Giclée (Pigment Inkjet)

Giclée prints are museum-quality prints  (black and white or color) created using a specialized inkjet printer, highly stable pigment inks, and archival papers. In the 1980s, workers at Iris Graphics, Massachusetts created a new computer-controlled printer to output proofs for the printing industry.  Iris printers (costing well into six figures) were soon adapted to for use as high-end fine art printers.  Before long, Epson and Hewlett Packard began producing more affordable pigment printers that also offered photographic quality. To distinguish these high quality, fine art printers from the inexpensive office printers that also used inkjet technology, a worker at Nash Editions coined the term “giclée” from the French word meaning to spray. Giclée prints may be made by scanning negatives or color transparencies or by printing directly from digital files. A wide range of beautiful 100% cotton rag papers are avaiiable. When pigment inks are used, the longevity of the resulting print can be in the hundreds of years. Inkjet prints are not handmade. All the work in making them goes into preparing the image at the computer before it is sent to the printer. Many workers believe that in terms of photographic quality giclée prints can equal or surpass silver gelatin prints and chromogenic color prints.