Epson Digigraphie – a sign of fine art prints?
Epson Digigraphie to launch in the UK
Yesterday I paid a visit to Epson’s UK HQ to have a look at the newly announced SP4900 and the SP7890/9890 and I’ve added some notes to those particular pages. The other reason for my visit was the announcement of the UK launch of Epson’s ‘Digigraphie’ programme in the UK.
It will start up in 2011 and is accepting applications for membership now. Email Digigraphie@Epson.co.uk for more details, or visit the web site at www.digigraphie.com
“To become a Digigrapher, artists and galleries can equip themselves with the Epson products which comply with the technical terms of Digigraphie from a select number of resellers that will be chosen for their recognised skills and their involvement in the photography and art markets. Alternatively artists will be able to use one of the network of UK approved professional Digigraphie Labs to produce their limited edition artworks.”
This was launched in Europe a few years ago and offers:
‘Digigraphie by Epson enables artists, galleries, museums and bureaux alike to maximise their opportunities to add value to their work exclusively, by using the very best printing technology together with a wide range of certified media, therefore guaranteeing exceptional, repeatable quality. Those participating in this programme have the added benefit of being able to showcase their works on-line by uploading their images to a dedicated section of the Digigraphie.com website.’
Amongst things in your membership kit (there is a cost for this) is a printers stamp or ‘Chop’ you can use on your prints
There were a range of prints on show at the event, from artists/photographers who are currently members.
At launch, you do have to use a ‘certified’ paper type:
‘A range of 26 high-quality fine art/photo media is certified for use with the Digigraphie programme, 10 produced by Epson, seven by Canson and nine by Hahnemühle. Each media undergoes rigorous testing by independent laboratories to ensure it meets high levels of quality, durability and consistency of reproduction, to guarantee the stability of prints over time.’
I’m told that other manufacturers can submit their papers for incorporation into the approved list… perhaps other printer manufacturers too ;-)
As someone who produces their own fine-art prints, this is something that potentially interests me, although my gut feelings are that it might be perceived to mean more, if it were more independent. I hope it works well, but as one person dryly commented to me: ‘Just because the prints are produced to high quality standards doesn’t mean the actual picture is any good’ :-)
There is also the question of what exposure on the web site gets you as an artist, other than getting to see the work of other members. Perhaps my feelings are related to why this has taken some time for it to move beyond a ‘European’ project (sorry, but even though I’m half French, I still don’t naturally think of the UK as European – you have to cross the channel to get to Europe from here ;-)
Whatever my historical biases, I’ll be keeping an eye on its progress and what impact it has on the fine art print market.
‘Signature Worthy’ range of paper
Also on show were five papers
‘The Signature Worthy range will include Epson’s highest-quality cut-sheet media products that enable the best possible print results for artists and photographers alike. When used in combination with Epson’s Stylus Pro print technologies and UltraChrome inks, the Signature Worthy media will deliver Digigraphie-approved results allowing fine art and photographic artists to produce limited, certified editions of their original works, as well as guaranteeing exceptional image quality and durability.’
Some time ago we looked at their Traditional Photo Paper or Exhibition Fiber as it is known in the US. The two other papers are hot and cold press rag papers with and without OBAs.
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