Giclée printing explained

Giclée (“g-clay”) printing is a fine art digital printing process known for producing archival quality prints.

The benefits and advantages of giclée printing

Giclée printing is the preferred printing method for many museums, art galleries and photographic galleries because it provides:

– near perfect integrity (i.e. the printed image is identical to the original, perfectly replicating all of the colours, detail and brushwork of the original work), and;

– superior light-fastness and stability (i.e. the colours don’t fade).

The giclée printing process

Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and fine-tuned by hand to the type of substrate or surface on which the image is to be printed, to ensure the closest possible match to the original work.

The giclée printing process itself involves squirting or spraying microscopic dots of pigment-based ink onto various archival-quality substrates including canvas, fine art, and photo-base paper.  The French verb “gicler” means “to spray”.

Pigment-based inks – compared to dye-based inks used in lower-cost inkjet printing – have a much longer lifespan and light-fastness.

When used in combination with archival paper, pigment-based inks will not fade over a lifetime (providing, of course, they are kept out of direct sunlight, damp, etc).