Posted on Leave a comment

Gettin’ Giclée Wit It

Visit Duncan Grant’s gallery
For some time now, thanks to the high quality images taken by my good friend, photographer, Roger Crosby, I’ve been able to offer prints of all my artwork, as well as selling the originals. These high quality photographs were good. They looked pretty close to the originals, especially when they were mounted and framed.

But from now on, if you order a print from me, it will be a Giclée print, produced by renowned East London-based printers, The Print Space. The quality of their work is fantastic, so I think you’ll be very pleased with the result.

Duncan Grant: Books
Books: A giclée print I sold recently

Giclée printing has a number of advantages:

1.   The quality will be better. Often with a Giclée print, it is almost impossible to distinguish the print from the original.

2.   You’ll be able to order your prints in different sizes.
Most of my ink drawings are A4. Because I draw them on my lap, often in my van, it’s just a more manageable size. But now I will be able to offer prints in A3 or A4 formats.

I’ll be putting a price for A4 and A3 prints on my website but if  you’d like a bigger size, contact me and I can let you know if the quality of the original image will allow a bigger print and, if so, how much it will cost.

Duncan Grant: Kitchen
Kitchen: A giclée print I sold recently

It might take me a whle to update all the art on my website – there are hundreds of pictures up there and I’ve made a start – but A4 (mounted prints) will be £65 and A3 (mounted prints) will be £80. Add £8 for an A4 frame and £12 for an A3 frame. If you find you can’t order the option you want online yet, just get in touch and I’ll add the options to the one you want.

Similarly, if you would like a print of a picture that is a non-standard shape – there are a few – just let me know and I’ll see if it can be done.

3.   With giclée printing, the print stays in mint condition for longer. Because the type of ink and paper used for giclée prints, they won’t fade when they are displayed in normal conditions indoors. The colours should stay true for decades – I’ve heard 80-200 years from different sources.

So what is a giclée print?

Jack Duganne
Jack Duganne

The term ‘giclée’ comes from French and means ‘a spurt of liquid’. It was coined, in 1991, by  American printmaker Jack Duganne, who died last year.  He wanted to find a word that would differentiate fine art prints from commercial printers’ proofs.  Today, it is used to describe a printing process that uses large-format inkjet printers that can match colours and apply ink precisely, to produce exceptionally high quality prints of original artwork.

The ‘recipe’ for a commercial quality giclée  print requires four ingredients.

Duncan Grant: Norfolk Sun
Norfolk Sun: Another giclée print sold recently

First you need an image of  the piece of art that you want to print. That can be a digital image from a camera or a scan. The important thing is that the resolution must be high. Most digital images have a resolution of 72 DPI (dots per inch). For giclée printing, the image file will need to be at least 300 DPI. The greater the DPI, the more detailed your print will appear. If the DPI is too low, the print will lose detail and reproduction of the colours will be less accurate.

When it comes to printing, the type of ink you use is also very important.  Giclée printing requires ‘archival quality’ inks. These  are pigment-based,  rather than the dye-based inks that are usually found in inkjet printers. Pigment-based inks are permanent and are resistant to  light, heat and water.  So you can expect a giclée print to last a lifetime without fading or staining.

©ThePrint Space
©The Print Space

The quality of the paper used is the third element in achieving a successful giclée print.  My prints are  on Hahnemühle German Etching paper, which is a heavyweight, acid-free paper with ‘a slightly warm base tone’ and ‘a strong mottled texture’.  I have been really impressed with the finish. The texture of the paper means that it can hold more ink and it captures the light, resulting in a print that has strong colours and deep blacks.

The final ingredient to make your perfect giclée print is a great big inkjet printer – but not just any old inkjet printer. Traditional inkjet printers use the classic cyan/magenta/yellow/black (CMYK-4) colour combination, whereas inkjet printers used to make giclée  prints are able to hold up to twelve different coloured ink cartridges.

If you order a giclée print from me it will be despatched directly from The Print Space, but before it is sent, I get to see it online in a virtual room. I also get tracking details so I know when it has been delivered safely.

So there you are.  Happy Easter!

Here is a link to my gallery – off you go!  😉

©The Print Space
©The Print Space

Links to the images featured in this blog are:
Norfolk Sun

All  printing images are  ©The Print Space
Contact them at or call them on +44 (0) 207 739 1060