There are many hobbyists and amateurs in the field of printmaking who may claim to produce genuine giclee art prints, but don’t be fooled. In 2001, the Giclee Printers Association (GPA) was created to standardize and acknowledge true giclee printmakers. The purpose of the GPA is to outline industry standards and inform consumers. The GPA distinguishes professional printers from amateurs who are not accountable to any defined standard. GPA recognition provides artists and consumers confidence in the value of the product they are purchasing. Currently there are two designations granted to members of the GPA: TruDecor and TruGiclee. These are both trademark symbols of consistency and quality that the consumer should have confidence in.

Currently, the primary designation the GPA awards is TruDecor. Artists who display this trademark cater to the larger décor market of giclee art prints. To qualify as a TruDecor printmaker, one must meet four standards. First, the reproduction process can bear no evidence of the technology used to create it. Second, the printer must fully disclose the suppliess used in their art reproduction. Next, the printer must be the subject of a highly regarded reputation by their peers. And the fourth criteria asks the printmaker to swear by an oath that vows to inform their customers on TruDecor, and continuously showcase the TruDecor trademark wherever and whenever possible.

The other honor printmakers can be given is TruGiclee. This trademark is a niche market application used by giclee master printers who serve the upper end of the digital fine art market. The TruGiclee standard is only given to those who are operating in the highest levels of the giclee fine art print market. They must follow a rigorous, nine-point standard that exceeds printmakers displaying the TruDecor trademark. The nine standards are: The ability to perfectly reproduce original artwork, the reproduction process bears no evidence of the technology used, the printer adheres to archival standards consistent with that of a collectable fine art print, the print showcases the highest quality product available to the market, all products used in reproduction are fully disclosed, the printer has an exceptional reputation for honesty and integrity amongst his or her peers and customers, the artisan producing (or supervising the production of the work) has been certified as a Master Printer by the G.P.A., the artist participates in an on-going research and development effort to enhance their craft and the G.P.A., and they must honor an oath to continuously display the TruGiclee trademark and update their clients on TruGiclee.

Source Ezine by Bill Spiez

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