Turns out “gicleé” (as in, “gicleé print”) is essentially just French for “ink jet.” I felt really stupid when I found that out. The art world definitely had me fooled. I thought gicleé prints were some fancy kind of screenprints or something.
I was looking at some of Frank Chimero’s work (I like the California drawing, though I don’t get what monogrammed towels have to do with Oklahoma), which he lists as “8×8″ giclee prints.” Though I’ve been curious about this term before, I usually see it in art galleries or museums, where I forget about it before I can look it up. Today, however, my questions were easily resolved through the sticky threads of the interweb.
In truth, it was the prices of the prints that gave me pause. 8 x 8 is not very big, but still, $15 seemed cheap for so many colors. It made me wonder, what kind of printing is this, exactly?
The lesson here, friends, is that if you’re going to church up the description of a product to make it sound fancier than it is, the price should probably be fancy as well. Otherwise, savvy shoppers like myself get suspicious, and look up French printing terms on Wikipedia, ruining it for everyone.