More about the finest of arts in printing – the giclee.
Giclee printing is an area that seems to cause a good deal of confusion and the web is actually full of misleading and incorrect information about what a giclee actually is or is not.
To clear this up, the term giclee originates from a French word meaning “to squirt” and was applied to a method of printing that employs a specific kind of printer that reproduces an image by literally squirting ink onto the medium on which the print is being reproduced.
So, the term giclee refers to the printing process. Giclees are not printed exclusively on canvas as I have often read elsewhere. In fact, modern giclee printers can handle a variety of media including, but not limited to, canvas, textured fine art paper, photographic paper, smooth fine art paper etc.
Unlike your inkjet or laser printer that you use at home, modern giclee printers cost thousands of dollars and usually use at least eight ink cartridges filled with special archival quality inks, very different also from the types of inks used in your own home printer’s cartridges. They are usually wide format and capable of printing images at least 44 inches in width or more. These printers are not the same as those commonly found in print shops and photographic stores either.
In addition to the actual printing hardware, a whole range of software for color matching and image manipulation is also required if a printer is going to be able to produce a truly high quality giclee. Hooking it up to a laptop is not really going to work. I will talk a little more about the actual process as we continue with this explanatory article.
Why Choose Giclee Printing As An Artist?
This is a common question. My wife is a professional artist and her original work is collected in many countries around the world, both by private and corporate buyers. As such, the cost of an original painting is beyond those of more modest means (ourselves included!) but from the artist’s perspective there is a lot more to it than that.