What is giclée? It is simply the French word for ‘to squirt’. It is a neologism coined in 1991 by a printer, Jack Duganne. It refers to his method of printing using modern inkjet printers. 

These days the term is taken loosely to refer to a high-quality ‘fine art’ inkjet print. 

As a ‘standard’ I’d define it as follows: 

A fine art giclée print is produced on archival grade inkjet papers or canvas, using the very best pigment inks. These prints are designed to allow the very best reproductions, they are lightfast and created to last a lifetime. 

Beware of the term ‘Art Prints’. Some printers use this term but these are not archival quality. They are a cheaper alternative. They will usually not be lightfast and are very unlikely to stand the test of time. When you are looking to place work into limited editions and want the very best quality for your clients, then giclée printing is the perfect process.


How do you pronounce it? Ideally with a soupcon of ‘Gallic Flair’! 

CLICK TO HEAR how it is pronounced. 

The closest correct pronunciation is ‘zhee-klay’. You can just about get away with ‘gee-clay’. 

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