Annelea Blignaut

What the heck is a giclée?

What the heck is a giclée?

I get asked this question quite a lot so; What is a giclée and how do you pronounce it?

Giclée (pronounced: zhee-clay) n. 1. a type of digital fine-art print. 2. Most often associated with reproductions; a giclée is a multiple print or exact copy of an original work of art that was created by conventional means (painting, drawing, etc.) and then reproduced digitally, typically via inkjet printing. The word “giclée” is derived from the French language word “le gicleur” meaning “nozzle”, or more specifically “gicler” meaning “to squirt, spurt, or spray”. It was coined in 1991 by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working in the field, to represent any inkjet-based digital print used as fine art.

Not all inkjet printers produce giclée prints.  The following four major criteria must be met during the printing process for it to be a giclée print:

Resolution- The original piece of art should be professionally scanned or photographed at 300 dpi or higher resolution.

Ink- The ink must be pigmented (not dye). There also needs to be 8 or more different colored pigmented inks used in the printer.

Paper- The paper must be 100% archival

Printer- The printer itself must be a wide format ink jet printer. (This is not your everyday household office printer)

It is very important to find the right printer who can accomplish this to ensure the quality of your giclée prints.  I work with a local printmaker from Barrie who has more than 30 years of experience in art reproduction and printing to ensure the best quality prints. The original painting is scanned at high resolution.  All giclée prints are produced on the very best printers on the market, utilizing 12 colours of longevity inks on high-quality, 100% cotton, fine art matt paper 308gsm.

Photo by Mika Baumeister on

Artists can choose to create either a limited edition or open edition print.  With open editions the number of prints that can be created are unlimited whereas a limited edition will clearly state how many prints can be created.  No more prints can be created after they are sold out making these prints more valuable than open edition prints.

Prints allow people to buy quality artwork for their homes after an original has been sold.  Sometimes a person might not be able to afford the original and this provide a more economic option.

Now that you know what a giclée print is and how to pronounce it, why don’t you head over to the Available Prints section to browse what is available.





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