About Giclée Prints

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G iclée prints are the finest graphic reproductions available today. Giclée is a French word meaning "spray of ink." A high quality printing technique, relatively new to the fine art graphic market, uses a continuous tone technology called "ink-jet" printing. Individual droplets of colors are sprayed on the surface of paper or canvas during printing to produce Giclées or Iris prints. The Iris printer, which is the most prominent printer in the field, was introduced by Iris Graphics in 1987.

Most posters and limited edition prints are printed from color separations on a four to six color press in tandem so large editions can be printed in a matter of minutes. A Giclée print is individually created—one at a time. The editions are small. Printing a single Giclée can take up to several hours depending on the size of the print.

The development of the Iris printer has been an outstanding contribution to the technology of printing; however, the input of a master print maker is paramount in the production of a high quality fine art graphic. An original work of art is scanned. The scanner reads the original art image in a series of dots. This digital reproduction is proofed by the master print maker, who manipulates and corrects the colors until the digital reproduction matches the art work accurately. The print maker has millions of color hues to choose from as he programs this digital method of printing into a computer. Before printing begins the proof must be approved by the artist.

To print a Giclée, paper or canvas is affixed to a drum that spins at a fast pace. As the drum rotates, the computer guides the ink jets in spraying droplets of color onto the paper according to the software set up by the master printer. These droplets of color are sprayed onto the surface at 4-5 million droplets per second producing a continuous layer of color. After the Giclée is printed, a thin layer of a chemical is sprayed on the print to protect it from UV light.

Giclées are regarded as museum quality reproductions and have gained wide acceptance from museums, artists, galleries and collectors. These prints have achieved an impressive exhibition record with museums throughout the world.

You can read more about Giclée Fine Art printing at:

What is a Giclée Print?

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