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What is A Giclée?

Giclée (pronounced “zhee-clay“) is a method of producing high quality reproductions of artwork using special ink-jet printers.

The term “giclée” was coined in the 1990′s when the technology was first developed. It is derived from the French words for “nozzle” and “to spray.” Giclées have since become the standard for reproductions in museums and fine art galleries. There is a difference between a giclée printer and other inkjet printers. The difference has to do with the quality of the ink. Quality refers to “stability” – the image doesn’t fade, it doesn’t shift in colors. Giclée prints are archival – meaning they last a long time. Just like any other fine art piece – you don’t want to put it in direct sunlight unless it’s been treated in some fashion – UV protectant or UV glass. But with good care and cleaning the artwork will be heirloom quality.

Giclee Printing

Why use giclées?

Giclées allow an artist to affordably produce on-demand artwork without the necessity of doing expensive print runs and keeping a large inventory.

The artist also has finer control over the colors, sizes and quality. They can even choose from a variety of substrates such as canvas, paper, watercolor paper and even vinyl.

How do you make giclée prints?

If the original piece of art is a painting, drawing, collage, photograph, etc. then the first step is to get a digital copy.

Once we have a digital copy, we can use software like Photoshop to prep the piece for printing and make any changes or corrections. Giclée printers are very high end printers that are designed for making these types of art pieces.

Here’s a short video about giclées

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