A giclee, pronounced zhee-CLAY, is a high-resolution reproduction done on a special printer from a digital scan of original artwork.
Giclees can be printed on a variety of media, from canvas to watercolor paper to vinyl, to transparent acetates. Giclees are superior to traditional lithography as colors are brighter, last longer and are of such high-resolution that they are virtually ‘continuous tone’, rather than tiny dots. The range of color for giclees is far beyond that of lithography and details are crisper.
Since giclee printers can use media in rolls, large print sizes are available, limited only by the length and width of the roll.
Giclee printing uses sophisticated inkjet technology and employs six colors—light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and black of lightfast pigmented inks. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the color on the page to create truer shades and hues. The word giclee actually means spurt.
Because giclee prints so accurately reproduce the original art, the prints are desired by galleries and arists alike, as well as being coveted by collectors for their fidelity and quality. While many prefer to purchase an original painting, the giclee prints are more affordable.