What is a Giclee print? And how do you pronounce Giclee?

What is a Giclee print? And how do you pronounce Giclee?

How do you pronounce the word Giclee?

First things first... how is that pesky word pronounced? Giclee is actually a French word, spelled Giclée with the proper accent, which means a squirt or spray.

It is pronounced more or less like jee-clay. I say more or less because the jee is pronounced without the "d" sound that the English language ads at the start of the j sound, like the gi in girafe. And the "clée" sound is more of a closed sound than an open "ay".

Here's a little video with a recording to make it clearer:


But what exactly is a Giclee print?

A Giclee print is a print produced using an inkjet printer, which in essence is a printer which squirts or sprays ink onto the paper, as opposed to, for instance, a laser printer, which transfers toner powder thermally onto a piece of paper. The term itself is a neologism coined in 1991 by print-maker Jack Duganne (see Johnson, Harald. Mastering Digital Printing, p.11 at Google Books).

Giclee refers to the highest quality of digital ink jet printing, which was developed to produce digitally affordable exact reproductions of works of art. A Giclee printer uses high-quality stable pigmented inks and archival-quality paper, to ensure long-lasting reproductions.

The printers themselves are state-of-the-art machines, which use a lot more ink colors than standard home inkjets printers: from 8 up to 12 different cartridges are used to reproduce every nuance of the original artwork. The inks are developed to last in time and the quality of a Giclee print is far superior to that of a different type of digital print.


Giclee print vs art print

An art print is a printed reproduction of an original artwork. Art prints can be produced using a number of different printing techniques, on a variety of different print materials. Art prints are usually produced in limited editions.

A Giclee print is a type of art print when the materials used are of archival quality.

If you're interested in more information about the various techniques of Printmaking, here is an interesting Wikipedia article on the topic of Printmaking.

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