Two years ago, I setup an online shop in order to sell my art prints. As I was preparing some example images to show paper quality and print packaging, I realized I could label my art print work with the term 'giclée.'
What is a giclée print?
I then learned that it’s nothing too crazy – and it’s not a fancy term for some old-style French printing process, either. It wasn’t a term that was frequented in my video classes at school, nor did I know many artists at the time who print their work – so, I looked into it.
A giclée print is a high-quality, inkjet print. Specialty paper, special printing process with an inkjet printer. My 200+ prints are all 'giclée prints,' or high-quality, archival art prints.
Basically - it's basic. It looks great from a marketing standpoint - as a buyer. However, once you know what you're looking at, you realize that it's just a marketing tactic; any professionally-printed work of art should be archival, and many are giclée. In fact, you can find examples of giclée art prints through Pinterest, learning more about prints and the printing process.
And 'Archival' prints are prints that withstand time. For instance, 'archival tape' is tape used on artwork that doesn't have certain chemicals in it that will yellow the paper, or fade the art beneath it. Paper, itself, along with special ink and these printing processes, can also be 'archival' and preserve artworks for a longer period of time.
Here's a great description of some archival printing and paper found via www.candelafineart.com:
Archival Inkjet Printing, also known as Pigment or Giclée Printing, is the preferred digital printing choice for artists due to its longevity and versatility. Our Canon IPF9400 and IPF8400 large-format printers use 12 separate inks with multiple black and gray channels for the most accurate color reproduction. With archival ratings in the 60-100 year range, these prints set the standard by which all photographic printing is measured.