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What Is A Giclee Print And What Does it Mean For You?


When I first started painting and illustrating, I had no idea I would be turning my art into a business. After all, the first 4 original pieces went straight into my son-to-be's nursery, without even a thought that I'd be selling reproductions 6 months later. It was only after friends and family urged me to consider selling my work, when I realized I had no clue as to what an art business would look like or entail!

After a lot of research, it became clear to me that it was important that I deliver the best quality product I could to my customers. I wanted my art to last, and I wanted it to endure over time so that my customers could enjoy their prints for years to come, without any fading or deterioration.

As a result, I purchased equipment that would allow me to create Giclee prints. I'm proud of the fact that I offer this quality to my customers, but to many, giclee means very little. So, I'm hoping that this gives you a bit more insight and hopefully, a little more reason to love my art if you already have it, or reason to purchase it if you don't.

What is Giclee?

Giclee -- (pronounced zhee-clay) comes from the French term “gicler” and means to spray or squirt. Giclee in the art world is the process of using fade-resistant, archival inks to make fine art reproductions of an original work. A specialized inkjet printer is used, allowing the artist to have greater control of the finished piece, including final color correction and types of archival papers being used.

What are the benefits of giclee prints?

Giclee printing produces artwork that is of a higher quality and longer lifespan than standard art reproductions. The process offers three main benefits:

  • Resolution – Any image that is printed as a giclee needs to be created at a resolution of no less than 300 dots per inch. The resolution coupled with the enhanced CMYK color model increases the color gamut and allows smoother gradient transitions.
  • Paper – The paper or substrate used for giclee prints are of archival quality, meaning it is the best option in regards to longevity and color reproduction. Archival paper is typically acid free and consists of a 100% cotton or rag base.
  • Ink – Giclee prints are produced using pigment-based inks rather than the dye-based inks found in lower cost reproductions. Pigment-based inks have a longer life span that can last anywhere from 100 to 200 years without significant fading.

What does this mean for you?

A giclee print from Tiny Toes Design is individually produced and inspected to make sure that it surpasses a rigorous standard. Only using the highest-quality archival inks and paper, ensures your print will be enjoyed for generations to come. I personally sign and date each print before sending the piece to your home, office or baby nursery.