What is a Giclee Print?

Giclee (pronounced “gee-clay”), is a highly sophisticated inkjet printing process that was introduced in the late 1980s. It’s so sophisticated, in fact, that it produces prints, which truly capture the artist's original intent. Even museums have realized the vast potential of this technology and have made giclee editions a permanent part of their collections, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Museum of Modern Art (San Francisco) and Museum of Contemporary Art (Los Angeles) to name a few.

These prints are created from high-resolution digital images, using the finest quality ink and paper stock available, resulting in color saturation and image detail capture that exceeds other types of image reproduction.

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What are the advantages of creating Giclee Prints?

For starters, you have many more fans of your work than can actually afford one of your originals. By offering a giclee print of an original, you’ve enabled them to acquire art that they love, that can even be signed by you, and is an extremely close representation of the original — and available at a fraction of the price. You’ll also get to enjoy additional revenue on a singular work of art, as well as an expanded fan base and increased exposure.

Giclee editions are also so cost-effective and consistent in quality that you can order them as few as one at a time so you’re not over-extended while you continue to receive orders from your clients. This keeps you liquid, so that you can invest in even more images that connect with your public. However, if you do choose to order in large quantities to receive the Quantity Discounts, the beauty giclee prints is such that your 250th impression, is just as precise and beautiful as your 2nd.

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How much does a Giclee Edition cost?

The cost of your edition depends on 3 things: your paper or canvas substrate, the size of your print and the number of prints you order. To calculate pricing, just upload your image (or use one of our preloaded stock images), choose your substrate and enter the size of your print. The price will automatically adjust depending on your preferences. For more information on specific paper costs, please visit our Paper Substrates page.

The more you print, the more you save! If you order five or more giclee editions, you will receive quantity discounts, automatically calculated for you in our interactive framer. See discount tiers below:

Quantity Discount
5 images - 10% discount
15 images - 15% discount
25 images - 20% discount
50+ images - 30% discount

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Are there any extra fees for my Edition?

We’ve set up our Giclee Editions services so that everything can be done manually online in a DIY (Do-It-Yourself) spirit. This keeps prices low and provides the ultimate in speed and convenience. So, if you prepare your color-correct image for digital upload to our website, there are rarely unexpected fees.

Small fees apply, depending on the services you select:

  • If you do not have a digital original file to upload to our site, we charge a minimum $25 service fee for manual handling and upload of images sent to us on a CD
  • If you would like us to make color corrections to your proof, adjustment costs are $75/hr, charged in 1/4 hour increments with a minimum fee of $25
  • When working with a transparency, set-up fees start at $50 and depend upon the nature and size of the transparency
  • When working with original artwork, set-up fees start at $100 and depend upon the nature and size of the original
  • Certificates of Authenticity costs are based on quantity for a small fee
  • As anticipated, every purchase will accrue Shipping Costs

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Tell me about Certificates of Authenticity.

You will receive an optional Certificate of Authenticity for a small fee with each print ordered as part of an edition at pictureframes.com. This document adds value to your art because it confirms the authenticity, quantity and other details of your edition. Typically, Certificates of Authenticity are signed by the artist and given to the client who purchases a print from an edition.

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How long will it take to create an Edition?

Creating an edition at pictureframes.com is a quick & easy process. Once you place your order, your proof will ship within 3-4 business days. Once you’ve approved your proof and placed the final order, most orders take only 3-4 additional business days to print and leave the warehouse. If you choose to make color corrections to your proof, turnaround time will vary depending on how much adjustment is needed.

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How does the proofing process & color correcting work?

The proofing process is quick & easy. If you would like a proof for your edition, be sure to add a Printer’s Proof Stamp to your order (this option is available in our framer). Once you receive your print with the proof stamp, you will proceed in one of two ways:

  1. If you are satisfied with your print (color, size, paper, etc) you do not have to do anything further. You can keep your print & begin placing your order for your edition, which is saved in your gallery.
  2. If you would like to adjust the color, you may do so on your end and upload a new file to print. If you would like for us to make color corrections to your file, please send your print back, with your markups. We will adjust the color and upload a new file to your gallery. You may then order your second proof (or place your Editions order if the changes were minor).
  3. If you would like us to make color corrections to your proof, adjustment costs are $75/hr, charged in 1/4 hour increments with a minimum fee of $25.

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How do I number and sign my Edition?

There are a few ways to go about numbering and signing your edition.

  1. You can upload your file with your number and signature already in the file. This is a good option for those who will be printing and framing their editions.
  2. You can upload your file with your signature already in the file, and we will do the numbering on our side, for a nominal fee. This is a good option if you are printing a large quantity of prints.
  3. You can upload your file with no signature or numbering. Once the file has printed, we can ship your prints to you to sign and number manually. If you choose to add a print and frame package, you will have to ship back the prints to us to frame. We do not recommend this option for most people, as the cost of shipping and insurance can get quite expensive.

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Can I order clear bags & backing for my prints or editions?

Absolutely! This service is available during the order process in the interactive framer. Just upload your image, add an optional mat, and check the Backing Board & Clear Bag option under the Glazing Tab. Please note the largest outside dimensions for the clear bag option is 32” x 40”.

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How much will my Giclee Prints sell for?

Ultimately, the price is up to you. The following considerations should be taken when pricing your edition:

  • Consider the price of your original work, which should be much higher, as a guide to how much you will sell your editions for
  • Your gallery, representative or agent may want a percentage of the sale
  • The size of your prints will affect the price you assign your work. Consider offering multiple sizes, such as small, medium and large versions so anyone who loves your work can afford to acquire it
  • The cost of printing, matting and framing will also affect the price at which you sell your prints
  • The quantity of your edition also has an impact. Generally, limited editions are seen as collector’s items and often sell for more than open editions

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How large should I make my own digital files?

If you know how to create your own digital files, make sure they are 300 dpi/ppi (dots per inch/pixels per inch) at actual output (print) size. Also, make sure you use RGB (red/green/blue) because our printers and RIP software are profiled to print only RGB files. We prefer .tiff format with no compression, but .jpeg format is also acceptable.

Note: For those of you using Photoshop or a similar program, remember to merge all visible layers, including text layers.

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How do I upload an image file to your FTP or send a CD with my image?

We recommend uploading your artwork to our interactive framer for quick and easy processing. If your image file is larger than 250mb, we prefer you upload your files to our FTP site, available at no charge to you. You may also send a CD with multiple images for a $25 handling fee. The file must be sized at the desired print size. Please contact Customer Care via email or at 800-332-8884 to take advantage of these services.

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How large of an image can you print?

The max print size depends on which paper substrate you choose to print on. However, most of our state-of-the-art printers will print as large as 42x80+ inches. (Length is not an issue because our papers come on long continuous rolls.) We can print images with a minimum of 1 inch border as wide as 42 inches. We can stretch canvases up to 35x35 inches and ship framed images up to 55x42 inches (includes width of frame).

However, because of shipping costs, the largest presentation size (including any frame and mat additions) that you can order online is 32”x40”. If you would like to create a larger print or framed presentation, you may upload your image to our FTP site or mail us a CD with your image, free of charge. Please call Customer Care at 800-332-8884 to take advantage of these services.

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Can you scan or photograph my original artwork?

Yes, you can send us your original artwork or transparency for the greatest color accuracy for your edition. We will be able to match our digital file to your original, right here in our studio. We will photograph your original artwork and/or can scan original art. Fees apply. However, please use the utmost caution in safeguarding such precious cargo. Make sure to insure your package, protecting it against all possible mishaps, loss or damage. Use Fed Ex or UPS to ship and track, as U.S. Mail offers very limited insurance on works of art.

Please contact Customer Care via email or at 800-332-8884 to take advantage of this service.

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Can I use my own digital camera to convert my original artwork into a digital file?

It is possible, but most consumer digital cameras are not made to capture the intimate detail of brushstrokes and subtle color variations. We recommend having your work professionally scanned or photographed for the best results.

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What does my photographer need to know before shooting my work?

For the best print, your image should be photographed with an even light over the surface without any reflections from the flash or strobe because they will show up in the print. If your photographer is creating a transparency, make sure they shoot a 4x5 inch transparency with gray scale and color card. If your photographer is creating a digital file, make sure the optical file size resolution is 300 dpi/ppi (dots per inch/pixels per inch).

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What is the resolution of your printer?

We print at a resolution of 1440x720 pixels.

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Can someone copy and reproduce my work when I upload images to pictureframes.com?

No. Your uploaded high resolution images are maintained on our internal server which is firewall protected. The screen resolutions of all images on our site are deliberately too low for good print quality.

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How do I copyright my work?

According to the Library of Congress, visual artwork is considered copyrighted the moment you create it. Your work is automatically protected by the law of the United States and no one else has permission to reprint or use your work for profit in any way without your permission. However, there are legal benefits to copyrighting your work. Visit the above link for full details.

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Is it common to print a photograph on watercolor paper?

Yes. With the advancement of the giclee method, many photographers are now enjoying the choice of watercolor papers, canvas, and other substrates to gain a desired texture, softening effect and image quality.

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Can I stretch my canvas prints when they arrive?

Yes, but please take great care! Stretching a giclee printed canvas is a more delicate process than stretching a blank canvas. If you stretch too tight, the image may look as though it is cracked. If your print is damaged as you are stretching the canvas, we cannot be held responsible. We can stretch your canvas prints for you so that you don’t have to worry. If any damage occurs in the process, it will be reprinted at no cost. If you do choose to stretch your own canvas, we offer a variety of stretcher bars in all sizes & depths.

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How should I protect my prints? How long will my prints last? Are they waterproof?

Your giclee prints are guaranteed to last up to 75 years under normal gallery conditions. We do not recommend hanging your prints in direct sunlight or rooms with high humidity such as a bathroom or kitchen. We always recommend matting and framing your prints with acid free products for protection. A protective coating is applied to all canvases. They are not waterproof, however.

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My print is damaged! What do I do now?

If your prints arrive damaged, simply contact our Customer Care team via email or by calling 800-332-8884. We will quickly work with you to correct the situation. No claims will be honored more than 15 days beyond ship date for damaged packages.

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