What is a Gicleé?

To classify as a gicleé, a print must meet certain industry standards. The simplest way to understand these standards is: Highest-Quality and Longest-Lasting.

When you purchase a work of art, you expect it to be created with materials that look and feel excellent. You also assume the work will last for generations. 

A gicleé fits these two qualifications to the highest possible degree while still being a facsimile of the original.

In order to achieve this, the materials must be 100% acid free, temperature and moisture resistant, and able to withstand decades of UV exposure without any noticeable degradation. The manufacturers of our canvas, ink, and varnish have had their products tested to withstand over 100 years of exposure to the elements before any noticeable degradation occurs. The pigment-based ink (as opposed to dye-based ink in most printers) is fascinating. Each microscopic particle of ink is encapsulated in a dispersion liquid to ensure uniformity during printing (Fig. 1). The printer also has a dedicated tank for a clear-coat that is sprayed on after the colored ink (Fig. 2).

Figure 1: Dispersant keeps the ink droplets from coagulating.
Figure 2: The latest technology puts a clear overcoat on the ink to provide a perfectly uniform surface.


The image printed with these materials must also be of the highest quality. We employ the use of a seven-figure scanner (the same model used by the Smithsonian) to get perfect color accuracy and a 3-dimensional mapping of the surface. This means that colors are identical to the original and all the brushstrokes are captured without any distracting glare. Every square inch is an exact 1-for-1 copy of the original. There's no blurriness at the corners, no fuzzy areas where a cut-rate photo or cheap scan would produce a poor replica.

David's "Fearless Mother" at the scanner

David's "Fearless Mother" in front of the scanner in Nashville.


Using the highest quality materials and the best technology, we're able to take our originals and produce extremely high quality gicleés in our home shop. You can buy with confidence, knowing that we wouldn't sell anything that isn't made to last generations.

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