Folksy Ltd

Giclee - is this a very precise description?

(Iguana49) #1

Just wondering if sellers who describe their work as giclee mean something very specific. Looking online I get the idea that giclee means high quality archival inks used on archival quality paper. So not just inkjet printing on a home printer. Any opinions or advice about this would be welcome.

(Heidi Meier) #2

Giclee is specific - it is exactly as you have described i.e. high quality inks which do not fade or discolour on printed on high quality paper. So my giclee prints for example are printed on thick 250gsm 100% cotton acid-free fine art paper, which when you handle them feels more like a card than it does a paper (it a bit like the thick watercolour paper used by artists). They are printed using a professional printer’s press so they can achieve a 2880 dpi, which gives a really good reproduction of the original piece. The inks are archival quality so they don’t fade or discolour for a very long time (usually quoted as 120-150 years). Hope this helps. :slight_smile:

(Heidi Meier) #3

I also wanted to add quickly too that Giclee is great for reproducing work e.g. watercolours, acrylic and as in my case textiles. You can print as many as you want off a digital file and each one is therefore perfectly true to its original. It differs from lino prints, and other hand made prints where each print is individually created, and therefore unique and an artwork in its own right. Giclee is simply a very high quality reproduction, and great for getting otherwise expensive artworks to a wider audience.

(Sasha Garrett) #4

Copied from wikipedia:
The name originally applied to fine art prints created on IRIS printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.
I would expect a giclee print to be better than what we could do on our own home printer so yes as you suggest on archival paper with archival inks and I would hope multi channel printing to achieve colour matching and saturation like the original artwork.

(Iguana49) #5

Thank you very much Heidi and Sasha for the helpful posts. It seems the best thing would be to specify in a description exactly what one means by giclee, to avoid any misunderstanding.

(Sasha Garrett) #6

If you are planning on doing some giclee prints you could always have a paragraph in the listing where you detail the paper/ card stock, inks and even the printer used along with any details about longevity of the print. It would show potential customers that you care about your prints as much as you care about your original art works.

(Heidi Meier) #7

I look forward to seeing your giclee prints of your work!

(Iguana49) #8

Thank you both again! :smile:

(Samantha Stanley) #9

Hi there!

Although this has nothing to do with my actual work I’m really grateful to you for putting this question as it was something I was wondering myself. I’m a bit of a magpie when it comes to new words, so I’ve now got another to add to my collection :wink:

Love Sam x

(Ronald Koorm) #10

I took the word ‘Giclee’ off my own website as I found that many people looking didn’t know what it was !
I did get the impression that it was a higher quality inkjet print using colour-fast inks and quality paper, but agree with the Wikipedia definition, it is an uncontrolled term.

I print most of my wall-art prints on 270 g/sm quality inkjet paper and some on 300 g/sm.

Be careful about claims on ink durability. Yes, the Epson K3 Ultrachrome inks and similar are very good, and will certainly last longer than conventional inks, but only if you protect the prints from direct sunlight, ultra violet light, and ideally keep prints under glass.

Remember, the manufacturers give the claims based upon laboratory test conditions and accelerated testing. It’s like believing the car manufacturers on fuel performance of modern cars, -you never really get those figures in practice !

(Iguana49) #11

Thank you for your interesting post, Ron. I’m so glad I asked this question, it’s been bugging me for some time!

(Lucy Reynolds) #12


Yes, giclée is a more specific term than just a digital print. Put simply it denotes a digital print that is high in quality and longevity. There will be some variation in what people classify as a giclée, but it is generally accepted to mean that:

-It is printed on archival, acid-free, heavyweight paper/canvas
-It is printed with high quality inks (pigment rather than dye-based)
-It is printed on a high spec printer (8-colour +)
-The image being printed has been scanned at a high resolution (minimum 300dpi) and prepared for print (e.g. set to CMYK)

I think it’s true that there are differences in what people understand by the term, so I would agree that putting a quick description of what paper etc. you’re using would be a good idea.


(Alison Deegan) #13

Hi Iguana

It has a very precise Folksy category

though some seem to sneak their way into



(Heidi Meier) #14

Ho ho - I see one of mine in here! Thanks for the prompt! I’m off to change categories!! :smiley: