Following its huge success in European and American markets, Epson has introduced its Digigraphie certification in South Africa, which will prove to be a boon for local artists and photographers wanting to certify limited edition prints of their work.
Initially, five major photographic labs will offer Digigraphie certification for limited edition prints, including Foto First Cresta Mall, Fuji Image Fourways Mall, Foto First Clearwater Mall, Foto First Midlands Mall and Photo World Musgrave Centre.
However, Epson South Africa anticipates a number of new announcements to be forthcoming, as more labs and printing shops are Digigraphie certified.
Artists and photographers will be able to take digital images of their work to these labs and have them printed as limited editions, utilising certain Epson printers, media and inks – and it will be embossed with the official Digigrapghie stamp as a certified print.
According to Vernon Mellors, corporate account manager at Epson South Africa, Epson Digigraphie is a seal of excellence for photographers, artists and museums and is the result of several years of research by Epson on the technical performance of its printers, and on the resilience and quality of its range of UltraChrome and HDR pigments inks.
Visible on prints as an embossment, the Digigraphie seal describes a print that has been created following a specific digital process and assures customers that their art is a genuine limited-edition reproduction of an original piece of art or photograph.
Already in use by over 500 artists, photographers and strip cartoonists worldwide, the certification is enjoying growing adoption as gallery owners and collectors also turn to the process as a quality “middle ground” between an original artwork and a mass-produced replica.
While Epson Digigraphie offers consumers and collectors a very high level of assurance, it also offers a big value proposition to the artists themselves. The Digigraphie label gives artists the ability to increase their distribution to new audiences by giving them total control over the quality and quantity of high-quality, limited-edition prints.
“It also offers an added level of protection for the artist’s intellectual property – preventing plagiarism with individually-numbered and stamped prints,” says Mellors. “As you can imagine, with a certification of such high calibre, a print can only be Digigraphie certified if a number of very strict criteria have to be adhered to.
“The criteria include that the print must be produced on an 8/10 colour Epson Stylus Pro professional printer series that has been certified for this programme, utilising original inks as well as medias that have been certified. The work must also be authenticated, numbered and signed by the artist, embossed and accompanied by an original certificate.”
Epson printing and ink technology form the core of the Digigrapghie program, and demonstrates the absolute faith that artists and art-lovers have in Epson’s ability to deliver the highest quality prints that will last.
Epson Digigraphie offers a number of other applications and opportunities for collectors, museums and the artists themselves.
For galleries, each Digigraphie print is, in effect, an original piece because each print is numbered and signed by the artist. Galleries can therefore offer a limited-edition print series of a unique artwork in addition to the original.
Similarly, a museum can utilise Digigraphie to give visitors the opportunity to purchase a high-quality limited-edition reproduction of an artwork or photograph, with the knowledge that the piece being sold is true to the original and durable well into the future.
A further advantage of Digigraphie is the ability to sell a Digigraphies Collection, which is a label relating to the works of deceased artists. The heirs of a deceased artist can produce Digigraphie-certified prints of original artworks to exhibit in a gallery, which will also re-value the artistic heritage of an artist.
“We’re very happy to be able to bring Digigraphie to the local market,” Mellors says. “Epson hopes to bring as much new energy to the local photo and fine art printing market as we have managed to bring in the European and American markets.”