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What is Giclée?

The French verb “Giclée” (“g-clay”) meaning “to squirt or spray”. In Giclée printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern, so the image has all the tones and hues of the original painting.

Giclée prints are a new way of reproducing accurately paintings, drawings or artwork and have become very popular with artists wishing to sell their art to a wider audience. At B2B Graphics our Giclée prints are created using our HP Z6200 printer with its 8 channel print head which is capable of producing an extremely wide tonal range and colour.

The Giclée printing process involves squirting or spraying microscopic dots of pigment-based ink onto a variety of substrates or mediums, the most common being cotton rag, canvas or ‘fibre based’ artist papers. These fibrous papers transform a photograph into a painterly, soft image that adds a classy, decorative feel making it perfect and affordable for everything from portfolios to art prints for exhibitions.

The Giclée also known as an inkjet or digital print hasn’t been around all that long; the evolution of the medium is still in progress, so for clarity, here’s a few guidelines.

Digital, inkjet or Giclée prints can be divided into five basic categories:

1. Original digital works of art
These are Images conceived and created entirely on a computer that exist only as digital files until they’re printed out.

2. Original digital photographs
These are Photographs that are taken with a camera and printed out directly from the original digital file or original negative.

3. Digital reproductions or copies of original works of art
These are Images of existing works of art like paintings, photographs, watercolours, screen prints, etc. that are either photographed or scanned and uploaded into a computer, and then printed out to look exactly the same as the originals.

4. Reproductions/original digital works of art
These are digital photographs or images that are uploaded or scanned into a computer – BEFORE being printing out they are manipulated using Photoshop etc. to enhance, rework or alter by a digital process.

5. Reproductions/original digital works of art
These are Giclée or digital images of any kind that are enhanced, reworked, or altered AFTER they’re printed out they are manipulated – like hand-embellished with paint, watercolour, collage or some other medium.

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