Giclee Art Print
Investing in Giclees

Investing in a Giclee art print (pronounced Zhe-Clay) is currently one of the most popular forms of investing in art. Auctions in recent years have produced sale prices in the 10k range.

Note My computer program does not like the accent grave that goes above the first e in the name. Sorry. It is being worked on and will be corrected as soon as possible.

  • What is a Giclee Art Print?
  • What is the Social Mood toward Giclées?
  • Durability and Care of Giclée?
  • Collector Sentiment toward Giclée
  • Investor sentiments toward Giclée Art Print?
  • How does a Giclee Art Print differ from other prints?

What is a Giclee Art Print

These and other questions will be answered here.

Giclee art prints are produced on a large format printer. These are printers similar to the one you use for your computer with one major difference. They can cost as much as 100 times the cost of your printer. They are extreme machines, printing with visible dots that you would see in typical printing.

This is accomplished by laying a series of fine dots so closely together that visually there will be a continuous color. Unlike lithographs which print in Cyan, Magenta, and Yellow, these printers use a number of different colors. The result is a richer color and a print closer to the original than a lithograph.

Giclée art prints are made with archival inks. Archival inks are inks that are created to have an extremely long life if properly cared for. What is long life? Well consider this…the Dead Sea Scrolls were found in some caves in clay pots. They were thousands of years old and still readable. They made possible to prove the Bible has not changed from what it was a few thousand years ago.

Will archival inks last thousands of years? Nobody knows. Current technology and advancing knowledge has improved over the past 2000 years. Archival inks will most likely last at least a few lifetimes.

Giclée Art Print vs Lithograph

Having a background in the printing industry printing presses are my first love. Side by side however, the giclee art print has a better quality than lithographs across the board. It comes from the ability to have one continuous image with every color perfectly matched. That matching even has the essence of shadow the color will have.

For these and other reasons, my personal feeling is the giclee art print is the premiere form of art print. However, they are not as easily made in runs of thousands like a lithograph is. So if a print is to be made in a run of 1000 it is less practical to make a Giclée than a lithograph.

Durability and Care of a Giclée Art Print?

There are two typical types of giclée art print. One is on canvas and the other on paper.

The canvas is as durable as any canvas printing. Once stretched over a wood frame, it is important that no pressure come in contact with the stretched canvas. Sharp objects can cut the canvas and blunt objects can leave a dent in the canvas.

It will in effect stretch the canvas. In some cases this can be repaired by someone with experience working with canvas prints.

Although the richness of the colors and the perceived texture of some prints will tempt the viewer to feel it, don’t. The print should have a UV seal coat over the top. However, all humans have oil in their skin. That oil is either slightly acid or base. Both are harmful to the finish if there is enough build up.

This can happen in two ways.

One…the oils in the skin will build up where the print is touched and dirt will start to collect on those areas.

Two…The acid or base properties of the oil will start to eat at the UV coating and then the print underneath.

What is an Iris Print?

There is an ill fated movement that does not like the slang meaning of giclée. As a result, they refuse to use the name for their prints. Instead they will refer to the print as an Iris Print. It is for all practical purposes the same thing. This is a social mood thing and since the G name has such wide acceptance, it is moot.

If you run across someone who is offended then call them Iris Prints.

If this interests you, you will need to know a bit about framing. Then skip to...

Art Framing will give more information on this subject. The 6th of 8 parts.

Or if you would like to continue on in your art investing education...then learn more about...

Investing in Original Art is not for just the rich and famous any more. More and more people are collecting and investing original art works.
This is 5th of 8 parts on collecting and investing in art.

...and finally....

Caring for Art has more information on this subject. The 7th of 8 parts on investing in art.

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