giclée info

What is Giclée exactly?

First and foremost...Giclee's are not all alike! Fine art Giclée printing is a meticulous process requiring the latest-generation "ink jet" technologies and the skill of an artist to create museum quality work. The process calls for highly-specialized equipment, software, materials and techniques to obtain the best accuracy, sharpness, continuous color tone and artistic interpretation available to fine art prints.

What's the difference between ink jet and Giclée?

This is one of the most common questions we're asked. And it's not suprising.

For one thing, Giclée printing is still fairly new to the art world. The technology that makes it possible has evolved very quickly over the past two decades. But there's also a lot of confusion among art professionals about the word “giclée” itself – and what technology it actually describes.

“Giclée” (roughly translated as “little squirt” in French) is the term now used for printing with large format "Giclée" ink jet-style printers specifically developed to spray water-soluable pigments onto specially coated canvas and a wide variety of papers. These printers are technically very different from the smaller, ink jet printers common to offices and commercial use.

Part of confusion about the term “giclée” is that it was first casually applied to the fine art reproductions printed with “Iris” inkjet printers developed during ‘90s. But while many people still use the terms “iris” and “giclée” interchangeably, the two types of ink jet printing have distinct differences.

The older Iris printing technology is 4-color and still uses dye-based inks like those used for photography. The downside of Iris: these inks are unstable and fall short when it comes to longevity.

Giclée 8-color printers (technically 6 colors plus light magenta and cyan) have the most advanced print heads with special nozzles designed to spray the latest, quick-drying pigment products. They're capable of producing astonishing high resolution prints that are truly archivable.

Giclée technology is continuing to improve, while the Iris approach is standing still.

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