Giclee History Lesson

Posted by Marshall Rawlings on 16th Dec 2015

The History of Giclee Printing?

Giclée literally means spray. It is pronounced "gee-clay". The term was coined in the 1980's by art producers experimenting with the then new inkjet printing technology. The art world fell in love with inkjet because the jet or spray of ink was so fine that there was no apparent dots or screening. A new idea of "print on demand" was soon realized because with inkjet, each print is printed one at a time. No longer did artists and publishers need to print 100's or 1000's of prints on a lithographic printing press and hope they could sell them all. As the technology and inks improved, the color gammut of the inks became greater than offset lithography. Very soon UV resistant "archival" inks were introduced and using acid free papers and canvases these "new" giclées proved through testing to be fade resistant for as long as 75-100 years. So, history lesson aside, an authentic giclée is an inkjet print on archival media using archival ink. Furthermore, a additional giclée veneer or varnish should be applied to canvas seal the print, add durability, and provide additional UV protection.