What is a Giclee?


Visitors: 306

In the French dictionary a giclee (zhee-CLAY) will be defined as meaning “to spray or squirt. ” However others might say “giclee" doesn't mean “to spray, ” that “Giclee" isn't an infinitive and that it is the feminine of a past participle. So if there is some argument over what the term Giclee means I believe that the intention of the term is to define a printed copy of an original artwork. Giclee is basically scanning the artwork and then using that scan to print it out on a special printer. This printer is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer, and is much larger. Giclee prints are a little over a meter wide and are often referred to as a “knitting machine” as they look very similar.

Giclees are produced from digital scans of existing artwork. Also, since many artists now produce only digital art, there is no “original" that can be hung on a wall. Giclees solve that problem, while creating a whole new vibrant digital medium for art.

When printing there are any number of media for example canvas to watercolor paper to transparent acetates. Giclees are better then the traditional lithography in many ways. The colors are brighter, last longer and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. The range of color for giclees is far beyond that of lithography, and by viewing in comparison with each other you will find that the details are far crisper in giclee.

Lithography prints use tiny dots of four colors-cyan, magenta, yellow and black; to fool the eye into seeing various hues and shades. Colors are “created" by printing different size dots of these four colors.

Again Giclees use inkjet technology, but more sophisticated than your desktop printer. The process employs six colors-light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and black-of lightfast, pigmented inks and finer, more numerous, and replaceable print heads resulting in a wider color gamut, and the ability to use various media to print on. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the color on the page to create true shades and hues.

Giclees were originally developed as a proofing system for lithograph printing presses, but it became apparent that the presses were having a hard time delivering the quality and color of the giclee proofs. They evolved into the more popular form over lithography’s and are now the cheaper and more common way to make a copy print. They are coveted by collectors for their fidelity and quality, and desired by galleries because they don't have to be produced in huge quantities with their large layout of capital and storage.

In addition, Giclees are produced directly from a digital file that is created by scanning the original. This will save generations of detail-robbing negatives and printing plates, as with traditional printing.

View our Fine Art Gallery at www.houseofcachet.com

David Waddleton is the President and founder of http://www.houseofcachet.com , which is an exclusively online fine art gallery displaying artists and their artwork from around the world.

David has written a number of articles on the subjects of contemporary art, how to buy fine art, how to frame art, Canadian artists, original artwor and much more.


Article Source:

Rate this Article: 
Have Fun With The Quality Of Next Generation Giclee canvas prints
Rated 4 / 5
based on 5 votes

Related Articles:

What Is Giclee Printing?

by: Fabio Braghi (October 22, 2005) 
(Home and Family/Crafts Hobbies)

Are Giclee Prints Collectible?

by: Henry Bateman (March 18, 2007) 
(Home and Family)

Giclee Canvas Prints

by: John Halliwell (November 24, 2008) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Visual Graphic Arts)

Buying an Art Reproduction: The Giclee

by: David Lucht (September 14, 2005) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Humanities)

Giclee Fine Art Prints

by: Annie Horkan (July 11, 2010) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Visual Graphic Arts)

Make Your Giclee Prints Stand Out

by: Fabio Braghi (September 05, 2007) 
(Arts and Entertainment)

Giclee Frequently Asked Questions

by: Melih O (September 17, 2005) 
(Arts and Entertainment)

Giclee Printing and Fine Art Prints

by: Precious Mckissick (July 06, 2008) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Visual Graphic Arts)

Giclee Prints And Fine Art Posters And Reproductions

by: Pete Marks (February 16, 2008) 
(Home Improvement/Interior Design and Decorating)

Have Fun With The Quality Of Next Generation Giclee canvas prints

by: Arold Augustin (May 03, 2011) 
(Arts and Entertainment/Visual Graphic Arts)