Giclee Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Giclee?
Paper Giclée Prints: "Giclée" is defined as a printmaking method using an ink-jet printer for photographic
images of paintings to produce high-quality reproductions. In giclée, the ink is sprayed on to your choice of media
in millions of colors utilizing continuous tone technology, retaining all the fine detail of the original.
Etymology: French 'sprayed ink'
The Definition: Giclee
(zhee-klay) - The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may
have been derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt".
The Term: The term
“giclee print" connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital
scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base
paper. The giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.
The Process: Giclee
prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers. Among the manufacturers of
these printers are vanguards such as Epson, MacDermid Colorspan, & Hewlett-Packard. These modern technology
printers are capable of producing incredibly detailed prints for both the fine art and photographic
The Quality: The quality of
the giclee print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums,
art galleries, and photographic galleries.
Giclee refers to prints that are made with 100% archival materials, which ensures
these prints to last over 150 years. They are the finest prints available on the market.
These giclee prints are being printed on demand which means that over the course of
the edition some variations in the prints may occur due to alterations in the technology available and in media
formulations that may be beyond the control of the artist. Any such variations will be minimal in impact as the
final result has to meet the artist’s requirements.
Among museums and galleries the giclee has become the preferred reproduction for
both beauty and durability.
The Giclée process provides unsurpassed color depth and life-like reproduction of
the original artwork.
Giclee prints are advantageous to artists who do not find it feasible to mass
produce their work, but want to reproduce their art as needed, or on-demand. Once an image is digitally
archived, additional reproductions can be made with minimal effort and reasonable cost. The prohibitive
up-front cost of mass production for an edition is eliminated. Archived files will not deteriorate in quality
as negatives and film inherently do. Another tremendous advantage of giclee printing is that digital images
can be reproduced to almost any size and onto various media, giving the artist the ability to customize
prints for a specific client.