WHAT IS A GICLÉE Print?
The French word “Giclée” (pronounced zhee-clay) translates in English to “spraying of ink”. Giclée prints are high-resolution digital reproductions of original artwork using sophisticated digital printers. A giclée has a higher resolution than offset lithographs and the dynamic color range is greater than serigraphy. This printing process uses incredibly accurate computer controlled jets to apply a fine stream of archival ink or pigments onto archival fine art paper, canvas or other substrate. These unique jets are able to vary the width of the stream to as small a 1/100th the width of human hair. It is this capability that gives the giclée its beauty, resulting in vivid, pure color and exceptional detail that is suitable for museum or gallery display.
The Giclée process provides better color accuracy than any other means of reproduction. These prints are essentially a continuous tone print showing every color and tonal nuance. Giclée prints are so accurate that they are hard to distinguish from the original artwork. Highly collectable, Giclée prints are an established medium in the fine art community and are well accepted in museums and galleries around the world for their accuracy of reproduction and archival qualities. The ink pigments have been tested on etching paper, canvas, Arches Cold Press Paper, and other archival fine rag papers and found to have an expected life of 40 -50 years under normal conditions without noticeable fading. The Giclée print outlasts regular prints and photography for decades in good condition. Giclée prints can be produced in variable sizes with either open or limited editions.
How Is it Made?
The Giclée process begins with the input stage. A scan or high-resolution digital photographic file of the original painting or transparency will create a digital file. The scanning or digital photographic process is critical and requires the most technically advanced equipment. After the scan is complete, the resulting file will be entered into the computer, where the file must be color balanced and adjusted to match the original artwork when printed. Making the final print match or exceed the original painting is an art in itself and calls for a great deal of patience and skill from a colorist, or the artist themselves. The file preparation and proofing takes approximately two weeks. Once the artist has approved the proof, the giclée printer slowly delivers colored inks onto the selected paper or canvas to print one Giclée at a time.
Caring for the Giclée?
The Giclée should be afforded the same level of care as an original piece of art. These valuable works of art are beautiful reproductions and costly to produce, therefore they should be handled with care. A Giclée on paper should be displayed under glass with a matt to protect it from moisture and kept out of direct sunlight. A Giclée on canvas can be displayed without glass just like the original.