Tuesday, 10 March 2009

What is a giclee print?

A lot of art print publishers and distributors (and many of our artists and customers) use the term giclee to describe all [non original] prints not printed off-set (ie for all prints printed on demand using sophisticated digital printers). We are interested in our readers views on the following questions:
  1. Are all digitally produced prints giclee prints?
  2. If not, what is the difference between an "ordinary" inkjet print and a giclee print?
  3. How should artists describe prints that are not printed using off-set photo-lithography so the purchaser knows exactly what they are getting?
Please post a comment below.

4 comments:

  1. Giclee use archival waterbased ink, archive quality media, are usually signed by artist and often are limited edition with a certificate. Non archival printing using an inkjet with solvent based inks on non-archival paper is not a giclee. These non-archival prints shouldn't be described as anything different from an offset long run photo-lithographic prints.

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  2. Jack Duganne, a master fine art print maker of Santa Monica, California, coined the term `Giclee (pronounced GEE 'CLAY) in 1991 to describe something new - the making of fine art limited edition prints by digital ink jet printing.

    Giclee prints offer you the very best technology currently available. Original artwork is scanned on a high resolution wide format scanner. The images are then processed through computers and printed by a very fine ink jet printer using pigment based long life inks onto watercolour, acid-free paper. The superiority of the Giclee process ensures that the end product is the closest match to the original work as is technically possible.

    Quote from Art Business Today: "The impact of digital technology on the fine art industry is as important a breakthrough as photography was in the 19th century."

    Answers to:

    Question 1: No
    Question 2: The difference is Giclee Prints are Limited Editions, printed with "pigment based long life inks", on "acid free watercolour paper“ as per the above "extract"
    Question 3: "Digitally printed prints" as opposed to "Offset printed prints"/ Giclee Limited Edition Prints (as described above)

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  3. With further research………on the `giclee’ issue…………I am not quite correct……………`giclee’ prints are not necessarily `limited editions’ .

    I `Google’d – giclee – and there was no mention of a `giclee’ being a `limited edition’ but a true `giclee’ uses archival ink and :

    “The paper or canvas that is used is specially prepared to accept this type of printing mechanism and ink-set. Hahnemuhle, St Cuthberts, Epson and Lyson produce tested papers and canvas” …….. (ex Fine Art Guild)

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  4. Your all wrong except Jack Duganne did use the word to describe his prints. But there are better words to use for inkjet prints.
    The French word "giclée" is a feminine noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word was derived from the French verb "gicler" meaning "to squirt".

    The inkjet print industry has taken that word and are really using it incorrectly. I have an Epson 7800 but I don't use that word since in France it also means "an ejaculation by a male"

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