Giclee is a French term meaning “to spray”, referring to how an inkjet printer works and how giclee prints are usually produced. These large format inkjet printers use small spraying devices that can both match color and apply ink precisely, giving artists a high-quality print of their original art.

But, not all inkjet printers produce giclee prints. It all boils down to these four elements: resolution, ink, paper, and printer type.

To be able to make a high-quality print, the camera or scanner used to capture or scan the art must be able to do so with a high level of resolution. To compare, most digital photos are recorded at a resolution of 72 DPI on the screen, or “dots per inch,” and the image file of an art print needs to be at least 300 DPI—because the more dots of color that can be printed in a small area, the more detailed your final image will appear.

Printers are typically larger models that are able to hold up to 12 ink cartridges which produce a wider range of colors for duplicating your artwork.

When it comes to finding a reputable printer for your giclee prints, make sure you do your research. Ask other artists in your community who they recommend, then feel free to visit those studios, speak with the printers, and look at samples of their work. Reliable equipment, technical skill, and envisioning a long-term working relationship are a must.

To make the finest Giclée prints, it is important to select inkjet papers that are in the archival or museum grade category. This means they need to be acid and lignin free. Most inkjet media are bright white and likely to have some optical brightening agents (OBA). Papers without OBA are ideal for longevity but they may not produce as brilliant an image due to their cream-colored natural surface. For that reason, there is not a wide selection available. We recommend using quality papers with some OBA as they will produce beautiful images with excellent longevity when displayed under UV protected glass or acrylic.