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What Is a Giclee Print?

Welcome to our article all about Giclee Prints! 

In this quick article you’ll learn: 

  • What a Giclee Print is.
  • How Giclee Prints are Made
  • The Difference Between Limited Edition Giclees and Open Edition Giclees


So if you are considering buying art work or you just want to learn more about giclee’ you’ll love this article! 

Let’s dive right in! 

Giclee Prints on Wall at an Art Show

What Is a Giclee Print?

Simply put, a giclee is a fine art print created by using a specialized high resolution inkjet printer. Yes, a giclee is in fact an “art print” but giclee prints stand apart with their extremely high level of quality, longevity and value compared to a standard print. 

Pronounced “zhee-clay,” the word giclee is French for “to spray.” This literal interpretation of the word defines what the art of giclee printing is: reproducing art through a printer to exactly resemble an original piece.

Why do Artists Produce Fine Art Giclee Prints?

Sometimes an original painting is uniquely beautiful, sought after, and also, very expensive! 

Fine art Giclee prints help solve these problems. Reproductions of the original art can also be offered by the artist, allowing a number of art enthusiasts to invite the piece into their homes at a lower price point. Afterall, art is meant to be enjoyed right? Why wouldn’t the artist want to spread the love?

Giclee were first introduced in the late 1980s–when artist Jack Duganne found a way to produce more than one of each of his pieces with giclee printing. Still categorized as fine art, his giclee prints paved the way to a fine art medium that is widely produced and sold today.

By choosing to produce giclee prints, an artist is allowing more people to enjoy and purchase their art, without sacrificing on quality.

Large Printer for Giclees

How Are Giclees Made?

When it’s fine art on the table, only the best will do! Fine art giclees are produced using the highest quality printers available on the market. 

Often an Iris Printer or similar technology is used to create these beautiful reproductions in all of their glory. Iris printers are considered the gold standard of quality as they use a continuous flow inkjet technology to produce continuous-tone, consistent, photorealistic prints on canvas, paper and many other mediums. Known for their color accuracy and ability to match the proofs to the prints, this level of printing precision is what is used to create archival quality giclee’ around the world. 

The original artist is involved at every level during giclees productions. From choosing the ink, canvas and sometimes even retouching the finished piece by hand. The artist is there every step of the way to ensure it meets the same standard as the original. 

Choice of Giclee Canvas Paper

In order to ensure that only the highest quality fine art prints come off the press. Choice of paper is essential. There are specific types of paper offered to create giclee prints with, all of archival quality. Archival paper is essentially a permanent, acid-free type of paper that is made to last the test of time. Offered in standard gloss, matte on cotton canvas to suit each artist’s work, archival paper is a must for these fine prints.

Choice of Giclee Ink

Choice of ink is also a top consideration. Most reputable giclee printers avoid using cheap water based inks. Instead, most insist that the artist uses an ink with a base of high quality color pigmented ink for the best results. Pigment based inks can stand the test of time and provide accurate color matching to the original artwork.

When you buy a giclee print, know that you’re getting the highest quality fine art reproduction.

Open Edition and Limited Edition Giclee Prints

When artists choose to make giclee prints, they’ll decide between producing open edition prints and limited edition prints.

Open edition giclee’ are pieces of which the artist reserves the right to produce more of, if desired.

However, buying limited edition giclee prints means that you’re one of few collectors that have the piece. Limited edition prints are more valuable, and the quantity produced of the piece is made public. When you buy a limited edition giclee, you’ll know exactly how many versions of the piece exist and in what sizes. 

Open edition giclee prints are very common and are sold in many places or by the artist themselves. These prints are still specialty prints in terms of quality, content, and price–but do not compare to limited edition giclee prints.

  • Limited Edition Giclees will never be produced again.
  • Open edition giclees will likely be produced again in the future

Limited Edition Giclees are more desirable by most and they are highly collectable! 

What Is a Giclee Print?

Why Limited Edition Giclees Are Special

Limited edition giclee prints are exceptionally special because the artist only produces a small amount. This amount can vary between 10-150 editions, numbered and signed by the artist, and sometimes with a certificate of authenticity included.

Embellished limited edition giclee art prints are amazing gifts and usually increase in value with age. Investing in a limited edition giclee print is not only a beautiful decision, but a decision that can pay off in the long run as well.

Where You Can Buy Limited Edition Giclee Prints

Are you considering purchasing a giclee of your home? Check out our collection of limited edition giclee prints. When you buy a giclee print, know that you’re getting the highest quality fine art reproduction.












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