Giclee Prints vs. Chromogenic Print Photo
The word giclee is derived from the french word for nozel and spray and is pronounced jee-clay. Giclee prints come from a special inkjet printer which sprays the archival quality inks instead of using a dot matrix. This spray allows for a much more crisp image that is truer to the original artwork in color and sharpness. The inks are based on CMYK (cyan, magenta, yellow and black) but also can have additional cartridges for variations on the CMYK making for a broader range of color creation.
Additionally, giclee prints can be printed on a number of different media including canvas and watercolor paper as well as others.
The obvious advantage of giclee is the crisp beautiful reproduction of an original art piece. The ink will not fade and the colors will be brighter and truer to the actual art piece. The downside of giclee prints are the price. Because the process required to create this quality print is so complicated the price of a giclee print can be pretty high.
C-Print or Chromogenic Photo Prints are prints made using a light sensitive chemical reactions, like in traditional photography. The print is made onto color sensitive paper which is exposed to led lights to create the color dyes CMY straight onto the paper. The result is a quality photographic image. These prints are on either glossy, semi-gloss or matte photo paper. The upside to these prints are the cost point which is considerably less then a giclee print. They look nice especially if framed. 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 as bright or crisp.
When deciding between a costly giclee print and a cheaper C-print consider what you want the image for. If this is an image of a piece of art you absolutely adore, you want it shown prominently in your home or your business and you expect to enjoy it for years to come then giclee is really the best option. The quality of the print will shine for years to come giving you the investment of archival inks and archival paper or canvas. On the other hand if what you are looking for is a pretty image to brighten your wall but you aren’t looking for a center piece per se just something nice to look at for a while a c-print photo will do the job. Invest in a nice $20 frame for it and hang it using good art hanging guidelines and it will look very nice adding to any rooms décor.
I hope this little article helps to clarify the differences between giclee and c-print photos. If you are still wondering about something or trying to decide which to get shoot me a message or leave a comment below. I will be happy to answer any questions you have.
Stay tuned for my next article: How to Hang Art: Gallery, Museum, Business and Home Decor