Giclée, pronounced zhee-KLAY, is a term coined by printmaker Jack Duganne in 1991 for fine art digital prints produced on inkjet printers. It derives from the French verb gicler, meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray"; the feminine noun of the verb is (la) giclée or "that which is sprayed or squirted". The term is now generally accepted to describe high quality art and photographic inkjet printing using archival pigment inks.
It is difficult to describe the difference between a good giclée and a standard photograph or art reproduction, but, assuming the source image is of good quality, you can expect prints with outstanding clarity and great colour depth.
Giclée printers have a wide colour gamut that can accurately reproduce more colours and produce prints with a degree of colour saturation that cannot be achieved by other printing processes. Our giclée printers use a 12-colour ink set that delivers outstandingly vivid and accurate colours by including both RGB and CMYK inks.
Archival pigment inks have a much greater fade resistance than dye-based inks and, when combined with archival papers, produce prints than can easily last for over 100 years.
Digital image files can contain embedded colour profiles or be associated with colour profiles (working spaces such as such as sRGB, Adobe RGB or ProPhoto) in editing. A colour profile, known as an ICC profile, is a data set that characterises a colour input or output device, or a colour space.
During the printing process the input ICC profile of the digital image is matched to the appropriate output ICC profile representing the combination of the printer and paper being used. This translation ensures that colours are accurately reproduced in print.