Offset Printing for Fine Art: Serigraph, Lithograph & Giclee

You have a wide array of offset printing methods to choose from today if you’re making fine art prints. Offset Printing for Fine Art: Serigraph, Lithograph & Giclee Traditionally, artists had to decide whether they wanted to reproduce their work using serigraph, lithograph or giclee styles of printing. These terms can be confusing to anyone who isn’t intimately familiar with the fine art printing industry. Consequently, many people commonly misuse these terms. Today’s printing technology makes this choice somewhat more complex, adding terminology such as offset lithographs and digital giclee prints. The good news is that you have more choices than ever for making high-quality reproductions of your art.

What Are Serigraphs?

A serigraph is made using screen-printing techniques. Traditionally, this approach was called silk screening. Today, however, the screens are typically more durable. To make this type of fine art print, the artist or reproductionist must create multiple screens through which to push paint. The process takes time and precision. Consequently, serigraphs are some of the most expensive types of fine art reproduction. They cannot typically be done by a printing company unless that company also does screen printing.

What Are Lithographs and Offset Lithographs?

Lithography has existed since the late 1700s. Although the process has been mechanized, it has changed little in that 200-plus-year span. To create a lithograph, the image is affixed to a plate or blanket (of sorts). The plate is coated with ink and then pressed or rolled onto the desired paper. If this process sounds familiar, that’s because it’s essentially what we refer to now as offset printing. In other words, lithographs are a form of high-quality offset printing. This means they can be cost-effective if you need a larger run.

Giclee Prints

Giclee is to digital printing what lithography is to offset printing. A giclee print is an ultra-high-resolution digital rendering of the original artwork. Giclee prints tend to be more detailed and vivid and you have a wider selection of media on which to print. Depending on the quality of the paper and ink, giclee prints can be archival. One of the benefits of giclee for fine art reproduction is that you can do a short run — a single piece if you prefer. So although this approach costs more per piece than lithography, you can order them as you need them. To ensure that you’re choosing the right printing format, talk to one of the digital and offset printing experts at Sun Print Solutions. For more than 75 years, we have provided exceptional printing services to clients in Utah and throughout the Intermountain West. We also offer packing, kitting, fulfillment and direct mail. Contact us today for pricing or to learn more about digital and offset printing for fine art reproduction.

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