Giclee, a French printmaker's term for "fine spray," was adopted to distinguish the technique from ordinary offset printing. It also signifies to the art buyer that the process and materials used to create the print were intended for the fine art market.
A giclee is created by a digital printer's tiny ink jets that spray millions of droplets of water-based ink onto fine archival paper or canvas known as the "substrate." The combination of specific inks and substrate are carefully selected to assure maximum print longevity.
Giclees are produced one at a time. Depending upon their size, this intricate printing process can take hours for each print. Whether fine archival art paper or canvas, the end result is always the same; a beautifully reproduced work or art with the look and feel of the original painting.
What is a Giclée & How does it differ from a traditional off-set print?
Giclée (jee-clay) is a French word meaning “the spraying of ink”. Giclée's are museum quality reproductions, which are printed using pigmented inks on archival canvas or on 100% acid free cotton rag paper.
Museum-quality Giclée reproductions are recognized as "the next best thing” to owning the original, and can be found in the world's finest museums and art galleries. Longevity tests show the inks used to be colorfast for 120 years.
Giclée printmaking derives its quality from its seemingly “dotless” imaging technology which contrasts with traditional fine art prints which typically relies on printing screen pattern dots to reproduce full-range color. Because traditional offset printing dot patterns are detectable to the unaided eye. Traditional offset prints are typically restricted to papers that vary widely from what the original artwork was created on — especially when reproducing oil on canvas. The Giclée process enables reproduction on virtually the same media as the original artwork whether it is on canvas, textured watercolor paper, or specialty fine art papers. The result is a reproduction that is virtually indistinguishable from the original artwork.
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