Why I use Giclée printing

 Why I use Giclee printing

For digital artists, illustrators and photographers that produce museum/Gallery quality fine art Giclee is the best digital printing tecnique around to date and as such is expensive to produce.


What is Giclée Printing?

Giclée printing, also commonly known as fine art inkjet printing, was primarily used for the reproduction of fine art which started during the late 80s to early 90s period, however, the increased use of digital visual art software packages and DSLR cameras has opened up this traditional method of printing to more than just the traditional fine art printers.

Giclée printing involves the use of particular inks and substrate (paper, canvas, etc) to ensure that the final print is guaranteed to last a very long time – The process is much more intricate than a print from a domestic printer.


Archival Ink and Canvas

The “particular inks” used in Giclée printing are broadly named archival inks because of their long life, which on a finer level can be identified as pigment-based inks. Compared to the cheaper water-soluble dye-based inks used in most inkjet printers, pigment-based inks have been proven as more water and UV resistant – ideal for a fine art print (especially if it is a limited edition)

The substrate, be it of paper or canvas, has to be at least 250gsm in weight and have as little acid as possible in its fibres (PH 7-10). These guidelines are set by the Fine Art Trade Guild to ensure that consumers of fine art prints are getting best quality all-round. 


I have my specialist fine art printer hand stretch the canvas and add all the fixtures so that it is ready to hang.

The high quality Hahnemühle paper is bespoke framed unless requested otherwise.


The Artist’s Use of a Giclée Print

From an artist’s perspective, the piece of work I am looking to reproduce has to be digitally copied either from a digital format (print ready Jpeg), from a scanning process of some kind, or through a digital photo.

Giclée printing is ideal for artists because a print can be produced on a made to order basis presumably how most artists provide their work anyway. Giclée is an expensive printing technique to adopt but well worth the results.


Traditional artists are likely to use Giclée printing to reproduce their original art form ( I have done this myself ) which could result in copies that use the same material that the original was created on to make the print as close to the original as possible. The long life inks used for print also imitate the original to a degree as the original is hopefully intended to last a long time, hopefully hundreds of years.


Digital artists, lillustrators and photographers are likely to use Giclée printing for the same reasons that a traditional artist may, however, there could be a perception that the original created by an artist using one of the age-old mediums is worth more than a photo or digital graphic, which could also influence the worth of a print – debatable as some Giclee prints are now increasing in value because they are such. It depends on the artist. Digital art is being adopted by more and more so-called traditional artists such as David Hockney.

Additionally, the use of Giclée for modern art forms can add a certain texture from the canvas and print quality that gives them a similar appearance to the fine arts.