Giclee is the first and only fine art print to be made with an ink jet printer. Pronounced, zhee’clay, the word comes from the French, meaning to spray, which is exactly what an ink jet printer does.
It was a major break through in the fine art community when giclee reproductions were introduced to the market in the late 1980s . The quality of a giclee print is far superior to all other forms of printing. In fact, when done correctly, it’s the closest an artist can get to matching their original artwork.
Museums use Giclee Prints to archive their work as they can remain pristine for up to 100 years.
There are 4 criteria necessary to produce Fine Art Archival Giclee Prints:
Resolution – The original piece of art should be professionally scanned or photograph at 300 dpi or higher resolution.
Ink – The ink must be pigmented (not dye). There also needs to be a minimum of 8 pigmented inks used in the printer.
Paper – The paper must be 100% archival. With that said there are a wide variety of materials available for giclee printing (as long as it’s archival) such as: canvas, gloss paper, mat paper, velvet paper, watercolor textured paper, and specialty artisan paper.
Printer – The printer itself must be a specialised wide format ink jet printer.