Hawaiian Art Gallery, Hawaiiana and Tropical Art Studio of  Award Winning Hawaii Artist Donald K. Hall

What is a Giclée Print?


                                           Giclée printer             The printers we use   



Giclée canvas prints, gallery wrapped  

Giclée canvas prints, gallery wrapped  

 Canvas is wrapped around stretcher bars and stapled on the back and can be hung without a frame.

The name Giclée (pronounced "zhee-clay") is derived from the French verb gicler meaning 'to squirt'or "to spatter out".  Giclée print is an ultra-high-resolution (2880 x 1440 dpi) 7 or 8 color ink-jet printer. Giclée prints are the most beautiful and accurate art reproductions that have ever been made; and now, using recently developed archival inks and papers, they are also among the most archival. Independent testing by Wilhelm Imaging Research Inc. (a world-leader in image-longevity testing) has established that Giclée prints made with the very finest 100 lb. semi-gloss and matboard archival paper and archival pigmented-inks will last as long as 70-200 years before any noticeable shift in color integrity occurs. The Giclée is quickly becoming the new standard in the art industry, replacing  lithographs and serigraphs. and is widely embraced for its astonishing quality by major museums, galleries, publishers and artists. A Giclée Print is quite simply the closest replication of an original artwork that is currently possible

A Giclée  is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity reproduction done on a special large format printer. Giclées are produced from digital scans of existing artwork. Also, since many artists now produce only digital art, there is no "original" that can be hung on a wall. Giclées solve that problem, while creating a whole new vibrant medium for art.

The marketing advantages to artists are clear; once the image is created, identical copies can be produced when needed (or sold), eliminating excessive inventory or press runs. Additional sales opportunities are created by having more than just the original to sell..

In the Giclée printing process, a fine stream of pigmented inks (more than four million droplets per second) is sprayed onto fine art papers made by Arches®, Hahnemühle® or Somerset® Arches®  or onto archival grade canvas and fabrics. For even better permanence, Giclée canvas prints should be coated with a layer of anti-fading UV protective clear satin glaze.

Numerous Giclée prints have been tested for longevity by independent third party laboratories associated with this industry. Depending on your choice of printable substrates, we can assure minimum print life spans of 70-150 years. We do recommend to treat Giclée prints the same as you would any original piece of art. Have them professionally framed using only archival-grade materials and UV protective glass or Plexiglas over Matte finish paper art on paper. Also important is to never expose any type of artwork to prolonged sunlight or other harsh conditions.  

Giclées can be printed on any number of media, from canvas to watercolor paper to transparent acetates. Giclées are superior to traditional lithography in several ways. The colors are brighter, last longer, and are so high-resolution that they are virtually continuous tone, rather than tiny dots. The range, or "gamut" of color for Giclée is far beyond that of lithography. Lithography uses tiny dots of four colors--cyan, magenta, yellow and black--to fool the eye into seeing various hues and shades. Colors are "created" by printing different size dots of these four colors.

In short, the process begins when an original image is scanned or digitally "captured" by camera. Because no screens are used, the prints have a higher apparent resolution than lithographs. The dynamic color range is like serigraphy (silk-screening). The Giclée process provides superior color, offering richer colors and accuracy than other means of reproduction. use inkjet technology, but far more sophisticated than your desktop printer. The process employs six colors--light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and black--of lightfast inks and finer, more numerous, and replaceable print heads resulting in a wider color gamut, and the ability to use various media to print on. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the inks on the page to create true colors.

They are priced midway between original art and regular limited edition lithographs. Limited edition litho prints are usually produced in editions of 500-1000 or more, Giclées were originally developed as a proofing system for lithograph printing presses and can be printed on demand one at a time, but it became apparent that the presses were having a hard time matching the quality and color of the Giclée proofs.

They evolved into the new darlings of the art world. They are coveted by collectors, and desired by galleries because they don't have to be produced in huge quantities with their large layout of capital and storage. In addition, Giclées are produced directly from a digital file, saving generations of detail-robbing negatives and printing plates, as with traditional printing.

They are truly museum-quality Fine-Art reproductions. Even though these Giclées rival any other fine-art reproduction in longevity, perhaps the greatest benefit of Giclée prints compared with other forms of reproduction is the truly stunning accuracy of the prints. In traditional reproduction technologies, the print production-line is something like this: 1) Painting, to 2) large-format photographic film, to 3) scanner, to 4) actual-size reproduction film, to 5) press plates, to 6) final print. Even with the very best equipment and technicians, this is a lot of steps, and each stage of the reproduction process removes a little more of the original information in the artwork - the "photocopy of a photocopy" analogy describes this problem well. With Giclée prints (in association with other improvements in image-reproduction technologies) the print production-line now looks like this: 1) Painting to, 2) large-format scan-back camera to, 3) final print. This is an enormous improvement with half as many steps. Even under high magnification the dot pattern is virtually invisible and the image appears to be continuous-tone - like the original artwork itself. There are no intermediate steps between the high-resolution 200 MB scan (about 4000 times more detailed than the 50 KB image-files on this web-site) and the final print, and so there is always complete control over the value and chromatic architecture of the image. Giclée prints achieve near-perfect fidelity to the original artwork - from across the room

Giclée on Paper prints have a beautiful satin-finish, and offer the finest reproduction of the painting's "image ness"; the Giclée on Canvas prints have the look and feel of an original artwork and offer the finest reproduction of the painting's "object ness". Giclée prints are shipped rolled, in very sturdy shipping tubes. Giclée on Paper prints are meant to be framed under glass with acid-free matboard boards; Giclée on Canvas prints are meant to be stretched on canvas stretcher-bars (a service offered by most good framers) and framed with frame or gallery wrapped (no glass or matboard boards) - just like original oil paintings.

Giclée prints are a little more expensive than other kinds of fine-art reproductions (the unit cost to produce Giclée prints is 20 to 30 times more expensive than other kinds of reproduction

Giclée prints are designed to be viewed under neutral-colored light very warm incandescent light (sometimes found in homes) or very cool fluorescent light (sometimes found in offices) may affect the artwork's apparent color balance. Please remember that all artwork, fine-art reproductions and original oil paintings, MUST be kept away from direct sunlight.


 - Hawaiian Flowers  -  Hawaiiana - Beaches  Landscapes and Seascapes - Marine Life - Hawaiian Sunsets - Hawaii Birds - Just For Fun - Abstracts & Impressionist - Diamond Head - Biography - Original Paintings - Small  Original Water Color paintings - -

Not all items are available at all times, Please e-mail If you wish availability of items or questions.    

 All information and artwork is Copyright © 1997/2018 by
Award Winning Hawaii Artist and Photographer Donald K. Hall
Hawaii Art Gallery and Hawaii Art Studio