What is Giclée?

Image: Gill Campbell

Image: Gill Campbell


The word Giclée (pronounced Gee Clay) was created by Jack Duganne, a print maker working at Nash Editions, the world’s first professional fine-art digital printmaking company.

He was specifically looking for a word that would not have negative connotations of “inkjet” or “computer generated”, so he came up with the word Giclée.

Based on the French word Gicleur, which means “nozzle”, the verb form gicler means “to squirt, spurt or spray”, Giclée, is used to describe a fine art digital printing process combining pigment based inks with archival paper to achieve Giclée prints of superior archival quality, light fastness and stability.

Our Giclée prints are created using an Epson 9880 with Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks, which with the 8 channel print head is capable of producing an extremely wide tonal range and colour gamut.

The Giclée printing process involves squirting or spraying microscopic dots of pigment-based ink onto high quality art paper or canvas. The image is colour corrected to attain the closest possible match to the original work if required. The digital information is fine tuned to the type of paper or surface on which the image is to be printed, further ensuring fidelity to the original.

Giclée prints are printed on a variety of substrates or mediums, the most common being cotton rag, canvas or Giclée paper. At Giclée Portugal Prints we only use genuine Giclée papers that have been popular for many years. These papers transform a photograph into a painterly, soft image that adds a classy, decorative feel making it perfect for everything from portfolios to art prints for exhibitions.


Benefits of Giclée


To the serious fine artist or photographer, it is the perfect solution.

The advantages of reproducing artwork or photographs using the Giclée printing process from Giclée Portugal Prints is highly desirable.

Giclée Fine Art Prints do not have to be produced in huge quantities, with the layout of capital and storage.

It can be an economical option as images can be printed and sold individually in accordance with demand.

And finally, it has the added advantage of allowing photographers and artists to take control of the main production of their work.



A Giclée Fine Art Print retains its colors for far, far longer than standard ink jet prints.

Assuming the prints are displayed in normal light conditions to maintain their archival permanence, Giclée prints are guaranteed to last from one hundred to two hundred years.

In other words, they are museum-quality prints that are built to last. So, if you would like to create a bit of history for future generations, Giclée Fine Art Prints are going to be the best thing for it.

Think about the family photos you might see from before you were born. With Giclée prints you won’t have to worry about fading or discoloration at all.



A Giclée Fine Art Print is of far higher quality than a standard ink jet or lithographic print. You don’t get that horrendous and jarring dot structures that break up the look of a piece of work.

Created from a highly detailed digital file, once it is digitally archived and however many prints are made, it will not deteriote in quality and will always reproduce the original faithfully.

If you have a great shot or an artwork that you feel you want to reproduce, try Giclée and it will be a perfect replication.



Giclée Fine Art Prints are about as accurate as the printing process gets with current technology.

There is no issue with the ‘photocopy of a photocopy’ that plagues other printing methods, and the results are stunning. This is why many artists use Giclée to sell their work – the copies will be just as good as the originals. Large format printers enable the work to not only replicate the original accurately in quality but in size too.

A variety of substrates such as canvas or different types of watercolour papers are available. Whatever the material, the reproductions look just as stunning.

Giclée Fine Art Prints are now commonly found in galleries and exhibitions all round the world, high endorsement indeed.



As mentioned above, art works created with the Giclée printing process are just as good as the originals.

Artists and photographers can reproduce their work on demand and sell them as many times as they like. They can even make minor changes to each print, to give it even more authenticity and exclusivity.

You could produce a limited edition numbered run, for example, which can often tempt your customers into making a purchase.

It is a cost effective way of getting your work out there and there will be no concerns about diminishing the quality of your work.