Artists have long been struggling to find easy ways to reproduce their works—without needing to mass produce them—fast, without compromising quality. Originally, they used inkjet printers in doing so. However, professionally produced inkjet prints are much more expensive on a per-print basis than the four-color offset lithography process traditionally used for such reproductions. This is why, ever since its development in the late 1980’s, giclee printing has always been used by various artists around the globe.
The term giclee comes from the French "gicler" meaning "to squirt”. It can also mean “a spray or a spurt of liquid,” because this is the mechanics by which inkjet printers work. The term was coined in the 1991 by Jack Duganne, a printmaker working at Nash Editions, who was looking for a term name for the new type of prints they were producing on the IRIS printer, a large-format, high-resolution industrial prepress proofing inkjet printer they had adapted for fine-art printing. Giclee printing was a descendant of Iris printing—a process created in the 1970s, which made use of 4-color inkjet printers.
Giclee printing makes use of a special type of inkjet printer—one much bigger, which uses special light-fast inks, which, if kept out of the sun, will remain true for up to 25 years. Giclee prints are created typically using professional 8-Color to 12-Color inkjet printers. Because of this, the images produced on print do not have a dot screen pattern, yet still retain the tonality and hues the original painting contains.
This method is now used by various artists, and is employed by different companies who create canvas prints. Giclee canvas prints are more detailed and intricate, and are one of the best in terms of color accuracy upon reproduction. Giclee printing is less expensive than other means of painting reproduction, and, therefore, does not affect gravely the price of canvas prints to be sold. Moreover, giclee prints remain beautiful over time; their colors do not fade, unlike other reproduced images that lose their color within a few years’ time. If bought online, they come UV protected, too, which adds to their durability all the more.
For a cheaper way of reproduction, giclee printing sure does a magnificent job. If printed on canvas, these prints resemble professional art, in that they do not lose quality at all. If any, recreating these images in canvas betters them—they look all the more exquisite, with their colors alive and vivid. Quality art canvas prints are relatively easy to come by now; you can shop online and look for them, and you’ll be able to receive them in no time.
Artists aren’t the only ones struggling now. Consumers, too, and art enthusiasts, are in constant lookout for cheaper ways of acquiring their precious art. With giclee printing, doing such is at arm’s reach. Reproductions and replicas aren’t exactly bad; they are needed and they are used by a lot of contemporary artists nowadays. We need not always find the original, and instead settle with admiring the beauty of art in itself. And this revolutionary process of giclee printing has enabled us to do so.