Giclée (zhee-klay) — The French word “giclée” is a noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The word may have been derived from the French verb gicler meaning “to squirt”.
Prints of chef and artist Jacques Pepin’s original artwork are made using the giclée technique. Here’s an overview of how these art prints are made.
Unlike home or office printers, a giclée printer requires specially-formulated inks and specialty papers, resulting in the highest possible quality for each print. Unlike traditional offset lithography, there is practically no dot pattern. The prints are nearly continuous tone, meaning, even under magnification, they are as close as physically possible to the original.
The two images on the left are simulations of the difference between offset (CMYK) printing vs. giclée continuos tone printing. The first image illustrates the dot pattern of traditional offset printing where dots of cyan, magenta, yellow and black are printed from separate plates and inks on press. Where colors overlap or are adjacent, a range of different colors is achieved. The second image illustrates a nearly continuous tone image utilizing 8 or more different inks “sprayed” onto the paper, which is how giclée prints are made. The additional inks also give the added benefit of reproducing a wider range of colors resulting in a more accurate match to the original.
The photograph or scan of the original work is made under the best possible lighting conditions and color-balanced to the original before any printing is done.
What is a Giclée Print? “In giclee printing, no screen or other mechanical devices are used and therefore there is no visible dot screen pattern. The image has all the tonalities and hues of the original painting. Giclee (pronounced Gee’clay) is a French term meaning to spray or squirt, which is how an inkjet printer works. However, it is not the same as a standard desktop inkjet printer, and is much larger. Giclee prints are a little over a metre wide and are often affectionately referred to as a “knitting machine” as they look very similar.” [Learn more]
Wikipedia “Giclée (/ʒiːˈkleɪ/ zhee-klay or /dʒiːˈkleɪ/) is a neologism coined in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne for fine art digital prints made on inkjet printers. The name originally applied to fine art prints created on Iris printers in a process invented in the late 1980s but has since come to mean any inkjet print. It is often used by artists, galleries, and print shops to suggest high quality printing but since it is an unregulated word it has no associated warranty of quality.” [Learn more]