Imagination Center: Large Format Printing and Trade Show DisplaysSupporting the Design Community since 1986

Fine Arts & Giclée Printing

computer and printing collage

What is Giclée?

It all depends on who you ask. What seems to be the most widely accepted definition is ink jet printing utilizing a printer, which uses archival inks and uses 6 or more inks. Giclée is used to reproduce fine art in limited quantities. Because it uses archival inks, the prints are supposed to last much longer without fading, compared to standard ink jet printing (estimated range from 25 years to 200 years, but since archival inks have only been out for a few years, the actual longevity is highly speculative).

Since the "giclée" printers use 6 or more inks, they typically have a much wider color gamut, able to accurately reproduce more colors than standard inkjet printers. Since the biggest trick in fine arts printing is matching the original as closely as possible, having this additional color depth gives "giclée" printers a significant advantage over 4-color printers.

The printer we use for our Giclée printing is the Epson 9600, using the Ultrachrome ink set. The 9600 uses a 7-color process, incorporating Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black, Light Cyan, Light Magenta and Light Black. The 9600 utilizes the Micro-Piezo print head. This print head supports variable dot size output offering a continuous tone look.

Our Equipment

We use a host of Epson printers using the Epson Archival Ink Sets. The printers and inks we employ include an Epson 9600 using UltraChrome inks, an Epson 9880 using the K3 inks, and the Epson 9900 also using the K3 ink sets. The 9600 uses 7 inks, the 9880 uses 8 inks, and the 9900 uses 11 inks, offering an incredible range of color!