Guide to Giclee Art Prints by Tim Layton
Giclee printing is a way of creating high-quality fine art prints.
What is giclee printing? If you are a photographer, serious art buyer, or you work in graphic design then there is little doubt that you have come across this term before in passing. But do you know what it means? This article will help outline the types and criteria that must be met for a print to be called giclee.
The first thing you need to know is that it's pronounced 'Zhee-Clay'. The word is taken from a version of the French word 'la giclée', meaning 'that which is sprayed'.
Giclee printing is a special type of inkjet printing – but importantly, not all inkjet prints are giclee prints. Giclee printing is meant to produce a product at a higher quality and with a longer lifespan than a standard inkjet printer.
Originally, the word was used to describe digital reproductions of conventional artworks (painting or drawing) or photographs. Today, it is generally accepted that a giclee print can also be a work created entirely in a digital workflow.
There are those who will argue that applying the term 'giclee printing' to a work is nothing more than a ploy to charge a higher price for an inkjet print. For reputable artists, that simply is not true and I share the four key things you should look for when buying a giclee fine art print.
MEDIA - CHOICE OF PAPER
For giclee printing, the paper or substrate used to print the fine art must be of archival quality. Paper choice is a critical and highly personal choice for artists. Ask your artist the paper used for the artwork you are interested in buying. You should seek out archival indicators such as acid free, 100% cotton or rag base. I use fine art Hahnemühle paper that is acid-free and calcium carbonate buffered to ensure your artwork will last for generations. Hahnemühle has been producing and selling artist’s paper since 1584. Over 425 years of experience has shown that Hahnemühle's acid-free fine art papers last for many generations, making your choice of Tim's art a good investment.
A true giclee fine art print is the type of ink and printer used. The biggest contrast between a standard inkjet print and a giclee print is that giclees are printed using pigment-based inks rather than the dye-based inks found in lower-cost inkjets.
Pigment-based inks have a longer lifespan, and can last anywhere from 100 to 200 years without significant fading. The type of printer used to create giclees is usually a larger format model that specifically uses pigment-based inks and will hold around eight to 12 different colour ink cartridges. The more inks used, the more sophisticated the colour range available on final output.
Look for ink names like UltraChrome K3 from Epson and LUCIA from Canon as these are two of the wider know pigment-based inks from the major printer manufactures.
All of my giclee fine art prints are create on fine art giclée printers with archival quality pigment based inks in conjunction with the Hahnemühle paper to create a high-quality piece of original art that can last hundreds of years.
Any artwork that is to be printed as a giclee needs to be created at a resolution of no less than 300 dots per inch (DPI). In the case of a photo or conventional artwork reproduction, that means that the camera or scanner used to capture the image or scan the artwork must be able to do so at 300 DPI. This is important because the human eye can resolve at that level of detail when holding the artwork in your hand.
I hope that you found this information helpful. You can find my giclee fine art prints in the galleries listed below.
CLASSIC BLACK & WHITE BOTANICAL COLLECTION
The Classic Black & White Collection is created by Tim using traditional large format view cameras and large sheets of black and white film.
By using large format cameras, Tim can create unique artwork that is not possible with modern digital gear. Black and white film creates a feeling and mood that has an x-factor about it that is difficult to describe with words because the experience is emotional versus literal. Collectors describe Tim's classic black and white botanical collection as elegant, classic, ethereal, and original.
VINTAGE BOTANICA COLLECTION
The Vintage Botanica Collection is is a very special series of new artwork created from historical botanical illustrations from the 16th to 19th centuries.
Before modern photography, scientists relied on artists to create images for them. I transform the historic illustrations into new and unique pieces of contemporary art to bring your home and office something beautiful, peaceful, and fresh. These special giclée botanical art prints have a depth and vibrant color that will put a smile on your face every time you view them.
NATURE ART COLLECTION
My Nature Art Collection is created with the purposeful intention of bringing the gift and peace of nature into your personal space. Decades of credible research by healthcare professionals and scientists conclude that specific types of nature photographs directly improve the overall wellbeing of people and can have healing benefits that range from lowering of blood pressure to healing from surgeries faster and requiring less pain medication. All of my photographs in the Nature Art Collection were created with my special Evidence-Based Nature Art criteria to support the positive and healing effects discovered by researchers.