What is a Giclee Print?
Giclee is a method for making art prints by using an inkjet printer. The word "giclee" comes from the french word "le gicleur," meaning "nozzle." Giclee prints are usually made with fade-resistant archival ink to preserve the quality and integrity of the print for an extended period of time. Giclee prints are not made with normal printer inks, but can be printed onto any type of paper or fabric, including archival paper and canvas. If you are interested in turning your art prints into giclee prints, you may want to get a few made at a printing company before committing to purchasing your own giclee printer and accessories.
Getting Giclee Prints Made
Do your research before settling with a company to get your giclee prints made. This is a perfect option if you don't have the space or money to purchase a large giclee printer or you would like to have a few giclee prints made to see if you would like to purchase the equipment and materials. You may want to go with a large online company such as The Color Group in Seattle or Picture Salon in Madison, Wisconsin. The more giclee prints you order, the less money you will pay per print.
Making Your Own Giclee Prints
To make your own giclee prints, you will initially need to invest a lot of money into the project. You will need to purchase a Giclee printer, a high-quality scanner, a digital camera, archival ink and paper or fabric supplies to print on. As of 2009, the initial setup cost for making giclee prints was estimated at $20,000 to $40,000. If you're willing to make the commitment, you must produce prints at least every day. Giclee printers are designed to be working constantly; if they are turned off for the day, they will develop major clogging in the ink jets. If you are not going to be using your giclee printer every day, you will spend more time and money cleaning your printer than you spent using the printer.
Megan Smith has been a freelance writer and editor since 2006. She writes about health, fitness, travel, beauty and grooming topics for various print and Internet publications. Smith earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts in writing from New York University.