What is Giclée?

What is Giclée? - The Artist's Print Room

What is Giclée Printing and what is behind the process?

Let’s start from the beginning… Well possibly one of the best places to start is the Oxford English dictionary which gives the following definition:

“Giclée is a digital printing process in which an inkjet printer is used to produce a high-quality art print”

Another good place to start, is how do you actually pronounce it? Well, Giclée derives from the French word, ‘squirt’. However, if your French isn’t too good, you pronounce it, ‘Zeeh-clay’. The term was coined by Print Maker Jack Duganne in the early 1990’s making it still a relatively new process. Traditionally the term encapsulated the process of digital artwork reproductions and photography printing, however, as trends and technology have evolved it can now additionally include entirely digital artworks.

Simply put, the Giclée printing process involves an inkjet printer ‘squirting’ microscopic dots of pigment ink onto archival quality paper or canvas. It can be argued that Giclée printing is the highest quality of art reproduction available. 

The Giclée print process requires four aspects; resolution, inks, archival quality paper/canvas and the printer.

Resolution

Images you see on computer screens are usually at 72ppi (pixels per inch), however, for a Giclée quality print, an image must be at a minimum of 300ppi when an image is being viewed at 60cm or less distance. With a minimum of 300ppi, you are guaranteed the best quality print and ensuring your final image doesn’t appear to be ‘pixelated’.

Ink

Here at The Artist’s Print Room, we only use genuine Epson UltraChrome HDX pigment inks. These particular inks have high density levels of pigment giving you the most accurate of colour reproductions. In addition to this, the genuine Epson inks guarantee longevity when combined with the other aspects involved in the Giclée printing process.

Paper and Canvas

A vital part of the process which can also seem very daunting! With so many options to select from, the most important factor here is the archival qualities of the substrate. A fine art quality paper or canvas needs to be acid free and certified to last for at least 75-100 years. We stock the widest range of Hahnemühle Fine Art papers in the UK and you can find out more about our papers and canvases here.

Printer

A Giclée printer is very different when compared to a standard desktop inkjet printer. Typically to produce a Giclée print the printer requires at least eight different inks. Our Epson SC-P9000 printer provides the most superior quality images and can produce prints up to 44″ wide!

To find out more about our printing services please visit our Giclée Printing page.