and foremost...Giclee's are not all alike! Fine
printing is a meticulous process requiring the latest-generation
"ink jet" technologies and
the skill of an artist to create museum quality work. The process
calls for highly-specialized equipment, software, materials
and techniques to obtain the best accuracy, sharpness, continuous
color tone and artistic interpretation available to fine art
the difference between ink jet and Giclée?
is one of the most common questions we're asked. And it's not
one thing, Giclée printing is
still fairly new to the art world. The technology that makes
it possible has evolved very quickly over the past two decades.
But there's also a lot of confusion among art professionals
about the word “giclée” itself – and
what technology it actually describes.
(roughly translated as “little squirt” in French)
is the term now used for printing with large format "Giclée"
ink jet-style printers specifically developed to spray water-soluable
pigments onto specially coated canvas and a wide variety of
papers. These printers are technically very different from the
smaller, ink jet printers common to offices and commercial use.
of confusion about the term “giclée” is that
it was first casually applied to the fine art reproductions
printed with “Iris” inkjet printers developed during
‘90s. But while many people still use the terms “iris”
and “giclée” interchangeably, the two types
of ink jet printing have distinct differences.
older Iris printing technology is 4-color and still uses dye-based
inks like those used for photography. The downside of Iris:
these inks are unstable and fall short when it comes to longevity.
Giclée 8-color printers (technically 6 colors plus light
magenta and cyan) have the most advanced print heads with special
nozzles designed to spray the latest, quick-drying pigment products.
They're capable of producing astonishing high resolution prints
that are truly archivable.
technology is continuing to improve, while the Iris approach
is standing still.