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What's A Giclee Print?


Something's Up There Bigger Than You and Me Pard giclee print

"Something's Up There Bigger Than You and Me Pard"
giclee print by Jack Swanson.

The term "Giclee," a Neologism (essentially, a made up word) that of itself does not officially exist in any language, was coined in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne to be used as a marketable name for the fine art digital prints he was producing on an inkjet printer. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to denote high quality printing, but since it is an unregulated word it has no distinct definition, and by itself, no warranty of quality.

Comparison of the color gamut of a Giclee print to that of one produced on an offset press

At Viva Vaquero, as in many high quality organizations, a Giclee (pronounced Gee’clay) Fine Art Print refers to a reproduction of an image produced on a large format, high resolution, ink jet printer. Giclee gets its name from the French word gicleur, which means "jet" (the verb form gicler means "to squirt, spurt, or spray") which is how an inkjet printer works. With a huge color gamut, much larger than typical lithographic printing, the Giclee offers exceptionally true reproductions of the artist's original.

Using special light-fast (archival quality) inks, our Giclees are printed on an acid free, archival quality substrate. We typically use canvas for reproductions of oil paintings, or 100# uncoated paper, for reproductions of watercolor or sketch work. We also use a 100# matte coated stock for photographic reproductions. The term Giclee does not refer to any particular size of work. For example, we offer everything from 11 X 14 Giclees on paper by Jo Mora to 23 X 25 Giclees on canvas by artist Jack Swanson.

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