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Giclée Prints
(zhee-clay)

A giclée is an elegant, state-of-the-art reproduction that gives a vibrant colour rendition of an original painting. A result of the marriage of art and modern technology, a giclée faithfully reflects the vivid colour, rich detail and lush texture of the original. State of the art digital technology has made it possible to create an art print that is extremely difficult to distinguish from the original painting.

Giclée, a French printmaker's term for "fine spray," was adopted to distinguish the technique from ordinary offset printing. It also signifies to the art buyer that the process and materials used to create the print were intended for the fine art market.

A giclée is created by a digital printer's tiny ink jets that spray millions of droplets of water-based ink onto fine archival paper or canvas know as the "substrate." The combination of specific inks and substrate are carefully selected to assure maximum print longevity.

Technology has tripled the colour spectrum that existed with offset lithography, allowing artists to be much more involved with the creation of their giclées. More options available to artists mean that they have more control over getting their giclée reproduction to match the original painting.

Historically, most fine art reproductions were made with offset press. These are called lithographs. An offset press produces numerous lithographs per minute. In comparison, a modern giclée printer produces only a few per hour and giclées are produced one at a time. Depending upon their size, this intricate printing process can take up to an hour or more for each print. Whether fine archival art paper or canvas, the end result is always the same: a beautifully reproduced work of art with the look and feel of the original painting.

 

Offset Lithograph

Four Colours
300 dots per square inch (approx)
1 Year without noticeable fading (unless
under museum quality glass)

Offset Lithograph - Romance

Giclée Printing

Eight to ten Colours
Minimum 1440 dots per square inch
150 years without noticeable fading (no glass
or other protective barrier required)

Giclee Canvas - Romance

Image is Trisha Romance's " Generous Heart "

Caring for your Giclée Reproduction

Your fine art giclée reproduction is beautiful - and delicate. Made with water-based inks, a giclée should be handled with the same extreme care that you would give an original watercolour paintings. The surface is fragile and highly susceptible to damage from touching, scratching, smearing or from liquids.

Your giclée has been produced using superior printing technologies and premium quality materials. Treat this investment as you would any piece of fine art. To ensure that your giclée maintains its presentation quality for years of enjoyment, please adhere to the following recommendations when handling and displaying:

  1. When transporting or storing, keep flat and protected to avoid damage.
  2. As with an original watercolour painting, reproductions on paper should be framed behind glass to protect against contact with moisture or contaminants.
  3. Do not apply and additional coatings.

Reproductions on canvas require special attention. Because canvas weave is extremely hydrophilic (readily accepts and gives off moisture to the surrounding atmosphere), room climate should be controlled to avoid excessive stretching or shrinkage. A consistent environment with temperatures within the 60 to 85 degrees F range and relative humidity of 30 to 55% is recommended.

  1. Use a professional framer who has experience stretching and framing giclée canvases.
  2. Do not spray the back of the canvas with water or any other liquids. (Rapid shrinkage as it dries will promote cracking of the surface.)
  3. Avoid rapid fluctuation of environment and exposure to direct sunlight.
  4. Canvas giclées may be gently dusted using a soft, clean, dry cloth.
   

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