Digital printing has evolved over the last decade. Its greatest distinction from and advantage over traditional printing processes of the past — lithography, flexography, gravure, or letterpress — is that there’s no need to replace printing plates. This advance has resulted in quicker turnarounds and less cost for the artist.
From inkjet to laser printers, graphic design using digital printing has become its own art form and is being used for many purposes. Companies and would-be Van Goghs have several options to create 21st-century art using this technology.
The Giclee Print
Essentially, any painting or drawing you create can be reproduced on canvas and with various grades of papers, and the likeness of the reproduction is fairly close to the original. This allows printers and art lovers to own a near-original at a fraction of the cost.
The process known as “giclee” was patented by Scitex America (the manufacturer of the Iris family of inkjet printers). It’s a French verb that means “to spray.”
It works by having four nozzles — each spraying a separate color of the CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow, black) family onto paper. The advantage of art reproductions using this process is that the final product will last for more than seventy years.
Art critic Heather Clifford, writing for Apogee Photo, notes that “giclee is not an elusive process but an achievable team creation by both the printmaker and the artist.”
iPad apps for digital artists
There are a number of apps created for Apple’s iPads. At $5.99, the Procreate app is considered one of the finest. It’s great for sketching, graphic design, and image manipulation. It has everything from pencils, inks, and brushes to advanced layer compositing, 64-bit performance, and unique digital tools
With another Apple app, FiftyThree, the company known for the Sketching App Paper app is facilitating the process of transferring digital art onto real paper. For $40, users can take their “sketches on paper” and turn them into a 15-spread accordion fold-out.
With this app, you’ll also be able to design a customized cover that reinforces the artist’s brand and themes.
Customized art for your car
Companies specialize in all types of artwork for automobiles today. Custom Vinyl Graphics is a reputable firm that’s achieved distinction in this field.
From pinstriping to rear-window graphics, this company uses the highest quality digital printers, and that has singled it out as one of the largest, most well-known vinyl graphics superstores on the Internet.
These new digital print methods are just a sample of what’s available in the market. The savings in time and labor will evolve further as access to this technology attracts more and more would-be artists to enter the field of digital printing.
Within the next few years, art using digital printing may eventually reach the point where it’s the preferred option to ever having to pick up a brush again. If Van Gogh were alive today, perhaps the ease of digital printing might have kept him from slicing off his ear.