Guide to fine art giclee prints and printing service for artists - A3 flat artwork scanned and printed for £150.

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".

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.

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.

Fine art Giclee printing
service for artists and photographers
Giclee prints are a revolutionary new way of reproducing accurately paintings, drawings or artwork.and have became very popular with artist wishing to reach a larger audience.
Recommended fine art materials & printmaking suppliers: Where to buy the cheapest canvas, paints & brushes, copper etching plates, paper & ink.

The terms Limited Edition Print, Original Print, and Reproduction Print are often confusing. Printing has always been associated with the mass production of the written word or image and so the phrase original print seems a contradiction in terms.
Printmaking as a form of fine art has become distinctly separate from printing as the process of reproducing multiple images.  
Printmaker is used to describe an artist who works directly with the medium that will be printed from; as opposed to reproducing an image created in another medium.
Printmaking links  FAQ
Artist’s prints for sale by UK Printmaker
All etchings on this site are drawn, etched and hand pulled by Colin Bailey.
All giclee prints on this site are scanned from Colin Bailey’s own original paintings and printed by Colin Bailey.
Are you an artist or photographer? Have you a portfolio of small watercolours, drawings or oil or acrylic paintings that you exhibit locally and would like to put on to  a website?  How many times have you sold a picture you really liked only find that more people wanted to buy it and that you could have sold it many times over? If like me you have sold work and are left with no record (apart from maybe an out of focus enprint or a blurry image on a mobile phone then maybe you should think of having your work professionally scanned and printed?
You’ve probably thought of getting your favourite paintings,drawings or photographs printed but have been deterred by the technicalities and the cost!
Up until about ten years ago this would have meant 4 colour lithographic printing, setting up plates, halftone screening and commitment to large print runs - fine if you want an edition of 250 but a tad expensive if you just wanted 10!
You’ve probably looked into Giclee printing but are not quite sure what it entails, or indeed if it is quite what it claims to be.

To set this up yourself  you would need:
1 A fairly fast PC with extra memory and decent graphics card and a copy of photoshop or something similar
2 An A3 quality scanner (don’t confuse this with the £30 A4 scanners you can get! Good quality A3 scanners are around £600!)
An SLR digital camera (preferably 12 mega pixels)  
The scanner will always produce far better quality images (a 300dpi A3 scan would be equivalent to the image produced by a 17 mega pixel camera, would have perfect lighting and no depth of field or distortion problems)
3 An A3 Giclee printer. Again a world apart from your bog standard A4 inkjet printer. The technology is basically the same but Giclee printers use pigments which are light-fast and waterproof (I left my first prints in the bath for a day to check this!). They also use 8 colour cartridges instead of 4 and can print onto “proper” art paper and card.
I have been producing Giclee prints of my own paintings for the last two years - they are accurate, popular, affordable and I am now offering the same service to other artists.

For £150 including Post and packaging
I will scan any artwork you supply, providing it is under A3 (11 inches by 16 inches) and flat (on thick paper or card)
I will send you an A4 proof to check the colours and if you are happy I will then print 10 same size as original prints on A3+ (13 inches x 19 inches) 310 GSM Hahnemühle "German etching"  Fine art Archival quality paper at 360 dpi.
These, your original artwork, and a CD with the scanned file (JPEG and TIF formats) will be sent to you special next day delivery packed flat in a sturdy cardboard envelope.
Please  contact  me with any further questions

Ryepress offers a limited small scale printing service for artists in the Hastings, Rye and East Sussex area. It doesn’t giclee print images on to canvas and at the moment only offers printing on a small range of paper up to A3+. However... Just up the High Street is a chap who does!
I am happy to refer anyone requiring larger scale giclee printing to Paul at Martel Colour Print - literally a stone’s throw away from Ryepress (I know I’ve tried - just don’t tell him it was me!)   Details below:
Epson R2400 giclee printer
Epson R2400 Giclee printer

Martel Colour Print
32a High Street
East Sussex
TN34 3ER
Telephone: 01424 420188
Martel Colour Print is based in the lovely seaside town of Hastings, East Sussex. Specialising in large format digital colour printing, we are able to produce high quality prints on a variety of media. Prints can be up to 44 inches wide and of virtually unlimited length.
Our core specialist areas are photographic printing, fine art and poster printing, but we are very happy produce anything our large format machine is capable of - banner printing, window film, backlit film prints and plan/CAD printing, to name but a few. Flexibility is a guiding principle of the company, so if you’ve got a project you’re struggling to find a supplier for, give us a call.
We also now offer in-house digital laser printing and colour / black & white photocopying.
We focus on quality, service and value for money and offer technical advice to enable you to achieve the perfect result.
We also offer print management for anything we can’t do in-house – from a leaflet to a book – so whatever your printing requirement, contact us for a quotation and helpful, informed advice.
We are happy to see customers at any time - just pop into our studio at 32a High Street, give Paul Thomas a call on 01424 420188 or email

Studio opening hours are
9.45 - 5.30, Monday to Friday, Saturdays by appointment.


The five basic kinds of digital giclee prints are:
1 Computer-generated images (original giclee prints);
2 Digitally printed photographs;
3 Reproduction giclee prints of images scanned into computers;
4 digital photographs or scanned images that are then manipulated, enhanced, reworked, or altered by computer (using programs like Photoshop, for example) BEFORE they're printed;
5 Giclee or digital images of any kind that are enhanced, reworked, or altered AFTER they're printed. Digital art of all types is rapidly increasing in popularity, regardless of whether the finished products are reproductions, originals, or some combination of the two. Whatever you want to make is fine, as with all art, there are no rules other not to misrepresent what you're making or selling.

Most giclee prints are reproductions of works of art in other mediums-- copies of paintings, watercolours, drawings, etc. If you decide to produce digital copies of your art, remember that no matter what you call them, they are NOT original works of art. They are COPIES of original works of art and should always be represented as such. Even signing or limiting them does not change this fact.

However producing giclee limited edition reproduction prints is a great way for artists to make their art more widely available at lower prices, and increasing their collector bases by offering affordable alternatives to more expensively priced originals. You can also sell your images as unsigned unlimited editions at even lower prices if you want to make them even more affordable, or you can sign and limit them in various ways in order to market them at different price points. Signing, numbering, adding small drawings in the margins, or whatever else you want to do to personalize or individualize your digital images all make them more attractive to buyers,

If you're printing limited editions, set edition sizes in advance. Once they're set, make them public and never change them. You don't have to print the entire run at once; one of the great advantages of giclee printing is that you only have to print as many prints as people order, thereby saving ink, paper, and storage costs. But keep in mind that people who buy limited edition prints often buy based, at least in part, on the size of the edition. For example, if you limit an edition to ten prints, you sell them out, and then decide to print twenty more because they sold so well, you can be pretty sure that the people who bought the first ten will never buy art from you again .

With signed limited editions, document every print you sell. This is a great way to make buyers feel confident about what they're buying. Include a detailed original invoice or certificate of authenticity with each image-- not a photocopy-- with the print's title, paper type, printer type, ink type, date printed, edition size, and other particulars. Then sign and date it. Not only do buyers appreciate the documentation, but good documentation also tends to increase a work of art's value.

Never try to obscure the fact that your art has digital components (as some artists do). For example, if you print a digital print and then paint over it in any way, call it "acrylic over giclee image," "enhanced giclee print," "hand-embellished inkjet print," "giclee print with hand highlighting," "hand painted digital print," or "inkjet and acrylic." Don't simply call it "mixed media." Not only does that confuse buyers; it's also disingenuous because it traditionally refers to a work of art that is 100% original and created entirely by hand. Digital art is created with computers, printers, scanners, and/or cameras; no handwork is involved in certain stages of that process. You don't want someone to buy your "mixed media" art believing that you made it entirely by hand, only to find out later that you didn't.

Additional pointers:

Make sure your image files are large enough to produce superior quality prints, and use printers capable of printing in high resolution (high dpi). You don't want dot matrix patterns to be visible on your prints (unless showing dot patterns is an intended characteristic of your art). Colour fields should be crisp and clean with no overlap or fuzzy edges.

Know the characteristics of your inks. Under what conditions will they fade? Are they water-resistant? Should they be protected with finishes? Should they be displayed only in low light? If you want your art to last, it's important to use the best inks, papers, and protective coatings available.

Use pigmented inks only. Dye-based inks fade substantially over time. By the way, the last time I checked, Iris printers still can't use pigmented inks, so avoid Iris prints.

Make sure you know what equipment is being used to print your images, as well as what inks, papers, and dpi (resolution). See samples of exactly what you're contracting for before you sign any dotted lines, and be sure the quality of those samples meets with your approval.

Think about offering a little extra for early buyers of your latest editions-- maybe a little larger size, special paper, a personal statement, or other add-ons. Showing consideration to your first few buyers encourages them to buy first again, and might encourage other buyers to get in line quicker the next time.

The nature of digital art is such that even though you print the same file over and over again, you can make each image unique with relatively minor changes. So experiment with different options-- you may end up pioneering techniques that digital artists will follow for years to come.