Giclee printing - what is it and why is it so good?

You may have seen us reference this type of printing process across our website and you may be unsure of what it means and why it is so special. So I thought I would give you a quick insight so you can understand what you will be receiving when ordering from us.

The term Giclée which is pronounced ‘jee-clay’ is derived from the French word gicleur and the meaning of the word is 'to spray'.

Typically Giclée printing consists of using 8-12 colours (inks). We use a 12 colour giclée process which is capable of producing an extremely wide tonal range and colour gamut. You may have a colour printer at home sat on your desk which will most likely be 4 colour (CMYK) that you may have printed your photos with in the past, but the processes are far from being the same… Without going into too much detail, your printer most likely applies these 4 inks to paper in small dots of varying size to produce your image. With Giclée printing then not only are the 12 inks able to mix and reproduce the original colours from the photo more accurately but they are also microscopically sprayed onto the paper and therefore there is no visible dots which in turn creates much finer detail. Think of it a bit like HD vs SD.

Another really good factor about Giclée printing is that the prints are resistant to fading and typically last for 100+ years and remain looking as good as new throughout. It is the favoured method of printing in the high end, fine art world so that artists can get the best possible reproduction from their original paintings. You will typically find Giclée prints in the best art galleries around the world.

You may ask - This all sounds rather high end and I have only taken a picture on my camera phone, will my photo be ok?

Don’t worry, we specialise in printing from all devices and modern day smartphones have superb cameras that produce a fantastic photo. To get the best from your panoramic photo using this process then we ideally need a 300dpi image. When printing onto canvas then this can be lower. Providing your image was taken on a device with a good camera whether it is your mobile device or the best DSLR camera we are sure your image will be fine and you will be happy with your print. 

We will mention that even though this printing process is of the highest quality we can only print the photos you supply us… So if they are out of focus for example then there is nothing the printing process can do to rectify this. We don’t want you to worry about your image though when ordering. So once it has passed through our online editing system and you have completed checkout, we will always then double check the file for size before print and let you know if there are any flags. 

If you are a professional photographer and would like the ICC profiles then just contact us and we can get these sent to you.

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