The word giclée is based on the French verb gicler which means to squirt out. Giclée is a refined digital printing technique, which involves pigment-based ink and high-quality paper or canvas to achieve Giclée prints in a superior quality, colour reproduction and stability. A very fine spray with multiple droplet sizes in the jets are used, and these droplets can be overlapped and blended to achieve a final result of such a quality that there are no visible droplets, dots or transitions. Giclée printing involves spraying microscopic dots of different colours of ink onto the paper using an inkjet printer. Afterwards the colour is corrected to achieve the highest possible likeness to the original work.
At Artwolfsen, this is always an original painting scanned into a computer before being printed. The digital data is finely adjusted to the specific type of paper or surface being used. This makes sure that the best possible likeness with the original is achieved. Up close, a Giclée print appears identical to the original painting – that is the level of quality we are dealing with. This is not a cheap printing technique, which is why it is often used for reproduction of high-end limited edition art prints. The price of a Giclée print is not comparable to the price of things like posters, as the ink from the small jets, the paper quality and the time consuming printing method ensures a high-quality print with a limited number of copies. The prints are slowly processed individually one millimetre at a time through the printer while the ink is being sprayed on. This is the finest digital printing technique available and the only technique recognised by galleries.
Giclée printing has become more prevalent as a new and improved high-quality printing method used in the art world. Please note that this is nothing like a photo copy or other easily available printing methods. Each individual work is printed with ink being sprayed from small jets and then quality checked before being signed. In recent years, we have seen a movement from traditional printing techniques, such as lithography and other types of graphic printing, towards Giclée printing where the printing process is transferred to the more precise digital media. At Artwolfsen, we are at the forefront of this trend because we regard Giclée printing as an artistic expression in its own right with its own techniques, and we believe this art form is going to become even more widespread. A Giclée print is a print from a numbered and signed edition. You can see which number in the edition (print run) you have bought by looking at the number on your print, for example 15/80 – number 15 of 80 impressions. Therefore, we are talking about “true” art made available in a set number of copies making the price more accessible. At Artwolfsen, we see this as one of the advantages of printing: Real art (perhaps even a print of a painting you love) can be made available to the general public without costing a fortune. It is worth mentioning, though, that a single, unique print of a work is sometimes made. The paper for this type of print must be “archival quality paper”, which means thick, acid-free, high-quality paper and, as far as possible, information about the type of paper used should be made available. As with all high-quality art prints the works should be framed using high-quality glass to ensure the paper quality and the colour intensity is preserved for posterity.