What is Giclee

The inception of new fine arts named Giclee in 1991 has added a new spectrum to arts. The article talks about the technique, history behind the art form, four-color offset lithography Giclee and Ink-jet printer Giclee. This art form is spreading like fire and now Giclee has became an household term.

Jack Duganne, a printmaker created a new term for fine arts printing known as Giclee in the year 1991. The term denotes the use of ink-jet printers to make digital prints which represents an artistic picture or graphic. The word was primitively used to denote fine art prints produced by IRIS printers. However, the IRIS printers were obsolete by early 90s and later the high quality ink-jet printers were employed to produce Giclee. Gradually, the entire world realized this art form and ink-jet printers become popular among Giclee artists.

History behind the name

Jack Duganne used to work at Nash Editions and invented this fine art form in the 80s when IRIS printers was used to produce Giclee. Later on, IRIS printers were replaced by more proficient ink-jet printers but he was still looking for name. Jack was looking for an artistic name and not something which sounded like a technology especially with the introduction of ink-jet printers. In 1991, he came across a French word, “le gicleur” but somehow he spelled it differently omitting the u in gicleur, which is another French word gicler. Gicler stands for spray or spurt. Hence, he called this art form Giclee.  

Practical Application of Giclee in Fine Arts

Both computer generated and original photographs can be used to produce this two-dimensional fine arts form. Giclee is produced in two ways, professionally produced and four-color offset lithography. The professionally produced prints are more expensive. The four-color offset lithography is the traditional method to produce such prints and much more cheaper than the professional method. In  professional method,  ink-jet printers are used to generate Giclee prints.

Four-color offset lithography Giclee

The four-color offset lithography has many cons especially with its printing. The printing is only done once and the user have to frame up every print before printing it. This method is known as mass printing. The four-color offset lithography uses costly printing plates and produces all prints at once. Artists had to wait for the completion of their work before printing a print and this was the basic shortcoming of the lithography method.

Ink-jet printers Giclee

The disadvantage four-color offset lithography was overcomed by the ink-jet printers and permits the artist to create and produce each prints  individually at the same time. This increased the demand for professional Giclee production and this is reason behind its expensive cost.

This advantage of Giclee produced by ink-jet printers has allowed many artists to produce their own Giclee as it gives the benefit to work at home or office and individually print their art. Giclee has been a revelation since its inception. This art form has added a new dimension to two-dimensional fine arts and specific courses and classes have started teach this art form.

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