The creation of the Digigraphie® label is relatively recent. Digigraphie® was officially launched on 13th November 2003, at the centenary of the Autumn Exhibition. But its practice is much older. For several years, photographers, sculptors and painters, as well as service providers (photo laboratories and lithographic studios), have been using the technology of Epson printers to produce prints on art paper. This in turn has opened the doors to a new discipline: the digital reproduction of a work of art.
The search for a name
But what should a high quality, digital art print created with an Epson printer be called? This question arose as long ago as 1991 in the USA, when Jack Duganne, head printer at Nash Editions, needed a generic term to describe the works of the artist Diane Bartz, produced using inkjet technology. He used the French term “jet d’encre” (inkjet) which he refined to “gicleur” (jet/sprayer) and then “Giclée” (sprayed). A new label was born. (Source “Digital Printing” by Harald Johnson, Eyrolles editions).
French artists were also faced with the same problem as Duganne. They immediately chose discard the expression “ink jet print”, which they found to be inappropriate for an art print. Some of these artists therefore decided to create their own label. This was the case for Philip Plisson, the marine artist who created “Pixographie”, or Jean-Noël l’Harmeroult, the fashion photographer who called his works “Hyperchromes”.
These two image professionals therefore used a personal label to describe their limited-edition art prints created using Epson Professional photo printers.
The arrival of the “Digigraphie®” label
Faced with these developments, Epson France registered the name Digigraphie® with the INPI (Institute Nationale De La Propriété Industrielle / National Industrial Property Institute) and the OHIM (The Institute for the registration of European Trade Marks) in 2003. The trade marks then became European. All those who comply with the usage rules may now use this label.