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What Type of Printer Is Used for Giclee Printing?

Giclee printing is a process of creating high-quality fine art prints and has quickly become a favorite among photographers and artists. But why is this printing method so special? What type of printer is used for Giclee printing?

Continue reading as we introduce you to the types of printers and other materials needed for giclee printing and explore their role in the art world.

What Type of Printer Is Used for Giclee Printing?

So, what type of printer is used for Giclee printing? Unlike most printer types, which usually use traditional CMYK inks, a wide-format inkjet printer is needed for giclee printing. Due to the high quality of the print, such printers should contain more than 10 pigments. Whether you make the prints yourself or hire a giclee print service, you will be positively surprised by the depth and quality of such prints.

What Type of Printer Is Used for Giclee Printing?
Source: / Photo Contributor: Matveev Aleksandr

Most common materials used for Giclee Printing

In addition to a quality printer, you need several elements to help you create high-quality art. That is why in the following, we will explain the most common materials and elements that you will need for giclee printing:

Archival paper

Archival paper is commonly used to capture the beauty and quality of a print. For this purpose, you can use thick, archival, acid-free paper made of 100% cotton. This type of paper gives the colors a vibrant quality and ensures the ink adheres properly. 

In addition, the absence of acid and other archival properties ensures that the paper will not turn yellow or show signs of aging over time. If, on the other hand, you want another type of paper besides cotton rag, you can choose canvas or matte. Such papers may have optical brightening agents or OBAs that create high-quality images of longevity and uniqueness.

Archival ink

Archival ink is a carefully designed medium for bringing giclee prints to life. It is based on pigments and contains small, suspended-colored particles. Unlike regular digital printers that use dye-based inks, archival ink has superior color tone and durability. When applied to archival paper, it can withstand smudging, weathering, and fading.

Art file

If you want to create a high-quality print, you should pay attention to the art file and its characteristics. In general, if you are printing, be sure to choose a high-quality file. But when it comes to Giclee printing, high-resolution quality should be the only choice. The clearer the digital image, the more color nuances and depth you will get in your print. 

For this purpose, you should look for digital images with a resolution of 300 dpi or higher. If you have a digital image with more dpi (dots per inch), the finer the details, the better the quality of the image. However, before you plan your print, pay attention to your computer's storage. These files usually take up a lot of space, so you'll want to get extra memory on your hard drive to make more different prints.

Giclée Prints vs. Digital Prints

Although there is no difference between giclee prints and standard digital prints at first glance, several factors significantly separate them. Such factors refer to:

Print quality

When comparing print quality, Giclee prints show superior quality compared to standard digital printing. This is due to their high resolution of 300 DPI or higher and the wide range of colors they have.

Giclée Prints vs. Digital Prints
Source: / Photo Contributor: Marco Regalia


Giclee prints use archival pigment-based inks and high-quality media that guarantee durability and longevity. On the other hand, standard digital prints use ink and paper of lower quality and may fade over time.


Giclee prints are designed to last a long time because they use archival-grade materials. Such prints are also quite resistant to fading and degradation. On the other hand, standard digital prints are more prone to fading over time and are less durable.


Regarding application, Giclee prints are typically used for high-quality photographic prints and fine art reproductions where detail and durability are paramount. On the other hand, standard digital prints are used for everyday needs like printing brochures, personal photos, or posters.


Knowing what type of printer is used for Giclee printing is the first step to producing a high-quality print that will be long-lasting and fade-resistant. In addition, the use of archival papers and canvas adds extra quality and durability, making them the preferred choice for fine art and photographic reproduction.

Giclee prints differ significantly from standard prints in terms of materials, quality, and longevity. They offer a wider color palette, superior detail, and longevity that standard digital prints cannot achieve.

In the end, giclee print is the optimal choice to meet your expectations if you want to reproduce your artwork.


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