To Giclée or not Giclée....that is the question.


New member
By popular demand my wife and I have decided to officially offer prints of our work, but only from an original that has sold. We have been selling quite a few prints of sold pieces lately, by word of mouth with nothing offered overtly on the web or in any galleries. The question is not whether to offer prints or not, that has already been decided.

So...the questions is, should we just call them a print, or the supposedly "made up" artsy schmartzy term Giclée? The main reason we are leaning towards Giclée is because we also do original printmaking "prints" - copper plate intaglio, drypoint, wood and lino cuts, monotypes and more. We want to have a clear differentiation of the two types of prints since the Giclée's will be sold for a fraction of the cost of an original printmaking print and an even smaller fraction of the cost of an original painting.
I totally agree with calling them Giclée prints since you're doing the other types of printing. As you say, it sets them apart from the other more traditional prints that you're producing.

I've never known if giclée actually means anything beyond an ink jet reproduction, but it implies to me that there was a high quality scan and that archival inks were used. And it sounds so much better than "ink jet copy."
Is it a " made-up" term, though? Before there was easy access to home photo printers that used pigment based inks, Giclee was what you had to use, usually from a professional print shop. The process is still in use, I think, usually for oversized reproductions of original work.

It's most definitely a notch up from "inkjet copy," but there's also nothing wrong with saying your reproductions are created using archival products (the paper as well as the inks), if you'd rather not say Giclee.
I am doing a portrait project (painting local people who have been impacted by the bushfires Australia) Each participant will receive a Giclee print as the paintings will belong to the community. I have publicised it this way- so it is totally acceptable to call them Giclee prints in this context, so I would think that this is ok for you in your circumstance.
Since you are selling other types of prints, seems necessary to make the distinction. If you are printing on a "special"
paper - watercolor etc. I would mention that as well
I had some giclee prints made by the company mpix, and they came out great. The colors are true to the original and the paper is a good weight. I think I paid $10 for 11x14" and sell them for $50 right now. They are on my website if you would like to see them (they say giclee in the title):
I guess I had notifications off back in 2023! Never saw that there were responses to this thread until today. Thanks for the comments over the last year plus!