WHAT IS A GICLEE PRINT?
Giclee (pronounced "jhee-clay") is a French word meaning "spurting ink". The ink is literally sprayed onto the surface of the material, in a very fine spray or tiny droplets of color, which creates the image. This process is accomplished using a giclee printer. The image is usually produced on canvas or a high quality rag paper.
Once considered an unusual method of printing fine art prints, it is now well known and established.
A giclee is a high resolution digital print made from an archival ink and media combination. "Archival" inks and papers are museum-quality materials which are designed for longevity and beauty. Papers are acid-free, preventing yellowing and distortion of color. Archival inks are less likely to fade.
Giclee is also a recognized fine art print category like lithographs and serigraphs. Giclee is considered the world’s best technique for reproducing original works of art and for printing digitally created art and fine art photography.
Giclee prints look and feel like original art. Since giclee printmaking is digital throughout the entire process, there is much more control of color and greater opportunity for artist interaction. Color is much richer and more saturated than other types of printing. Prints are made on materials such as watercolor papers and canvas. Prints are a combination of continuous tone and stochastic screen patterns which makes it difficult to distinguish between giclee prints and original artwork. Giclee provides higher resolution and more reproducible colors than other printmaking techniques.
Image permanence is a concern to artists and collectors. Giclee art is very stable, giving fade and color shift resistance of better than 25 years for average indoor light conditions. When museum quality lighting is used, this time span increases up to 200 years. An original watercolor painting cannot boast this longevity without some fading.
With proper care, your limited edition giclee print will continue to appreciate in value.
WHAT IS A LIMITED EDITION?
The concept of “edition” is basic to the world of serial art. It is the “limited edition” which permits printmakers and collectors to agree upon what is an original art print and what is a reproduction. A Limited Edition is defined as a high quality reproduction of an original work of art. The reproductions are numbered individually with the total number of the reproduction given (i.e. 5/300).
Limited editions are printed on high quality stock and are signed and numbered by the artist. Once the edition is sold out (i.e. 300), no more limited edition prints of that image can be produced which is what can make the print valuable on the resale or “secondary market”.