Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What the heck is a "Giclee" anyway?

The term "giclee" was coined by Jack Duganne, a California printmaker, and it is an affectation. He literally looked for a french word for its marketing value. In colloquial French it actually has a sexual meaning, that is "to ejaculate," derived from the literal translation "to spray or spurt." Say it in the wrong company in France and you'll get some strange looks! IMHO, pretty silly except for one fact- it has (unfortunately) become a key buzzword. There is NO real definition of giclee! There are people claiming to produce giclee prints from CMYK presses, consumer inkjets, solvent inkjets, UV inkjets, dye sublimation processes and, I am sure, a dozen others. The key attributes should be exceptional image quality, archival (100+years) qualities, fidelity to the originals or an accurate reproduction of the original digital files. True giclee should be acid free, chlorine free, totally tree free and free of additional toxins. Sorry to get promotional at this point but we print on 100% cotton substrates manufactured from the post industrial reclaimed fibers from cottonseed oil manufacturers with 100% VOC-free inks. Our prints are archival, museum quality and sustainable/healthy - in fact, far healthier than ANY solvent ink or UV ink prints or conventional silver images for that matter.