What is a Giclee Print
Giclee printing replaced the older lithograph method which
was done on a mechanical press with the ink being rolled onto hard
paper. Lithos can be run off in large quantities because of the
simple and relatively fast mechanical process. Once the ink dries,
lithos cannot be altered. The litho process produces a very
inexpensive piece of art and is appealing to many buyers.
The term Giclee (pronounced gee-clay) means “liquid spray” or
“sprayed ink”. An advanced method of producing images of original
paintings digitally using a computer. The original art is scanned
electronically into a computer allowing the color or tones to be
adjusted by the artist to match the original art as close as
possible. Then a specialized high-tech ink jet printer transfers
(sprays) the image of the original painting onto the chosen paper.
There are various types of giclee processes and printers.
Depending on the type of printer, various types of paper can be
chosen for the giclee print. Some printers transfer the inks to a
coated paper while other print methods such as an Iris printer use
absorbent watercolor paper which may match what the artist used
for the original painting. Other variables affecting a giclee print
could be the colors used in the original art which could determine
which printer is more appropriate. Price is also a factor.
The end giclee result with an Iris printer is a very high quality
reproduction with many of the same qualities of the original
painting. Compared to other forms of giclee printing where the ink
is sprayed onto a coated paper and not absorbed, the Iris method
(ink is absorbed into the paper) produces a more durable print and
closer resembles the original painting. Price is also a factor.
Giclee print editions are generally 100 – 350 numbered and
signed by the artist. Most artists offer a certificate of authenticity
with each print. Specifically Iris print editions are usually smaller
50 – 100 which increases the value of the fine art print.
Giclee prints offer the buyer the next best thing to owning an
original. As with any fine art print, special care and handling is
recommended to ensure the lasting beauty and longevity of the
print. Consult with a professional and reputable framer for proper
care of your Giclee print.