"Giclee" is a french word that means to spray. It is pronounced "ghee-clay", the ghee rhyming with key. The merits of the giclee printing process is that it can produce quality artwork as close to perfection as possible in color and detail. Also longevity is achieved by using pigment-based inks which are fade-resistant and by printing on museum-quality surfaces such as 100% cotton paper, linen rag, and canvas. A giclee print can last 100 years and if hung out of direct sunlight longer.
There are several requirements that make a print a giclee print compared to a regular art print. The printing process is done with an 8 to 12 ink-jet printer. This larger, commercial printer uses archival, pigment-based inks (not dyes) on museum-quality paper. This is an important distinction. Because there are 12 colors the giclee printing process is able to capture the beauty of the original artwork's varied colors and values. Pigment-based inks can last up to 200 years if kept in darkness and under certain environmental conditions.
A giclee print cannot be printed from a regular ink-jet printer that one might have at home or the office. Such a printer only has three colors cyan, magenta, yellow, and black. It has nowhere near the ability or sophistication of a special, commercial giclee printer.
Another defining factor of a giclee print is that it has a high-resolution. This not only allows for a full-color spectrum but greater accuracy and detail. It is therefore a digital process. The artist or printer photographs the artwork on a digital camera, converting the
image into computer language. To be a giclee print the image must be 300 DPI or 300 dots per inch for a print that measures less than 36" by 36". The image is saved as a jpeg. file to be used again when needed. The digital image is then sent from computer to the printer.
"When a Giclee print is being made, the technician will load the Giclee printer with a suitable Giclee canvas or archival paper (this is an acid free paper that will not yellow or fade). They will then send the image to be printed from a computer to the Giclee printer. What happens next is that the Giclee printer will spray the pigment ink onto the Giclee canvas one colored layer at a time, with different layers overlapping the other where needed. This process closely resembles spray painting and is the closest method to getting paint on Giclee canvas like an artist would with a brush or airbrush."
To sum up what a giclee print is the following qualifications are required:
1. The printer must be an 8 - l2 ink-jet giclee printer.
2. The paper must be acid-free or museum-quality.
3. The inks must be pigment-based, archival inks..
4. The printing process must be a digital process that creates a high-resolution product that is as true to the original artwork in colors and precise details.
This information has been gathered from the internet and wastedtalentinc.com.