What is Giclée Fine Art Printing?

If you’re an artist or an art collector, you may already know that Giclée fine art printing is the gold standard when it comes to producing museum-level quality prints. But what exactly is Giclée? Why is it superior print technology and why should you use it to reproduce your print on demand artwork?

Where does the term Giclée come from?

As you may have already guessed thanks to the accent, Giclée derived from a blend of French words; gicleur, which is a technical term for a nozzle or jet, and gicler, to spray out.

The term Giclée — pronounced gee-klay — was initially coined by printmaker Jack Duganne in 1991. Today, it’s used to describe fine art printing using pigment based, archival quality inks, manufactured on advanced inkjet printers.

What’s the main difference between Giclée and other print technologies?

Whereas many traditional print technologies — such as lithography — use the classic CMYK 4-colour combination (in some instances with the addition of a pantone referenced spot colour) Giclée printers use up to 12 individual colours.

This gives much smoother gradient transitions and a wider colour gamut. In other words, more depth and richness to the final print, which helps to create stunning vibrant artwork with amazing reproduction.

In the case of recreating artwork such as a watercolour print, the end result is almost indistinguishable from the original.

What images are best suited to Giclée printing?

Where Giclée really comes into its own is in the production of  wall art, where customers are very discerning and want top quality that lasts. This longevity is a key differentiator, because the type of archival inks used on Giclée printers won’t fade when displayed in normal conditions indoors; colours will retain their brilliance for a lifetime.

Giclée print also lends itself to almost any type of artwork. From computer generated design or photographs through to scans of original illustrations, oil or watercolour works, Giclée 12-colour print offers truly outstanding quality reproductions.

Are there any other benefits to using Giclée?

The speed benefit probably shouldn’t be underestimated. The turnaround time for inkjet printers is invariably always quicker than the common alternatives, minutes instead of hours if you are choosing between inkjet or lithography.

This is great news for artists or entrepreneurs selling prints via e-commerce stores, as your customer can receive their print within 24–48 hours of placing an order. This swift service leaves a fantastic impression with customers, and conveys quality and efficiency that reflects well on any brand.

What about paper stocks, can you print onto anything?

Giclée printers can print on multiple substrates — including canvas, fine art papers and vinyl. At Burleigh Print & Design, our most popular stock is Hahnemühle Photo Rag 308gsm. It’s a premium quality heavyweight, fine art paper with a smooth, clean finish. Together with Giclée printing, it offers museum quality wall art.

Feeling Inspired? We produce beautiful fine art and giclee prints in our studio, using premium quality Canon PROGRAF pigment inks on the finest archival materials. We print for many well recognised Australian photographers and also offer a drop shipping service.

Need help or honest advice? Our experienced in-house published photographers offer a retouching service to prepare your file for print. Request a quote!

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