Is Giclee Just an Inkjet Print?

What is a Giclee print? This has been typed into search engines millions of times, if you are reading this article you have probably searched it yourself. In which case you will already know that the word ‘Giclee’ is derived from the French word “le gicleur” which means “nozzle”, or more specifically “gicler” meaning “to squirt, spurt, or spray”, but what does this really mean?

By definition, a Giclee print is an Inkjet print, which is correct. But what makes it different to an Inkjet print? Can I produce one on my own Inkjet printer?

Giclee prints are used to reproduce Fine Art to the very highest standards. A well produced Gilee print should be indistinguishable from the original art. This is why they are so popular with artists who wish to produce reproductions of their art for short runs and limited editions.

Although ‘Photo Quality’ inkjet printers can produce excellent results, the resulting prints cannot be compared to Giclee. The first consideration is the printer itself. A photo printer has four inks, CMYK (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow & Black). A printer suitable for Giclee printing would have at least nine different colour inks, some have twelve. The additional colours, subtle variations on the basic CMYK, include Light Magenta, Light Cyan, Light Black etc. This, combined with a printer using print heads capable of placing these colours accurately on the paper, produces prints with a tonal range far greater than a Photo printer could ever achieve. Expect to pay in excess of £1500 for a printer capable of producing A2 prints, £3-7000 for larger sizes.

Although the quality of the printer is of major importance, it is not the only ingredient for producing a Giclee print. The inks used in a Giclee printer will be of ‘Archival Quality’. This means that they have been tested, usually under accelerated laboratory conditions, to determine their light fastness. Claims of 70-100 years display without fading are claimed. I think we need to be objective about these claims. If a Giclee print is hung on a wall which receives direct sunlight for eight hours a day it will fade. What we do know is that it will last considerably longer than a standard photo print. How long, well, we may not be around to find out!

The paper used will also be of ‘Archival Quality’ and will be produced specifically for the production of Giclee prints. The paper may well be ‘Hand Made’, some of the leading manufactures are in Germany. It will of course be ‘Acid Free’ and will comply to the strict requirements for reproducing fine art. A range of weights, usually between 250-350gsm, and surfaces are available to suit all types of art.

The image used to produce the Giclee print must, of course, be of the highest standard. It is possible to photograph your own art if you have the right equipment and knowledge. If you are uncertain that you can produce an image of the quality required, use a professional photographer experienced in photography of fine art. There will of course be a price to pay for this service, but if you are selling your art as prints to the general public, they will need to be of a high quality commercial standard. Paying for professional origination is a good investment in future sales.

Last and not least is the person who prepares the digital image for print. Balancing and matching to the original art is a very skilled process. This will determine how your art reproduces on your final Giclee print.

Always ask to see a proof before you commit to a print run and discuss any concerns you may have with the person that will be producing your print, not the person on reception. If you are ordering online and providing your own image, ask if your chosen supplier will provide you with a free image assessment.

I hope this article gives you a better insight into ‘What is a Giclee Print’. Use this knowledge to ensure that your first prints are stunning, just like your art!

Immobilienmakler Heidelberg

Makler Heidelberg

Source by John E King

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