Queen of the Conch Republic Logo Design!

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Jenn For Queen of the Conch Republic Logo DesignEvery now and then we get a really fun project to work on. Our friend Jennifer Smith (of Pirate Radio Fame) decided that she was going to run for Queen of the Conch Republic this year during the Conch Republic Independence Celebration coming up at the end of April. The election of the Conch Republic Royal Family is a charity event held each year to raise funds for the Conch Republic Foster Children’s Fund.

As most of these things are wont to go, this was a last-minute decision, so we only had a couple day’s notice to brain-storm a few ideas and free up some time to work on it, and then it was go-time.

Pulling from a few different sources for inspiration (most notably one of my favorite pin-up artists Serge Birault), and trying to stay within that pin-up style, we cranked this logo out in record-time.

Barb spent a few hours drawing Jenn’s face to try to capture as much of her as possible while still maintaining a simple drawing, and then she handed her drawing off to me so I could hard-line it in the computer and marry it to a drawing of a buxom spear-fisherwoman, which I must admit was heavily borrowed from Serge, and add the text.

It was a short-fuse project, and as usual, there are things I’d like to spend more time polishing, but we just didn’t have the time. All in all I think it came out great. And I’m glad Barb can draw faces, because otherwise Jenn might have wound up looking pretty scary!

The Conch Republic Royal Investiture Party will be held at the Green Parrot Bar Saturday April 21st at 8PM.. You definitely don’t want to miss this! One of my all-time favorite bands is playing that night too.. The Legendary JC’s!


Giclée… no it’s not ice cream!

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Giclee ink fine art canvas printWalk into any art gallery in Key West, well any art gallery anywhere, and you’re likely to hear the term Giclée (GEE-Klay). Sales people love this word because it sounds very haughty and fru-fru, but in reality Giclée is essentially the same thing as an ink-jet print, the same technology you probably have in your little desktop printer that you paid a hundred bucks for at Office Max.

Now, before I get lambasted by all the artists out there, you’ll notice I said essentially the same thing. There are a few differences. Giclée prints are typically made with archival inks on acid-neutral papers or canvas, and in the case of canvas, coated with another UV barrier.

The term Giclée was coined by a gentleman named Jack Duganne who, back in the 80’s was a print maker working for Nash Editions, owned by none other than Grahm Nash of Crosby, Stills, and Nash fame. Nash was looking for a way to reproduce his photography, and at the time there were no viable options available for making high-quality digital photographic prints. Printers like the IRIS were available, but they were mostly geared toward the graphic design market, and couldn’t handle the subtlety of photography very well.

Nash and Duganne along with a few other folks at Nash Editions spent quite some time experimenting and modifying an IRIS printer, fiddling with inks and other variables until they had a product they were happy with. They called it Giclée based on the french word gicler which translates as “to squirt, spurt, or spray”.

The rest as they say, is history.

These days Giclée is bandied about by everyone in the digital print industry, it is the “Band Aid” of fine art! There are many makes and models of fine art printers out there, Canon, HP, and Epson being the largest. These printers typically use more than just the standard CMYK inks found in most desktop ink-jet printers, generally having up to 8 or 12 different inks. Generally the story is, the more inks, the better color reproduction you can get, although as with most things, it’s never quite as cut and dry as all that.

The number one factor in getting good quality color out of any printer is still good old fashioned TALENT and SKILL.

I guarantee that any photo printed directly from your digital camera will look rather bland without some form of color correction, regardless of the printer it’s printed on. We typically run through quite a series of test prints before we land on the final color and contrast settings that bring out the best in any print.

But, I digress… I’m going to stop right there before I ramble off onto an entirely different subject. I’ll cover color correction stuff in another post.

Anyway, here at BIG we use an Epson 9800 Pro to make our prints. We named him Marvin. Marvin uses the Epson Ultrachrome 8-ink system, and the colors are pretty damned good, if I do say so myself. Marvin is always looking for things to keep him busy, so if you are in the market for some great Gic… er…fine art prints, give us a call or drop us an email at info@boneislandgraphics.com!


For more info on Giclee prints, visit Wikipedia.