What Is A Giclee Print?
Giclee is a French term for "sprayed paint" which is basically what the printer does. An ink-jet printer sprays the paint onto your paper to get a rich color and look that reproduces the original painting. It took years of trial until a Giclee was produced that had the quality and lifespan that prints do nowadays. High quality professional Giclee prints have a very high resolution and are much better than anything a home printer could do.
What To Look For In A Giclee
Although a shop may have the ink-jet printing equipment, that doesn't mean they have the knowledge and experience to make quality reproductions. Look for a printer that has experience with color correcting and uses high quality paper.
If you are purchasing a Giclee you want it to last a long time, probably even to out live you! That means the ink and paper have to be archival quality, or museum archival quality for even better results. Being acid free is only half the game.
The combination of inks and paper are what give the Giclee its quality. Look for an "image permanence rating" for your Giclee prints, or ask your art supplier for them. Wilhelm Imaging Research has published image permanence rating lists online for different printers, ink, and paper combinations.
Why Are Some Giclee Prints Limited Editions?
Rather than printing Giclee reproductions forever, many artists only want a certain number of each painting produced. This means that, even though you don't own the original, you still own a limited edition copy. It not only makes the print worth more, but also makes it a collector's item.
Taking Care of Your Giclee Print
Your Giclee may be great quality, but you still need to take care of it properly in order to ensure it lasts. Never store or display your Giclee in direct sunlight or anywhere with high UV ray concentrations. Make sure your Giclee is not in a directly heated area, such as hung on the wall over an electric heater. These precautions will stop your color from fading as well as keep your paper from turning brown over the years
When framing your Giclee, always wait 24 hours after printing for the ink to dry correctly. Like many original pieces of artwork, a mat is needed inside the frame to keep the artwork from directly touching the glass.
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"Giclee? - Art Imaging - Gicle Fine Art Printing Experts." Welcome. Web. 24 Feb. 2012.
"Caring for Your Giclees." Art Reproduction, Digital Art Capture. Web. 24 Feb. 2012.