What Is Giclee on Canvas?

What Is Giclee on Canvas? (Meaning)

Please note: In this article, I’ll be writing giclee without the accent, but you’ll also see this word spelled with an accent on the e: giclĂ©e.

Before we talk about what it means to have a giclee on canvas, it’s best if we begin by looking at what are the basic differences between the terms print and giclee.

What Is A Print?

A print is a printed reproduction of an original work of art. They’re printed using different techniques and using different materials.

Types of prints include:

  • Giclees
  • Digital Prints
  • Lithographs
  • Etchings
  • Screenprints
  • Letterpress prints


An example of a print is in Society6’s product video (below). They promote their art prints as “gallery quality giclee prints”.

Product Video: Society6 Art Prints

What Is A Giclee Print?

A giclee is a type of print.

Giclees are prints that have been printed using an inkjet printer. But it’s important to note that not all inkjet prints are giclee prints.

Typically, giclees follow these standards:

  • Inkjet Printer: Standard inkjet prints are made using dye-based inks. Giclees are made using pigment-based inks.
  • High Resolution and Color: They have the sharpest detail and highest resolution, displaying a full-color spectrum. Giclees capture every shade of an original work.
  • Archival Paper: The paper or surface used must be acid-free and of archival quality to ensure longevity.

Basically, giclee prints are better than regular prints because the standards mentioned above are what make them high-quality prints that are very resistant to fading and yellowing.

What Does Giclee on Canvas Mean?

A giclee canvas print is an image printed on canvas material with the standards of a giclee print mentioned above. Canvas prints look similar to oil and acrylic paintings because their surface has the same texture.

Canvas prints are usually made from cotton, polyester, or linen (flax). But, some specialty fibers, such as hemp and jute, are also used for canvas surfaces.

Today, canvas prints are usually sold as some kind of stretched canvas print. This just means that the canvas has been pulled tightly over a wooden frame. The staples that hold the canvas to the wooden frame will either be on the sides or the back of the stretched canvas.

Here’s an example of what a stretched canvas typically looks like is in Society6‘s product video.

Product Video: Society6 Canvas Prints

Are Giclee Prints Worth Anything?

You might hear some people say that giclees aren’t valuable. But I totally disagree! I think they’re a worthy investment.

Here are the top reasons why I think giclee prints are valuable:

  1. Giclees have the support of fine art experts. They are collected and displayed by famous museums from around the world, like the Louvre and the Metropolitan Museum.
  2. They are very accurate, archival prints. Sometimes, it’s very difficult to distinguish between giclees and the original artwork.
  3. It’s not uncommon for limited edition giclee prints to go up in value because of their rarity and high quality. They also become more valuable as the artist becomes more well-known.

Cheapest Places To Buy Top-Quality Giclee Canvas Prints

Here are my favorited places to get the cheapest, high-quality giclee prints.

If I’m looking for more super inexpensive giclee prints, I’ll usually browse through Etsy and Amazon and read the reviews until I find something I like with a 4 or 5-star rating.

Some more of my favorite places to look for giclee prints are iCanvas, Society6, Redbubble, and Inktuitive. These companies are all known to be top-quality producers of giclee prints.

iCanvas and Inktuitive have high-quality prints at discounted prices. Plus, iCanvas has free shipping in the contiguous United States, and Inktuitive has free shipping to most locations around the world!

Another place I like the buy giclee prints is Minted (you can also get custom giclee prints made from a Minted artist). You’ll end up paying slightly more for these giclee prints, but they’re of premium quality and are limited editions, so they’re more valuable than most giclee prints.

And, last but not least, if I’m looking to buy giclee prints as an investment, Saatchi Art is where I go! Just like minted, these giclee prints are usually limited editions, they’re curated by a team of professionals, and are usually more valuable (but a little more expensive) than the giclee prints from the sites mentioned above.

So, go ahead and buy giclee canvas prints, support independent artists, and HAVE FUN shopping!