Firstly, a giclee print is basically a high quality fine-art digital print that has an interesting history. Graham Nash of the singing group, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, played a major role in its creation.
Graham was an avid photographer and collector of visual treasures. In the mid l980's Graham became interested in computers and began to scan and manipulate his photographic images on the computer screen. Graham could see the potential of using computer software to make digital prints of his work. ("Digital" means using numbers to represent something, which is what a computer does.) However, in those days photo labs hadn't figured out how to work from digital files to make a decent print.
Through his friends he made new connections in his search for a solution. There are important people who are intertwined in this process, but to keep it simple Iet's just mention a few. The search for a new way of image-making had been developing on both the East and West Coasts of the U.S. A printer called an IRIS had been developed by this time by a Boston-based company called IRIS Graphics. Steve Boulter, the West Coast sales rep made a big sale to The Walt Disney Company in Burbank. Boulter knew the color engineer, David Coons, who worked for Disney on the IRIS printer. Through his connections a meeting was arranged for Graham Nash to meet Coons who was helping Disney make the transition from traditional to digital animation. (Coons won an Academy Award in l992 for co-developing Disney's computer animation production system.) Soon Coons was printing Nash's images from the Iris printer onto thick D'Arches watercolor paper. Nash exhibited these prints, and his show was the world's first all-digitally printed, photographic fine art. He got rave reviews and later sold them at Sotheby's for $2.17 million.
Graham Nash soon bought an Iris printer and with his friends opened Nash Editions, which was the world's first all-digital printmaking studio..