INTO THE 21ST CENTURY
Giclee prints are a revolutionary new way of reproducing accurately paintings, drawings or artwork.and have became very popular with artist wishing to sell their art  to a wider audience.



HOME    CONTACT    HISTORY    CARDS    PRINTING    LINKS   TERMS

COLIN BAILEY
ARTIST & PRINTMAKER

Limited Edition Prints
explained
About Giclee Printing
The Definition : Giclee (zhee-klay) - The French word "Giclee" 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". In giclee printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting.

giclée (zhee-clay) n. 1. a type of digital fine-art print. 2. Most often associated with reproductions; a giclée is a multiple print or exact copy of an original work of art that was created by conventional means (painting, drawing, etc.) and then reproduced digitally, typically via inkjet printing. First use in this context by Jack Duganne in 1991, Los Angeles, California

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 colour accuracy than other means of reproduction. Archival quality ensures that the prints are light-fast and non water soluble.
The Process : Giclee prints are created typically using professional 8-Colour to 12-Colour 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 markets. Giclee prints are sometimes mistakenly referred to as Iris prints, which are 4-Colour ink-jet prints from a printer pioneered in the late 1970s by Iris Graphics.

The Advantages : 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.

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.
Isn’t giclee just the same as inkjet printing?
The association of giclee printing with its conceptual cousin - inkjet printing - has led some people to question the validity of this printing medium as a true fine art system.

Fine art printmaking has traditionally been based on the concept of creating a master plate - known as the matrix - from the original and using this to reproduce a predetermined number of 'editions' of the original artwork. Historically, the matrix was then destroyed by the artist, producing a set of truly limited edition prints. The more traditional printing techniques such as etching, lithography and linocut have evolved into art forms themselves and required a huge degree of expertise to reproduce the original to the artist’s precise demands.

Nowadays, the production of a printing matrix is no longer necessary as the high quality scanning techniques employed by printing companies results in a perfect facsimile of the original painting or photograph. Giclee printing offers incredibly high degrees of fidelity and richness of colour when compared to other 'traditional' printing methods and because no screen or other mechanical device is used, there is no visible dot pattern. The expertise that is employed involves the careful monitoring of the colour system through the use of colour profiling techniques and the understanding of the colourspace that the machine operates within.

The print-on-demand nature of the printing process enables photographers and artists to maintain full control over the artistic integrity of their work which, coupled with the proven archival permanence of giclee prints (when coupled with specifically designed output media and inks) ensures that the artist's work will be enjoyed for decades. Naturally, the understanding between the artist and their customers that the edition is truly limited must be maintained. The matrix is no longer destroyed, but the original scanned file must be deleted or removed from circulation upon reaching the defined number of released editions, but this has always been the case and the advent of giclee printing has no impact on this mutual understanding.

Giclee printing is indeed a fine art printing technique and one that is truly liberating for photographers and artists wishing to share their work with the widest possible audience whilst achieving a quality that was hitherto unobtainable without huge expense.

Please note Giclee prints are almost always reproduction prints and do not fall under the category of printmaking! For an explanation of the difference please see What is a limited edition print?
WHAT IS A FINE ART GICLEE PRINT?
Giclee  and archival quality prints explained
BEACHSCAPES          ST PANCRAS

COASTAL TEXTURES     GROYNES
HOME    CONTACT    HISTORY    CARDS    PRINTING    LINKS   TERMS