What in the World is a Giclee?


Giclee (zhee-clay) is a French word meaning the spraying of ink.  Giclee is a generic term for the process of making fine art prints from a digital source using ink jet printing.  The term is from the French verb gicleur meaning "to squirt, to spray", originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers from a process invented in the early 1990's.  Currently the term means any high quality ink jet printer.

Giclees are museum quality reproductions, which are printed using pigmented inks on archival canvas or 100% acid free cotton rag paper.  Once the printing process is completed, the Giclee is allowed to dry & treated with a special UV protective coating.

Museum quality Giclee reproductions are recognized as the next best thing to owning an original painting.  They can be found in the world's finest museums & art galleries.  Longevity tests have shown the inks used to be colorfast for 120 years.

Images are generated from high resolution digital photographs or scans & then printed with archival quality inks onto various media including canvas, fine art vellum paper, water color papers & glossy photo paper.  The Giclee printing process provides better color accuracy than other means of reproduction.

Giclee is also a recognized fine art category with lithographs and serigraphs.  Giclee prints look and feel like original art.  Canvas Giclee prints can be hand retouched to more closely resemble the texture of original artwork.

Artists prefer to use the Giclee printing process to make limited edition high end reproductions of their original artwork.  Giclee prints are hard to distinguish from the original artwork.

During an economic downturn fine art such as paintings and prints remain a solid investment.  Although there are no guarantees when investing in a work of art, that the art will increase in value over time, there are ways for a collector to invest wisely.

There are two art markets, primary and secondary.  The primary market, consisting of artists and publishers, sell works which are brand new.  The secondary market, usually collectors or galleries, deals with artwork that has been owned previously.


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