What is a Giclée Print?

Laura El-Tantawy The Veil SeriesLaura El-Tantawy - The Veil Series | Fine art Giclée Ultrachrome Print on Fine Art Baryta Paper | Behind the Scenes at Metro Imaging

The word Giclée (“g-clay”), is derived from the French verb gicler meaning “to squirt or spray”, Giclée, is used to describe a fine art digital printing process combining pigment based inks with high-quality archival paper to achieve an inkjet print of superior archival quality, light fastness and stability. Prints at Metro Imaging are created using an Epson 9880 with Epson Ultrachrome K3 inks, which with the eight channel print head is capable of producing an extremely wide tonal range and colour gamut.

Giclée printing offers both a softness and richness of colour and our operators ensure the print represents the artist’s original work in the closest possible way by working directly with the artist and by producing a test print and artist proofs.

The process involves squirting or spraying microscopic dots of pigment-based ink onto high-quality art paper or canvas. The image is colour corrected to attain the closest possible match to the original work if required. The digital information is fine-tuned to the type of paper or surface on which the image is to be printed, further ensuring fidelity to the original.

Giclées are printed on a variety of substrates or mediums, the most common being watercolour paper or canvas. Image permanence is a concern to artists and collectors. Estimates are based on laboratory simulations of ageing to give a fade &colour shift resistance of up to 200 years in ideal conditions, tests developed and conducted by Epson.

Reproducing prints this way can be of an advantage to artists who find it unfeasible to mass-produce their work, but need to reproduce their work on demand. Once we make the master print and archive the digital master file, we can produce identical edition prints at any point in the future.

Fibre based or Baryta papers for inkjet printing

Metro also offer Giclée Fibre based prints called ‘Baryta prints’ produced on Epson Stylus Pro 11880. Instead of a light sensitive emulsion, the surface of the paper is receptive to pigment ink. Contrasting with more typical ‘Giclée’ papers, commonly matt in surface texture, these Baryta papers are slightly glossy.

The lovely thing about these new papers is that they bring back Baryta or Fibre based printing for colour images: something that hasn’t been around for decades. These new Baryta coated fibre papers have a unique look and feel which have recently become popular for Giclée printing for a revival of that traditional, weighty, fibrous feeling.

What is a digital C-Type print?