Giclée is a French term meaning “to spray” or “to squirt”. It references a process that a 12 color ink jet printer uses to reproduce an image. Gicleé have sharp details and high resolution, displaying a full-color spectrum, they can capture every shade of an original work.
Gicleé are made using pigment ink rather than the common dye inks. Pigment inks closely resemble actual paint. The special printer sprays the pigment inks onto archival paper or canvas, one colored layer at a time, with different layers overlapping the other where needed. This process closely resembles spray painting and is the closest method to getting paint onto canvas like an artist would with a brush or airbrush.
Pigment inks are based on super-small particles of color that float around in a liquid (water, alcohol, etc.). The liquid eventually gets absorbed into the paper or canvas, but the pigments don’t. The pigments stay on the surface and adhere to the fibers. This allows pigment inks to be hugely resistant to things like moisture and sun rays, providing exceptional durability, and holding color much better over time than dye inks.
The paper or surface used for a gicleé must be acid-free and archival quality to ensure longevity.
Gicleés allow collectors the opportunity to enjoy many of their favorite pieces of art.