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What does giclee mean?

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"Giclee" is a word commonly heard when describing canvas prints produced using high resolution digital printing technology. The French word "giclee" (pronounced zhee-clay) is a feminine noun meaning spurt or squirt. "Giclee" probably comes from the verb "gicler" meaning to spurt or to squirt. In basic terms the canvas is being "squirted" with pigments by nozzles with an approximate diameter of one millionth of the diameter of a hair. Giclée reproductions were originally developed in 1989 as a digital method of fine art printing. Images were scanned, digitally stored on a computer, sent through a designated computer for formatting and alignment then to the high-resolution inkjet printer. The quality was better than traditional printing presses because a much wider colour range and higher resolution could be offered, and different sizes could be printed on demand. Originally Giclee printing offered painters and photographers a viable new medium with which to reproduce their work ... more
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