Jun 12 2012

When to Use Giclee Printing

Published by at 9:19 am under General

Derived from the verb “gicler” which in French means “to squirt or spray,” the Giclee method refers to a professional digital printing process used primarily in fine art. If you want your photographic prints to have that special gallery-quality sheen and high resolution, you might want to see what this printing method can do for you.


The first Giclee prints were produced by specially designed Iris printers. These were created as a means of testing colour quality for fields in which staying true to colour was important, such as magazine publication and advertising. This helped ensure quality control of the digital files before mass production began. Since then, the technology has grown to create special fade-resistant inks and more accurate printers, which help keep printed colours clear and bright over time.

Today’s Usage

The Giclee printing process is commonly used today in the fine art world, to create poster print reproductions of artworks. Today’s process involves spraying microscopic dots of special fade-resistant, pigment-based ink onto the paper of choice. The image is colour corrected and fine-tuned to best match the surface that the image will be printed on, to ensure that the end result is as close to the original image as possible.

Inkjet printers used in this process employ the CMYK colour process, but make use of multiple cartridges to allow greater variation in each colour used. This can increase the resolution and allow for smoother transitions in between colours. You can also choose from a wide range of different papers to choose from for the final print, including matte photo paper, cotton canvas, textured vinyl, or soft watercolour paper, among others.

Benefits of Giclee Printing

Why should you think about using this professional printing method for your own photographic prints? You’ll give them a longer shelf life, to begin with. The inks used in Giclee printers are fade-resistant, so they remain true to colour for longer periods of time. When kept out of direct sunlight, the colours will resist fading for 25 years or more. The image quality is also finer. Even if you peer closely at the image with a magnifying glass, you won’t see the tiny pixelated dots that appear with other printing methods, allowing you to render extremely fine details with lifelike clarity.


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