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The Art of Giclée Printing

Collage of ‘the birth of venus’ by Sandro Botticelli, with the Goddess Venus cut out to reveal a stack of magazines that say ‘For Men Only’ along the spine.


What is a Giclée Print?

First things first, how on Earth are you meant to say it without causing all French speakers to collectively shudder? The word ‘Giclée’ is pronounced (Zhee-Klay). 

Secondly, what does ‘Giclée’ mean exactly? Well translations vary, but Giclée is based on the French verb ‘gicler’ meaning to squirt, spray, or spout, of course this is in reference to the spraying of the ink from the printer onto the paper. (You should be ashamed of yourself, I saw you giggling, get your minds out of the gutter!)

Thirdly, although the word Giclée is derived from French, it was American artist Jack Duganne from Santa Monica California who actually coined the term in reference to Giclée Printing. Jack was a technical innovator in screen printing and helped develop fine art digital printing technology, which ultimately led to the creation of Giclée printing allowing artists to realise their artistic vision in analog and digital print media. 

Well look at that! You just learned something new didn’t you? Well now you can go off and be smug for the rest of the day - You’re welcome.

The Benefits of Giclée Printing

But what does it all mean? Well, technically there is no governing body that can dictate what is just a normal print and what is a Giclée, but there is definitely a difference in quality to both the artist and to the collector depending on who does the printing. 

As with most things the Giclée is in the detail. (See what we did there)

  • Higher quality printers will create more exact and defined lines. 
  • The grade of the ink will allow for complex colour combinations, both subtle and extreme. 
  • The amount of nozzles inside the printer will dictate the colour vibrance and variance.
  • The qualities and brand of the paper will have a huge impact on the final product. 

To be a master printer it takes more than great machinery, it takes a talented eye and a respect for details, which in our opinion makes printing fine art an artform in itself.

Art Prints to Last a Lifetime

Of course there are skeptics that say that Giclee is not quite fine art, but we heartily disagree. Fine Art quality Giclée prints have been independently tested by Wilhelm Imaging Research for their longevity, and they predict that the colour integrity could last up to 200 years without degradation. This means more art can withstand the test of time, and print artists like some of the artists we have here at Shiver, will be able to share and print their work without compromising their artistic vision. 

Like most things that involve art and artists, it's all about perspective, and how the piece evokes emotion. So whether you are printing a photography print, or a print replica of an original oil painting, the value of the final piece will be dictated by how it resonates with those who view it. 

Where to buy Giclée Prints?

If you are an artist wondering ‘where can I get my fine art, archival giclée prints printed?’ We cannot recommend The Print Space enough! We use them to print all our prints and recommend them to everyone who even thinks about printing their artwork. Not only that, they also do framing, so you can get your high quality artwork printed and framed at the same place! As The Print Space users ourselves, we have a referral code we can with you for 50% off your first order at The Print Space, just use the code - R6MEVNM - at checkout. As this is a loyalty referral code from The Print Space, we will receive credit for everytime our code is used, but please know we firstly wouldn’t have this code if we weren’t The Print Space customers ourselves, and we wouldn’t share it unless we truly believed in the incredibly high quality of prints and service provided.

If you are an art lover/collector - The Print Space won’t necessarily be for you, but not to worry, we have exactly what you’re looking for! Check out our collection of Giclée art prints below!


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