Frequently Asked Questions

What is Giclée Printing?

The short answer is that it's the finest quality that you can get when you want to make prints of original art work.  The quality is so good; an untrained eye might not notice the difference.  The word Giclée, pronounced (zhee-klay) is most likely a derivation of the French verb “gicler" meaning “to squirt."  The process of giclée printing provides more color accuracy than other means of reproduction because it is an individually produced, high-resolution, high-fidelity process done on a special large format printer. Our giclées are produced from digital scans of existing original artwork by Bernard S. Clendenin.   Other artists now produce only digital art; there is no "original" that can be hung on a wall.

Giclée prints should not be confused with Iris prints, which are four color ink-jet prints (pioneered in the 1970s) as they typically use eight to twelve color ink-jet printers.  Today's printers are capable of producing more detailed prints that 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 of color for giclées is far beyond that of lithography and details are crisper.  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.

Giclées use inkjet technology far more sophisticated than your desktop printer, employing the use of six colors; light cyan, cyan, light magenta, magenta, yellow and black.  More specifically the ink is of lightfast quality pigmented inks and finer, more numerous, and replaceable print heads.  This results in a wider color range and the ability to use various media to print on. The ink is sprayed onto the page, actually mixing the color on the page to create true shades and hues. 

Clendenin Fine Art Concepts giclées 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, all at once; but giclées rarely exceed 5-50 reproductions, one at a time.  CFAC has developed a pricing formula taking into consideration the cost of production and the value of the original painting.  Other considerations that determine the sale price of our giclée prints include but are not limited to the following:  quality of the original painting, subject matter, style and the reputation of the artist.

Giclées were originally developed as a proofing system for lithograph printing presses, but it became apparent that the presses were having a hard time delivering the quality and color of the giclée proofs. They evolved into the new darlings of the art world. They are coveted by collectors for their fidelity and quality, and desired by galleries because they don't have to be produced in huge quantities with their large layout of capital and storage.

All prints are available on loose canvas, canvas foam board as well as our choice of watercolor paper. For special requests, please Contact Us to request a quote.