Giclée print or Inkjet print – what’s the difference?

What is the difference between a giclée print and an inkjet print?  Technically, they are the same.  Giclée is simply a loosely translated French word for “spray of ink.” And technically, both giclée and inkjet prints are made by spraying ink onto the surface of a material, most commonly watercolor paper, canvas and photo-like paper.

However, in the print world, giclée has become synonymous with fine art reproductions printed on watercolor paper or canvas using a high-end inkjet printer and pigmented inks. Most photographers selling inkjet prints on photo-like paper refer to them as “photographs” or inkjet prints.

To be truly considered a giclée, a print should:

  • Begin with a high quality digital file, either from professionally scanned film, digital capture or computer created art that has been color worked and profiled for the intended output.
  •  Be printed using state-of-the-art inkjet printers which have been calibrated in a closed-loop color management system.
  • Be printed with archival pigmented inks, specifically formulated for the substrate.
  • Be printed on an archival watercolor paper or canvas
  • Be printed by a master printer, who has demonstrated thorough understanding of color theory and imaging software and who has the experience and artistic talent to interpret and replicate your artistic vision.

We at Fine Print Imaging pride ourselves on the fact that our digital staff are not only master printers, but are accomplished artists themselves. We stand behind our work, and offer a full money back guarantee on our giclée prints.  If, for any reason, you are not satisfied with the quality of the print we have produced for you, we will either reprint the image or refund your money.