Giclee Prints vs. Photographic Prints

Giclee comes from the French word nozel and spray and its pronounced jee-clay. Giclee prints are made using a special inkjet printer which sprays quality inks instead of using a dot matrix printer.

This spray printing method allows for a crisp image that is true to the original in color and sharpness. The inks used in Giclee are based on CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) but also can have additional cartridges for variations on the CMYK making for more color variations.

Giclee prints can be printed on canvas and watercolor paper as well as many others, so they’re very versatile. Giclee prints will give you beautiful reproductions of the original art. The ink will not fade and the colors will be brighter and truer to the actual art piece.

Because the process required to create this quality print is so complicated the price of a giclee print will be more. C-Print or Chromogenic Photo Prints are prints made using light sensitive chemical reactions as in photography. The print is made onto color sensitive paper which is exposed to LED lights to create color dyes straight onto the paper, giving you a quality photographic image.

These prints are on usually made on glossy, semi-gloss or matte photo paper. The prints cost considerably less than a Giclee print. They look very nice when framed correctly.

The downside is these prints very much look like a photograph and since there are only three ink combinations the blacks tend to be a little washed out and the colors not quite as crisp. When deciding between a Giclee print and a C-print consider what you want the image for.

If this is an image of a piece of art you want to show in your home or your business and you expect to enjoy it for years to come then Giclee is your best option. The quality of the print will shine for years to come giving you the investment of archival inks and archival paper.

If what you’re looking for is a pretty image to brighten your wall but you aren’t looking for a centerpiece but just something nice to look at for a while a C-print photo will show nicely. Invest in a nice $20 frame and it will look very nice adding to any room’s décor.

We hope this helps to clarify the differences between Giclee and c-print photos. If you have questions or you’re trying to decide which to get, contact us anytime. We’ll be glad to answer any questions you have...


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