The word Giclee comes from the French for "to spray". Giclee prints offer high-resolution imaging and long term colour fidelity through the use of light-fast high quality archival inks.
The process of making a Giclee print involves images being generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various surfaces including canvas, fine art and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction. Giclee prints are typically created using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers.
The earliest prints to be called Giclee were created in the early 1990s on Iris printers. The technique was originally developed to produce pre-press proofs from digital files for jobs where colour matching was critical such as product containers and magazine publication. The introduction of archival inks to the process meant that it could be used to produce high quality long lasting images ideal for artists creating limited editions. Artists are also attracted by the flexibility of Giclee, allowing them to produce a wide variety of sizes, on a variety of mediums and the ability to print on demand.