Giclee Printing by Adrian Storey

This weeks post comes by courtesy of Adran Storey of JAK Fine Art Printing about Giclee Printing

Much has been written about the origins of the word Giclee, but what does it mean and what is involved and what should you look for when choosing a printer?

Firstly, Giclee is an art term, you cannot buy a ‘Giclee’ printer for example. The most common method for printing art is by inkjet, which are sold as wide format printers by various companies such as Canon, Epson and HP. To further complicate things, wide format printers can be divided into two groups:

  1. CAD, GIS, Poster and Banner printers – These use  4 – 6 colour inkset.
  2. Photography and Fine Art printers –  These use 8 – 12 colour inkset.

The inks used should be pigment based (not dyes) as pigment based inks offer significantly better light fastness than dye based inks. This means that the inks shouldn’t fade, when framed under glass, for 65+ years.

The paper used for giclee printing should also be archival quality, this means that the paper is pH neutral and has been tested, in conjunction with the inks, to ensure that the light fastness of the print meets the archival standard.

More information on testing and test results can be found on the wilhelm imaging research website:

Giclee prints can be defined as high resolution prints that use archival quality materials (ink and paper). When choosing a printer it is important that you know what they are using, if they don’t state this clearly on the website then ask and do your homework on checking out the printer and inks that they use.

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