Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs
What is a Giclée?
The following is an description from our master printer, Giclée Art in Coeur d’Alene, on the process of creating a giclée and why quality matters when distinguishing giclées from prints of a lesser quality.
A Giclée (pronounced zhee-klay) refers to both a category of collectible fine art similar to lithographs and serigraphs, as well as a type of digitally created fine art print. However, not all digital prints are Giclées. Only prints that adhere to strict printmaking standards can be called a Giclée.
The word “Giclée” dates back to 1989 and is a french term roughly meaning “spray or squirt” which refers to the digital printing process. During printing, millions of microscopic droplets of ink per second are applied to the print media. The best Giclée printers provide a minimum of 1,200 dpi resolution and blend six or more colors of ink.
A Giclee is a high-end fine art print recognized as “the next best thing to owning the original, or in the case of certain art created by digital artists, each Giclée is an “original”. Giclées can be found on display in the world’s finest museums and art galleries, often they can be hard to distinguish from originals.
A Giclée is:
“A fine art print created by a printmaker adhering to strict standards that utilizes special high resolution digital equipment throughout the workflow process leaving no evidence of the technology used, while providing archival quality consistent with that of a collectible fine art print.”
Are All Giclées The Same?
No. Like any craft or trade, there are different levels of expertise and equipment at any given shop. The best, longest lasting Giclées are made by craftsman who are masters of their trade and work with the finest equipment available.
Speaking of equipment, our shop is loaded with the latest technology in archival inks, acid free media and eco-friendly printmaking. Our prints are rated to last up to 100+ years without noticeable fading (according to industry standard testing by accredited labs). Most prints are even water resistant.
How Long Do Giclée Reproductions Last?
Extensive permanence testing by Wilhelm Imaging Research and other labs have been conducted for processes we use. Longevity ratings varying by combinations of printer, ink and media choices and range up to 100+ years. We adhere to strict printmaking standards to produce giclee prints that will provide several decades of lasting quality…how many decades ultimately depends on how the Giclee is handled and other environmental conditions. Giclee prints are noted for resisting fading longer than traditional photographic prints, some original artwork and lithographic prints. It is very possible for Giclee’s to outlive the artist and perhaps their family too.
A Master Printmaker
We believe an apprentice Giclée printmaker should train under a Master Printer for a minimum of four years and have hands-on participation in the reproduction of 300+ different paintings before earning “Master Printmaker” status. A Master Printer is someone with the utmost skill and is recognized by his peers as such.
Our Printmakers and digital artists have been crafting Giclée prints since 1996. We have some of the most experienced, capable and tech-savvy Giclée experts you’ll find anywhere. With an artists keen eye for color and value, our staff is trained to produce great looking prints and we are often complimented by artists claiming, “The prints look better than the original!”
Over the years, we have worked directly with manufacturers to find the best products and technology available. Additionally, we are a founding member of the Giclée Printers Association (GPA) and have worked to develop standards and guidelines for the rest of the giclée industry.
Michi Garcia is a photographic artist and the founder of Hallelujah Blue. Hallelujah Blue specializes in large-scale giclée art on canvas for luxury properties. Michi resides in the resort town of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho with her husband and three children. To keep up on what’s happening with Michi Garcia and Hallelujah Blue, subscribe to the email updates at www.HallelujahBlue.com.