What is a Giclee Print?

Giclee (pronounced "zhee-clay) reproductions were originally developed in 1989 as a digital method of fine art printing. The Giclee is French for "to spray on" or "to spray ink". The images are scanned and digitally stored in a computer and sent directly to a high resolution, inkjet printer.

What is the expected life of a Giclee print?
The most important fact to remember is that all color fades. As far as Giclee prints are concerned, some original watercolors will fade faster than a well-made Giclee. Unlike lithographs and serigraphs, Giclees have undergone extensive, third-party fade-testing. While the predicted display life depends on many variables, under typical home or office lighting , and depending on the substrates used, giclees made with pigment-based inks are estimated to last over 100 years without noticeable fade.

Are there any special handling requirements?
It is recommended that you treat your Giclee prints the same as any original watercolor. It should be protected from water and should not be place in direct sunlight. Giclees printed on paper should be frame mounted behind glass. Giclees printed on canvas can be treated with an acrylic varnish to aid in their protection, however careful treatment is still desirable.

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by S. Vanderveen