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What is giclee printing?

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  • What is giclee printing?

    Is giclee just another name for printing on canvas or is it a special paper or procedure? If it is different then I need to go to an authorized giclee dealer/process?

    Most print rooms that I use print on gloss, matte, metallic and luster finish. Are there other labs that use other specialize papers?
    Last edited by DannyRaphael; 02-13-2008, 04:13 PM. Reason: created new thread for this topic

  • #2
    Re: What is giclee printing?

    I have no direct experience with this, but have read about it.

    Here's a good overview:
    http://painting.about.com/cs/printin...lceeprints.htm

    p.2 goes into print specific information.

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    • #3
      Re: What is giclee printing?

      if i'm not mistaken, 1 thing i think they're known for is printing without a dot, unlike your average inkjet.

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      • #4
        Re: What is giclee printing?

        Giclee in the digital age, usually refers to printing on canvas. Not so much your local home grown ink jet that may accept canvas media, but on large format printers (the kind that stand on the floor and print from large rolls of canvas and use bulk ink). Often used to reproduce fine art up to about 90 inches (may be larger these days or for different printers, but I'm thinking of an Epson printer used by a friend of mine) as the maximum of the shortest side.)

        The last piece I had done in giclee cost me about $80 and was roughly 40 x 28 inches. Most houses that offer the service add an additional two inches all around for stretching the canvas over frames.

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        • #5
          Re: What is giclee printing?

          Giclee is a form of ink jet printing but perhaps finer. The printers are expensive. Running into the six figures. They use high quality ink and testing indicates done with archival materials prints can last along time without fading - much better than photo mechanical prints. Printers can print both canvas and heavy paper including artist's watercolor paper. I believe they were first used in the printing industry to assist in proofing. The advantage to the artist is they can order from one to several images so they don't have keep large stocks of prints. Their cost is substantially more that P-M prints.
          Hope this helps.

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          • #6
            Re: What is giclee printing?

            Giclee is a recently coined word based on French words le gicleur, "nozzle" or "squirter" and gicler meaning "to squirt." So really all inkjet prints are technically "giclee" prints, but the word was coined to distinguish Fine Art inkjet prints from the run of the mill inkjet proof. The word has found favor with fine artists wishing to elevate the description of their prints... just as "serigraph" sounds fancier than "screen print" so "Giclee" reads better than "inkjet."

            This is not to imply that inkjets are not worthy of fine art printing. A high quality printer can produce images with fine detail, color range, and archival qualities rivaling silver-halide and gelatin photographic processes, defintely better color gamut and detail than lithographs, while a digital copy (faithfully backed up and migrated) will produce perfect copies long after a negative would have faded.

            Some people use Giclee to refer specifically to Iris prints. An Iris printer doesn't work like the Epson or Canon on your desktop. The substrate (canvas or paper) is affixed to a drum that rotates at high speed (about 12.5 feet per second at the surface), and the color nozzles spray a continuous spray of fine droplets towards it. The image data gets sent to an electrostatic device that charges the droplets as they spray towards the paper. Positively charged droplets stick to the paper, negative ones deflect into the waste area (or vice versa, I don't know). The result is a continuous tone image with an effective resolution of about 1800 dpi, much finer than the naked eye can distinguish.

            While Iris now has a reputation now for Fine Art prints, back in the day they were designed for contract proofing. They weren't archival and would fade badly in just a few years. They have less fugitive inks now, but any claims of "100 year" archival inksets are based on labratory simulations of aging and should be taken with a grain of salt.

            Iris is also not the only player in the fine art print game. Epson and Canon have both made great advances in archival ink and paper sets, with Epson pioneering pigment based inks that are far more lightfast than dye based inks like Iris uses. Paper is another consideration for fine art printing. It must be acid free archival paper if the inks is to have a chance of lasting. Some Fine Art printers go so far as to say that coated papers aren't really Fine Art Archival quality because they scuff or scratch easily. I'm not convinced... if it's acid-free and makes it into the frame without getting scuffed it should be alright indefinitely.

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            • #7
              Re: What is giclee printing?

              Danny (I guess) cut off the first part of my message. I just had a canvas pic made. Would it have been giclee even if not by name? or if I got giclee would I be getting something different? I paid $100 for a 20x30 and the final product was great, but I was wondering if I had order from a lab that offered giclee if I would be getting something different?

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              • #8
                Re: What is giclee printing?

                No problem danny..just want to be sure my question was stated correctly...

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                • #9
                  Re: What is giclee printing?

                  Hi,

                  I wish I had more time to join in discussions here. Having a full time job in another business and keeping my Art Print Issues blog updated and a couple of projects with artists fills my time. But, this thread popped up on a Google news alert and I found it too interesting to pass on. There are several posts on my blog germane to this discussion, including:

                  What Is a Giclee?, which provides links to the best description of the process and its genesis you will find anywhere. You also might find this post worth reading too, Is Giclee Passe?

                  If you want to see all my posts with the giclee keyword, here is the Giclee Index from the blog.

                  If you look through the Index above, you'll find a post about me being featured on the cover of Great Output magazine. The post also has a link to get free subscription to the magazine. I recommend it as a wonderful resource for photographers.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: What is giclee printing?

                    Originally posted by bjdavey View Post
                    Hi,

                    I wish I had more time to join in discussions here. Having a full time job in another business and keeping my Art Print Issues blog updated and a couple of projects with artists fills my time. But, this thread popped up on a Google news alert and I found it too interesting to pass on. There are several posts on my blog germane to this discussion, including:

                    What Is a Giclee?, which provides links to the best description of the process and its genesis you will find anywhere. You also might find this post worth reading too, Is Giclee Passe?

                    If you want to see all my posts with the giclee keyword, here is the Giclee Index from the blog.

                    If you look through the Index above, you'll find a post about me being featured on the cover of Great Output magazine. The post also has a link to get free subscription to the magazine. I recommend it as a wonderful resource for photographers.
                    Please jump in whenever you can. Great links & info. Thanks much.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: What is giclee printing?

                      strangely Graham Nash and Mark Holert owners of Nash Editions are credited with using the Gilcee term the first time in print. Yes that is the Graham Nash of Crosby, Still and Nash fame- he happens to be a darn fine photog too.

                      The following offer a great "history of Giclee" [I think it is supposed to have an apostrophe above the first e].

                      http://www.dpandi.com/giclee/

                      http://www.nasheditions.com/

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