A giclee is a superior quality limited edition, printed on special giclee acid-free paper.
Giclee (gee-clay) is a French word meaning to squirt or spray. The process involves squirting microscopic dots of ink onto fine quality paper or canvas. These unique jets are able to vary the width of the ink stream to as small as 1/100 the width of human hair. It is this capability that gives the giclee its beauty. Giclees have a higher resolution than offset lithographs and the dynamic color range is greater.
A giclee is a high resolution digital print and is a recognized fine art print category like lithographs and serigraphs. Giclee is considered the world's best technique for reproducing original works of art.
Giclee museum quality prints are printed using pigment based inks on archival papers, which are acid free 100% cotton, all rag paper. (They won't yellow with age.) The paper is of a heavy weight and has a luxurious matte finish, which gives it the quality and feel of an original.
How does it work?
The giclee process begins with the input stage. A scan of the original painting will create a digital file. After the scan is complete, the resulting file will be entered into the computer where the file must be color balanced and adjusted to match or exceed the original artwork. This requires the use of a colorist. Each piece is produced one at a time, requiring much more time than an offset litho.
Care of your giclee
Giclee prints are more color fast than the original. They should be cared for the same as an original. Do not display in direct sunlight. Like original watercolors, they should be framed under glass or plexiglass.
The concept of "edition" is basic to the world of fine art. The edition size is predetermined from the start. For example, an edition of 200 means that the edition can contain multiple sizes of prints but cannot exceed 200 total prints. When your print is numbered 7/200, your print is the 7th piece of the run of 200.
It is customary for the artist to retain an additional (usually 10%) of the edition. In the example of an edition of 200, the artist retains an additional 20 prints. These usually sell for about 20% more than the main edition and are numbered as artist's proofs, for example ap 2/20.