Derived from the French term gicler – meaning ‘to squirt or spray’, the term describes a printing process whereby microscopic dots of pigment-based ink are sprayed onto archival-quality paper to ensure the fidelity of a limited edition print to an original artwork.
The richness, accuracy and depth of colour is thanks to the method’s potential to achieve a huge colour gamut (the spectrum of colours distinguishable by the human eye). Unlike the four tones used in lithography, giclées often use six: light cyan, cyan, light magenta, yellow and black.
Fantastic for reproductions which require maximum detail, giclées are most commonly found on watercolour paper or canvas, but can also be created on glass. Different types of paper will produce different effects. Matte paper works well behind glass due its lack of reflectivity, whilst the shine of a glossy finish can give an artwork a brighter appearance.
It is believed that a giclée will significantly outlast a lithographic print, keeping its vivid colour for up to 200 years.
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