The word giclee` (pronounced zhee-clay) is from the French term “to spray.” This alludes to the technology used for giclee` printing, in which special inks are “sprayed” on a sustrate. A “giclee`” may be defined as follows:
High fidelity, archival quality digital reproduction of a two-dimensional artwork made on high quality wide-format digital printers and printed on canvas.
A Giclee` print is generally the closest reproduction that can be made of an original two-dimensional artwork. Printed on canvas they are so convincing that even art museums such as the Chicago Art Institute and the LA County Museum have chosen to exhibit Giclee` reproductions.
Photographed digitally and then compared to the original artwork, numerous copies can be produced to ensure the closest reproduction is achieved.
This new technology was pioneered in the early 1990's by Nash Editions, founded by music artist Graham Nash. In its infancy when the Giclee` process was still in the experimental stages the inks used were far inferior to those used today. The special printers developed by Epson and Rowland now use wide color gamut and fade resistant inks and are printed on canvas specifically formulated for this process. With the canvas and ink designed specifically for the Giclee` reproduction process the emphasis has been on longevity.