There are several factors that can influence the price of a giclee print.
#1 – The first factor is the quality of the printer. Giclee prints are created using high-end printers that use archival inks. These inks are more expensive than regular inks, and they produce a higher quality print.
#2 – The second factor is the paper or canvas that is used. Again, higher quality materials will cost more.
Finally, the edition size can also influence the price of a giclee print. Smaller edition sizes will be more expensive than larger edition sizes, this is related to limited edition giclee prints and even more so when they are hand signed limited edition giclee prints.
Let’s break down each factor that determines why giclee prints are so expensive, a little further.
High end giclee printers
Giclee printers can be expensive to purchase and maintain. They are a step above your typical bubblejet printer and not as expensive as an offset printer which requires specialized training and a whole lot of workspace.
Giclee printers provide a much wider range of color and saturation than any laser printer on the market and the big bonus of giclee printers is that they are capable of printing on large format papers and canvas.
Giclee archival inks
Giclee printers often require special inks and papers which can add to the cost. But the inks used in giclee printers are archival quality which means they will not fade over time like some other inks.
The papers used for giclee prints are also of a high quality and made to last. Many of these papers are acid free and made from cotton or other natural fibers.
The canvas used for giclee prints is also a high quality product designed to last. The canvases used for giclee prints often have a special coating that protects the print from UV rays and other environmental factors that can cause fading.
In addition, the artist who creates the original artwork often needs to sign each print in order to add authenticity and value.
Many artists who create limited edition giclee prints will hand sign each print. This adds to the value of the print and makes it more collectible.
Finally, giclee prints are often part of a limited edition, meaning that only a certain number of prints will be made available for sale. This contributes to the high price tag as well.
When you combine all of these factors, it’s no wonder why giclee prints can be so expensive! But despite the high cost, they are still a popular choice for art collectors and enthusiasts alike.
How do giclee prints compare to other printing methods?
Giclee prints are often compared to other printing methods, such as lithography or screen printing. However, giclee prints are considered to be of a higher quality than these other methods.
Giclee versus lithographs
Giclee can also allow an artist to produce a much larger print run than if they were hand producing lithographs.
This is due to the fact that giclee prints are made with high-quality inks and papers, and the colors are more accurately reproduced.
Also, lithographs are usually printed on paper by hand using a limited range of colors, while giclee prints can be printed using a mechanical printer with a wider variety of colors.
Giclee versus screen printing
Screen printing is another popular printing method, but giclee prints are again considered to be of a higher quality.
This is because screen printing generally uses lower-quality inks and papers, and the colors are, while giclee prints can be printed on a variety of different surfaces, such as canvas or watercolor paper.
Giclee versus offset printing
While giclee prints are of a higher quality than lithography or screen printing, they are not as expensive as offset printing.
Offset printing is a method that is typically used for mass production, such as for newspapers or magazines.
The colors in offset printing are not as accurately reproduced as they are in giclee prints.
How can you ensure that you’re getting the best quality giclee print for your money?
There are a few things that you should look for when you’re purchasing a giclee print:
- The giclee print should be made using high-resolution images of their original work.
- Choose an artist whose work you love and whose style you connect with.
- If possible, purchase directly from the artist or a reputable dealer.
- Make sure that the print is signed and numbered by the artist.
- Ask for a certificate of authenticity. This can be an actual certificate or a letter from the artist, gallery, or dealer.
- You can also ask about the printer that was used to create the print, as well as the type of paper or canvas that was used but this may not be answered as most dealers have no idea.
Joseph Colella (Joe Colella) is an Editor and Writer at WastedTalentInc. As a frustrated artist with over 40 years experience making art (who moonlights as a certified Business Analyst with over 20 years of experience in tech).
While Joseph holds a Diploma in Information Technology, in true wasted talent fashion he spent years applying for various Art degrees; from the Accademia di Belle Arti (Napoli), to failing to get into the Bachelor of Arts (Fine Arts) at the University of Western Sydney.
While he jokes about his failures at gaining formal art qualifications, as a self-taught artist he has had a fruitful career in business, technology and the arts making Art his full time source of income from the age of 18 until 25.
His goal is to attend the Julian Ashton School of Art at The Rocks Sydney when he retires from full time work. Joseph’s art has been sold to private collectors all over the world from the USA, Europe and Australasia.
He is a trusted source for reliable art advice and tutorials to copyright/fair use advice and is committed to helping his readers make informed decisions about making them a better artist.