Giclee print what is it? Everything you wanted to know explained

giclee print what is it

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may sometimes earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties at no additional cost to you.

Whether it is giclee print what is it? or What is a Giclee print? The answer is pretty straight forward. A giclee print is a fine art digital printing process that produces prints of unsurpassed quality and detail. The word “giclee” is derived from the French verb “Gicler” meaning “to squirt.The printing technology employed in the giclee print making process is basically the same as a high end bubblejet printer that can produce a printed version of an original piece of artwork with almost any imaginable color range and resolution.

Images are printed onto high-quality cotton, canvas or archival quality artist paper using millions of tiny droplets (tiny dots, bubble jets) placed so close together that they cannot be distinguished by the naked eye. What’s more, the resulting print will last for many years without fading or discoloration if stored under proper conditions.

What is the difference between a giclee and a print?

When it comes to fine art prints, there are two main types: giclees and traditional prints. Both have their own benefits and drawbacks, so it’s important to understand the difference before making a purchase.

Giclees are high-quality prints made with inkjet printers. The inks used are archival quality and designed to resist fading, so giclees can last for decades without losing their color. They are also extremely detailed, making them ideal for reproducing paintings or photographs. However, giclees can be more expensive than traditional prints, and they require frames with UV-resistant glass to protect against fading.

Traditional prints are cheaper than giclees and don’t require special framing, but they often don’t last as long before fading. They are also less detail-oriented, so they may not be the best choice for reproducing works of art.

Ultimately, the best type of print for you depends on your budget and what you plan to do with the print. If you want a high-quality reproduction that will last for many years, a giclee is a good choice. If you’re looking for a cheaper option that you don’t mind replacing occasionally, a traditional print will suffice.

Do giclee prints have value?

Giclee prints are becoming increasingly popular as a medium for fine art prints. But what exactly is a giclee print, and do they have any value?

A giclee print is an inkjet print made on archival quality paper or canvas. The name ‘giclee’ comes from the French word ‘gicler’, meaning ‘to squirt or spray’. Giclee prints are made using a high-quality inkjet printer, and the inks used are UV-resistant and designed to last for many years without fading.

So, do giclee prints have value? That depends on your point of view. Some people feel that because giclee prints are mass-produced, they lack the monetary value of a one-of-a-kind painting or print. Others believe that giclee prints are actually more valuable than traditional art prints, because they are produced with superior quality inks and papers that will stand the test of time. Ultimately, the value of a giclee print is in the eye of the beholder.

How is a Giclee print made?

The giclee printmaking process begins with the creation, photographing, or scanning of artwork into a high-resolution digital image file from the original piece of artwork. Once the digital image file has been created, it is then color corrected and then sent to a giclee printer via a computer. Pretty simple yes, but there is also a lot more involved.

Digital image

A giclee print starts life as either a digital artwork or an original artwork that is photographed or scanned into a high resolution digital file. By high resolution we mean 300DPI. DPI stands for Dots Per square Inch and it means the number of tiny dots it can make in one tiny 1-inch square. 300DPI is comparable to offset printing which is what is used in traditional printing processes for color magazines, it’s very high quality.

What does 300DPI look like?

Well, it looks pretty amazing. Have a look at this image that I have obtained from and you will see at a high level how good it is.

72 300 dpi

When you take into account the fact that giclee printers can print on a variety of surfaces including canvas, watercolor paper, and photo paper – you start to see just how versatile giclee printing really is.

So, if you’re an artist or photographer who wants to sell your work in print form, giclee prints are definitely worth considering. And if you’re a print buyer, giclee prints are a great way to get the highest quality prints possible.

Printing – inks, paper, or canvas

Where giclee prints differ from normal inkjet printing, bubblejet printing, or offset printing is that the giclee printer uses archival quality inks and prints the digital image file onto high quality artist paper or canvas. The print is then allowed to dry before being coated with a clear UV protectant spray.

So I mentioned high resolution digital image file but what does that actually mean in the context of a giclee print?

Well, giclee prints are made at a much higher resolution (300DPI) than traditional printing techniques which results in giclee prints of superior detail, depth, and quality. This means giclee prints can accurately represent the digital image that is 300DPI using printing that is also 300DPI. There is no loss in quality.

The giclee printing process also allows for a much wider color range than traditional printing techniques.

This combination of factors – high resolution, wide color range and superior detail – makes giclee prints the preferred choice of artists and photographers who wish to reproduce their work as fine art prints.

Giclee prints are also becoming increasingly popular with interior designers as they provide an easy way to add an original piece of artwork to a room without having to invest in an original painting or photograph.

Is giclee matte or glossy?

When it comes to printmaking, there are a variety of different papers that can be used, each with its own unique look and feel. One type of paper that has become increasingly popular in recent years is giclee.

Giclee is a high-quality inkjet paper that is known for its vibrant colors and sharp detail. But what many people don’t realize is that giclee comes in both matte and glossy varieties.

So, which one should you choose? It really depends on the look you’re going for. If you want your prints to have a more traditional appearance, then matte giclee would be the way to go.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for something with a bit more pop and vibrancy, then glossy giclee would be the better option. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide which style best fits your needs.

What are the benefits of making a giclee print?

As an artist, there are many benefits of producing giclee printing, but the main ones are:

  • You can print on a variety of different materials, including canvas, paper, and fabric.
  • You can reproduce high quality reproductions of your artwork for sale allowing you to extract additional income from your time making the original.
  • Giclee printing allows customers to purchase your artwork at a lower price point satisfying a market segment that may not be able to afford your originals.
  • The colors in Giclee prints are incredibly vivid and accurate.
  • Giclee prints have an exceptionally long lifespan – giclee prints don’t fade or deteriorate over time if stored or displayed correctly.
  • Giclee printing can become cost effective over time.
  • You can outsource the creation of the giclee digital file and giclee printing to a service for a reasonable cost.
  • You can purchase your own giclee printer for under $1000 and use it to literally print money! (not actual money but you know what I mean).

Do you put glass over a giclee print?

It is not necessary to put glass over a giclee print but it is recommended. Glass will help to protect your print from dust, moisture, and UV light. It is important to use UV-resistant glass if you will be displaying your print in a sunny location. There are also special glues and frame options available that can further protect your print.

Do giclee prints need a frame?

While some people feel that framing is unnecessary, others believe that it helps to protect the print and extend its lifespan. If you plan on displaying your giclee print without a frame, it’s important to use archival-quality matting and mounting materials to help prevent damage. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to frame your print is a personal one. If you want my opinion, I would frame it and place it under glass.

Giclee print what is it – Wrap up!

So now I hope I answered your question “Giclee print what is it?” in this post. Giclee prints are an excellent way to make money as an artist and to provide your fans with a high-quality, affordable version of your work. If you’re not already offering giclee prints, I highly recommend that you consider doing so.

What do you think? Have you tried giclee printing? Let me know your thoughts.

Other related Giclee articles are:


Cover image By Fountains of Bryn Mawr at the English-language Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Latest Posts

Latest Posts

About the author
Joe Colella - Chief Wasted Talent
Joe Colella – Chief Wasted Talent

Latest posts

  • Is Strathmore Watercolor Paper Good? A Comprehensive Review

    Is Strathmore Watercolor Paper Good? A Comprehensive Review

    Hey there! If you’re an artist who loves using watercolors then you know how important it is to use high-quality paper that can make or break your watercolor paintings. One watercolor paper brand is Strathmore. Strathmore is a well-known brand that offers a range of watercolor papers, but is Strathmore watercolor paper good? The answer…

    Read more

  • How To Start Selling Art Online: 10 Ways Checklist for 2023

    How To Start Selling Art Online: 10 Ways Checklist for 2023

    If you are an artist, it can be difficult to monetize your creative talents and expand your profile. With so many options available it is important to have a smart approach when starting to sell art online. The right platform and portfolio website are key elements to ensuring success in this space. It is essential…

    Read more