What is a Giclée?
The art of fine art printing has hit a high-water mark with the advent of the revolutionary Giclée (zhee-clay) printing process. This type of art reproduction is quickly becoming the new standard in the art industry, and is widely embraced for its quality by major museums, galleries, publishers, and artists. A Giclée Print is the closest duplication of an original artwork that is technically possible. A Giclée print can provide a realistic, affordable, and esthetically pleasing representation of the original work of art. The cornerstone of this process is an advanced and highly enhanced digital printer, which is specifically designed for the rigorous and precise criteria of fine art collectors and museum quality, limited edition prints. The results are so rich and accurate, all other methods of reproduction pale by comparison. The latest Giclée Printing Technology has far surpassed the standard 4-color process to provide an 8 or even 12-color process. It is so precise it even reproduces brush strokes and canvas patterns. Yet, the process is so adaptable the artist can proof and adjust each print as it rolls out.
The large size and sturdiness of these printers allows the prints to be made directly onto heavy-grade watercolor paper or artist canvas, thus preserving the original character or medium of the art work. The resulting print has no perceptible dot pattern and an almost endless array of richly saturated color. The most archival, light-fast inks and spray sealants available are used. Giclée inks offer a 105-year light-fastness and UV-resistance under museum archival condition.
One word of caution, however, is that you may find many commercial imitations of photographs printed on very lightweight canvas that are called “Giclees.” These cheap reproductions can be found in department stores and in the aisles of Home Depot. But they are nothing other than prints on canvas, mass produced, using common photographic inks that may have a 20 year life if they are kept away from direct light. The canvas is thin, the inks are thin, there is no vibrancy, and no value other than transitory decoration.
Gallery quality Giclees are printed with advanced inks that are molecularly coated with special UV protection that also enhances color richness the vividness of the inks. And, they are printed on canvas that an artist might choose for an original painting that can withstand the rigors of environmental change for over 100 years without restoration. When issued in limited number under an artist’s supervision they are true collectables.
After three decades of testing and scrutinizing this new print medium, fine art galleries across the country are now proudly exhibiting Giclée’s as authentic (even original) works of art and warmly receiving them into their collections.