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What Is a Giclee Print?


Simply put, a giclee is a fine art print created by using a specialized high resolution inkjet printer. Yes, a giclee is in fact an “art print” but giclee prints stand apart with their extremely high level of quality, longevity and value compared to a standard print. 


Pronounced “zhee-clay,” the word giclee is French for “to spray.” This literal interpretation of the word defines what the art of giclee printing is: reproducing art through a printer to exactly resemble an original piece.


Why Do Artists Produce Fine Art Giclee Prints?


Sometimes an original painting is uniquely beautiful, sought after, and also, very expensive! 


Fine art Giclee prints help solve these problems. Reproductions of the original art can also be offered by the artist, allowing a number of art enthusiasts to invite the piece into their homes at a lower price point. Afterall, art is meant to be enjoyed right? Why wouldn’t the artist want to spread the love?


Giclee were first introduced in the late 1980s–when artist Jack Duganne found a way to produce more than one of each of his pieces with giclee printing. Still categorized as fine art, his giclee prints paved the way to a fine art medium that is widely produced and sold today.


By choosing to produce giclee prints, an artist is allowing more people to enjoy and purchase their art, without sacrificing on quality.


How Are Giclees Made?


When it’s fine art on the table, only the best will do! Fine art giclees are produced using the highest quality printers available on the market. 

Often an Iris Printer or similar technology is used to create these beautiful reproductions in all of their glory. Iris printers are considered the gold standard of quality as they use a continuous flow inkjet technology to produce continuous-tone, consistent, photorealistic prints on canvas, paper and many other mediums. Known for their color accuracy and ability to match the proofs to the prints, this level of printing precision is what is used to create archival quality giclee’ around the world. 

The original artist is involved at every level during giclees productions. From choosing the ink, canvas and sometimes even retouching the finished piece by hand. The artist is there every step of the way to ensure it meets the same standard as the original. 


Choice Of Giclee Canvas Paper


In order to ensure that only the highest quality fine art prints come off the press. Choice of paper is essential. There are specific types of paper offered to create giclee prints with, all of archival quality. Archival paper is essentially a permanent, acid-free type of paper that is made to last the test of time. Offered in standard gloss, matte on cotton canvas to suit each artist’s work, archival paper is a must for these fine prints.


Choice Of Giclee Ink


Choice of ink is also a top consideration. Most reputable giclee printers avoid using cheap water based inks. Instead, most insist that the artist uses an ink with a base of high quality color pigmented ink for the best results. Pigment based inks can stand the test of time and provide accurate color matching to the original artwork.


When you buy a giclee print, know that you’re getting the highest quality fine art reproduction.


"Come From The Shadows" by Sherry Rohl

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