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.