What is Giclée?

Let's first define the printing system called Iris which is created and manufactured by Iris Graphics of Bedford, MA. This Iris printer uses information from a digital file to produce full color prints using cyan, magenta, yellow and black inks. Prints created on Iris systems modified to produce longer lasting images on heavier rag papers are often called "Giclée"( French for " a spray of water" and pronounced "zshee-clay").

The Iris sprays an amazing four million droplets of ink per second toward the paper, mounted on a drum. To precisely control where the ink is to be placed, the printer electronically selects or rejects each microscopic ink droplet, while the drum spins past the print nozzles at speed of 100-250 inches per second.Ink droplets measure 15 microns, approximately the size of a red blood cell. By placing 0-124 droplets onto any pixel location, the Iris can vary the size of the individual pixels that makeup the printed image This gives the image the appearance of continuous tone…even under magnification!

What about permanency?

The materials that will be used on a Dwayne Hickman Iris Giclée have been tested by Henry Wilhelm of the Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. Grinnell, Iowa, the leading independent authority on color stability for many forms of prints. The inksets that are used have a longevity rating of 20-75 years under testing at 450 lux, 12 hours per day. That is 36 times more light than "museum conditions" of 50 lux, 3 hours per day. The substrate used for the Iris Giclée will be museum quality Arches Cold Press 356 gsm.


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Last modified: November 20, 1999