What is a Giclée?
The summit in fine art prints
And how do you pronounce it? The word Giclée (jee-clay) is French and it means sprayed. Giclée is a new high definition printing technique developed in the USA during the 90’s. Giclée is the top in printing, it is now the new high end standard of the arts world. The most prestigious museums such as the Met., the Louvre, the Chicago Art Institute and the British Museum have now adopted the Giclée process.
The Giclée is unsurpassed in terms of matching the original artwork and also in terms of conservation. The definition is such that no dots can be seen even with a magnifying glass. The density and the gamut of colours are extremely high. Thanks to new Giclée inks conservation has been greatly improved (25 to 200 times) from the Offset lithography (the pigmented inks are rated 150 years without noticeable fading by Wilhelm Imaging Research USA).
Even with production costs up to 25 times greater, Giclée has had a tremendous growth on the market by giving the artists and collectors a long awaited solution to the frustrating limitations of Offset lithography. Another advantage is that we can now finally print on artist's rag paper (cotton) such as Arches and on canvas.
The process consists of a very sophisticated printer (with nozzles tinier than a human hair) that sprays millions of micro-droplets a second onto the media (paper or canvas). The Giclée is printed one line at a time and it may take an hour to complete a single 30" x 30” sheet.
Giclée is definitely the new high—end art print standard and will continue to be it for decades to come since we have really reached a summit.
When acquiring a Giclée, ask for a complete certiﬁcate that guaranties the process and the inks (Equipoise for natural rag with an Iris printer and pigmented inks for canvas and treated rag paper). The following seals are also a guarantee of quality : the GPA (Giclée Printers Association) « Tru-Giclée » seal and the Gicl’art seal.