Giclée Prints Explained


Giclée Printing is a modern digital printing process used for the highest quality art reproductions. It rivals the traditional gelatin and silver-halide processes commonly used by museums, art and photographic galleries, giving a combination of permanence, quality and affordability that is unobtainable using any other method.

Giclée derives from the French gicler, a verb meaning ‘to squirt or spray’. However, it should not be confused with the familiar desktop inkjet system, which often uses a lower resolution and only four colours.

Quality giclée printing is done at a minimum resolution of 300 dpi and uses pigment-based inks instead of the dye-based inks used by inkjet printers. Pigment-based inks are far more stable, giving the prints a greater life span—between 100 and 200 years without any significant fading. Large format giclée printers designed specifically for art reproductions use between 8 and 12 ink cartridges, giving greater subtlety and accuracy of tone and colour.

Your giclée print will not be made as part of a long print run, but is printed individually when ordered. The first print made of any image is carefully compared to the original, then colour corrected and proof printed. When approved by the artist, the print settings are saved to allow identical copies to be made. Traditional printing methods such as etching or lithography that use plates for each colour suffer from degradation during a run, so that the last copy in an edition may not be as good as the first. This is not the case with giclée prints. Each copy of a limited edition is identical.

In lithography, a painting is photographed using screens and colour filters that break down the image into a dot pattern for each of the four colours used. Giclée prints are digitally scanned with no mechanical device for separating colours, which results in a print that does not have any visible dot pattern.

Although Giclée printing gives to the artist a consistent method of high quality reproduction of his work, it does not mean that the skill of the individual printer is a thing of the past. Technical expertise goes into the production of any print. Using the same trusted giclée print company for all my prints has ensured consistent high quality and customer satisfaction.




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