Art Giclee Prints

What are Art Giclee Prints really?

Art Giclée (pronounced “zhee-clay”) prints have been around the art scene for quite a while now. They first made their appearance in the early 1990s as a process to reproduce fine art. They are a beautiful by-product of the computer era. With Giclée printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern, like you would see in traditional color printing (lithography). Giclée prints are created with specially formulated archival inks which provide greater longevity than those used in lithography or silkscreen prints. Quality Giclées are produced on large, and often expensive multi-color printers, so the image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting. But unlike other print processes, Giclées have a beautiful advantage of producing vibrant colors and accurate reproductions in a variety of sizes, and on a variety of surfaces, on an as-needed basis.

Art Giclee Prints

To create the best Giclée prints possible, the printer needs as large a digital file created from the original art as possible. Finished Giclée fine art prints, when properly created, are valuable fine art collectables created to last a lifetime.

Under normal lighting conditions, inks will not show noticeable fading for at least 200 years. Although, it is not recommended by ink and media manufacturers that prints be exposed to direct sunlight, especially for long periods of time. If you handle your Giclée just as you would with an original – with care and caution – than it will last even longer than the original.

Typically, a Certificate of Authenticity is supplied with each sold Giclée print that provides information about Copyright ownership, print title, size, media, number in the limited edition, edition size, etc. The certificate gives the collector assurance of museum quality standards and fine art value.

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The Definition: Giclée (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”. In giclée printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting.

Giclée (zhee-clay) n. 1. a type of digital fine-art print. 2. Most often associated with reproductions; a Giclée is a multiple print or exact copy of an original work of art that was created by conventional means (painting, drawing, etc.) and then reproduced digitally, typically via inkjet printing. First use in this context by Jack Duganne in 1991, Los Angeles, California.

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 Giclée printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction. Archival quality ensures that the prints are light-fast and non water soluble.

The Process: Giclée 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. Giclée 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: Giclée 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.

Disadvantages: The accessibility of Giclée printing and the proliferation of Giclée prints has led to a certain amount of confusion amongst the public and suspicion from traditional artists, galleries and the art establishment.

The Quality: The quality of the Giclée print rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes and is commonly found in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.

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Learn more about Giclée here…

Wikipedia/Gicléeée Prints

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