Why buy a Limited Edition Giclee?

If you’ve been to an art show or anywhere an artist is selling their work recently you may have noticed the word giclee. You may have thought, “What the hell does that mean?” But didn’t actually ask.
Giclee isn’t the oldest word in the book, and though any artist selling quality prints knows what it means, it’s not a surprise that a lot of art enthusiasts do not, and this is why. Giclee is a moderately new, but insanely high quality, form of reproducing art work. The prints (if you are getting them from a reputable fine art printer) are on archival quality paper or canvas (a print is paper a canvas print is canvas), which means they are sturdy and will stand up to time.
But that’s not the best part. Not at all. The best part is how closely these reproductions look like the original. And do you know why? Instead of using standard ink, from say an ink jet printer, a giclee printer uses a very high quality archival ink. Since the very first time I saw a giclee, I’ve seen people unable to distinguish between an original and a giclee. So, let’s just say, they are impressive. And they are archival.
Now, I know what you are asking, “How do you say giclee?” I know you’re asking because I remember the first time I was in a gallery and saw the word but couldn’t ask about it because I had no idea how to get that out of my mouth. Lol. Here you go http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=dbKalNSezns 🙂 Your welcome.

Side note- giclees generally come in three forms, two popular and one to look out for. 1) The giclee print. This is the flat print on archival art paper. 2) The giclee on canvas, usually gallery wrapped. This means it’s on a canvas, ready to hang, and you don’t have to frame. 3) This is what you have to watch out for, “unstretched giclee on canvas” or “rolled giclee on canvas” this means it’s printed on a canvas material but not mounted on a frame. This is NOT ready to hang and really only a good idea if you know how to stretch your own canvas and for some reason want too. (I never offer this option, seems confusing to a buyer to me.)

Now, finally, why limited edition, and does that really matter? Well, if you’ve ever bought and resold something that was a limited edition you know how quickly these things can sky rocket in value. Or even better, wanted to buy something that had been a limited edition.
Quick story- we made the mistake of letting my daughter make a $15 limited edition care bear her favorite toy. 3 years later when we thought she lost it and we needed to replace it, we could only find them on eBay, for $90.
Now that’s a little different, because first of all, they were originally sold at a chain toy store and I guarantee way more than 100-200 were sold (the typical amount in a LE print collection) and… A care bear isn’t art work. 🙂

But the point is, when a limited edition of anything is sold out… The only people that can ever sell one again is an owner of one of the few. That makes the price a bargaining tool, and it can increase very substantially in value. Plus, obviously, that makes it rare, and by human nature, we value rare things, don’t we?
Would you rather have a 1/100 fine art print signed and numbered by the artist hanging in your nursery or a poster of something a thousand other kids have? In the end, that really depends on your taste.
But I personally do love a good limited edition giclee!! 🙂 I had one in my son’s nursery I bought from a local artist and every time I walked in the room it made me feel good, which is why I used the nursery example. 🙂

The end! 🙂 Have a good day! Feel free to leave additional facts or questions or comments in the comment section.


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About ndieckman

Artist. Writer. Yoga Teacher. Wife, and Mom of 3.

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