What is a Giclee?

Giclée, is French for “fine spray” is the highest quality print available today and signifies to the art buyer that the process and materials used to create the print were intended for the fine art market. No printing film or plates are involved in the process, but instead the image is scanned directly from the artist’s original work and is stored digitally in a computer. Then, in a normal production process, precise computer calculations would control four to six ink jets that together produce 512 shades of dense ink. However, opposed to the norm, T.J. Bishop’s Giclée’s are created through state-of-the art technology where twelve ink jets are employed, giving the ability to create innumerable shades of color.

Giclée reproduction is created by tiny jets spraying more than 4 millions droplets per second of water-based printing ink onto a sheet of fine art paper or canvas that is spinning on a drum at 250 inches per second. Each droplet is approximately three pico liters in volume, a size smaller than a red blood cell! Because there is no visible dot screen pattern the resulting image has all of the subtle tonalities of the original art. A museum-quality art print emerges, vivid and smooth, with the feel of a watercolor and the look of a serigraph or original lithograph. Giclées are produced one at a time. Depending upon their size, this intricate printing process can take up to an hour or more for each print. Giclée prints can also be known as Iris prints.

The quality of today’s giclée print process rivals traditional silver-halide and gelatin printing processes commonly found on fine art prints in museums, art galleries, and photographic galleries.