Few words about giclées:
The Giclée (pronounced "jeeclay") method of printmaking, sometimes referred to as the "Iris" (after the original machine that produced the print), is the latest technological advancement in the world of Fine Art Printing.
Fine art IRIS Prints -- also known as Giclée Prints -- are high resolution dye sublimation prints which are the recognized standard for fine art digital printing. The color, detail and tonal quality of these prints is comparable to a cibachrome photograph with the added advantage of allowing for printing on a wide range of materials. Originally designed for paper, now widely used on canvas, a giclée, if stored in a dark place, will last forever; and, with the new archival waterproof inks, expect a little fading in the colors after 100 to 200 years! More info
The process involves a tight cooperation between the Artist and the printing operator: First, a high resolution digital picture is made from the original, sometimes with a flatbed scanner for the small formats but generally with a very high resolution digital camera (100 mega pixels) for small and larger work. Special lighting is used on the set and a picture may take over 6 minutes to be scanned. If the picture of a painting on canvas is enlarged on a computer screen, you would be able to see the minute weaving hair of the linen. The image is then manipulated to the size and resolution needed. Samples are made using information on inks and the kind of printer and medium (canvas or paper) until the artist is satisfied with the fidelity of the reproduction. The image and the information for printing is then copied onto a CD-ROM.
From this stored image, the printing operator will be able to print any number of giclées of any size with the same definition and colors. It will then be the job of the artist to sign and number the artwork.