Pronounced similar to "jee CLAY", Giclee is an American rendition of the french word giclée which is literally translated as "Squirt" or "jet" or to some "spit ink".
The word describes a practice of producing or reproducing art using ink jet printers.
But what takes a print from a normal home printer or laser printer to a giclée is not just the technology, but rather the combination of the substrate (paper), ink pigment, technology, hardware, software, and the technician.
Why should you care if the song is in stereo, or if your movie is in HD, or that the meal you ordered tastes good? Giclee is the practice of producing highest quality reproductions that you can sense and gravitate towards, even if you can't explain why.
This especially comes into play when reproducing photographs of people. All the technical and artistic parts in tandem will produce a piece you can connect with emotionally, and never doubt the authenticity behind the product.
Giclee Printers use the highest printing resolution, saturation or density, and color space capabilities to attempt a 1:1 color, resolution, and dynamic range reproduction as the original piece.
Of course, in the case that 1:1 reproductions aren't possible, as in the case of say an original sunlit scene, the giclee intent is rendered in a way that brings the observer closest to what the artist had captured. But in a print medium.
Due to the complexities of human site and our ability to sense far more than we can describe, giclee printing encompasses the practice of producing wide light and color gamut images with a limited combination of inks, in a way that we sense a depth to the reproduction that we can feel.
Some may call is saturation, others may call it depth, or contrast, or "punchy" and perhaps even "rich" but it boils down to using ink pigments in combination, and in such high resolution and ink density, that our eyes stop seeing the dots, and our brains stop begging for more color.
Despite a lot of borrowed words to try and spice up an artistic and technical practice, we at PrintHaus use the term to describe our unapologetic approach to printing the highest quality and longest lasting premium prints that science and our industry has invented.