright colors. This Poly/cotton coated canvas is compatible with pigmented inks and with most water-based protective coatings and acrylic paints, including Fredrix Acrylic Texturizing Gel. 575WR is available in 11 x 17- and 13 x 19-in. sheets, and rolls from 17 to 60 in. wide. (Tara Materials: www.fredrixprintcanvas.com)

Parrot Digigraphic Debuts Angelica Watercolor Papers: As part of its Parrot Certified product line, Parrot Digigraphics has introduced Angelica Watercolor paper, a single-side coated traditional fine-art media for fine-art printmaking and digital photo applications. This matte paper is acid-free, archival, and compatible with wide-format aqueous dye- and pigment-based printers such as Epson, Muoh, Roland, Mimaki, and HP.

Parrot Digigraphic reports that the Angelica Watercolor line offers a vibrant color range, sharp and saturated images, high level of water resistance, and enhanced scuff resistance. In addition, the company says that tests indicate that the prints are rated for approximately 100 years or more when used in conjunction with pigmented inks.

These papers come in Ultra White Smooth (280 gsm), Bright White Smooth (315 gsm), Natural White Smooth (315 gsm), Natural White Textured (315 gsm), and Natural White Rough (315 gsm). They are available in sheets up to 36.4 x 48 in. and rolls from 17 to 60 in. wide. (Parrot Digigraphics: www.parrotcolor.com)

Three Double-Sided Papers from Hahnemuhle: Hahnemuhle has added to its Lumijet Portfolio Series media line with the addition of three double-sided inkjet papers: Art Two Sides, Velvet Two Sides, and Silk Two Sides. Designed specifically for photographic imaging and portfolios, these double-sided papers media feature an inkjet-receptive coating that's optimized for pigmented inks. Art Two Sides, a 14-mil, 216 gsm paper, has a smooth matte surface with natural warm tones; Velvet Two Sides is an 8-mil, 180 gsm, lightweight natural media with a slight surface texture; and Silk Two Sides, an 8-mil, 180 gsm, lightweight, natural-white media has a more distinctive texture. (Hahnemuhle USA: www.hahnemuhle.com)

View more from this Big Picture issue