Are Giclée Prints Worth It? Should You Buy One? (A Look at Their Value Compared to Paintings & Standard Prints)

In a nutshell, giclée prints are less expensive than the original work of art but more expensive than traditional prints.

If you’re considering whether or not to invest in a print, you’re probably wondering if the extra cost of a giclée print is worth it. This is a question that many people ask when they are looking for artwork for their home.

Here are some things to consider when deciding if a giclée print is worth the extra cost:

Is a Giclée Print Better Than a Standard Print?

In the art world, giclée prints are definitely considered to be better than “regular”, standard prints.

Here are some of the standards that a giclée print must meet in order to be considered a giclée.

  • Giclée prints are essentially inkjet prints. The main benefit of using an inkjet printer is that its printing process provides museum-quality prints.
  • Giclées are made using archival pigment-based inks. If kept in darkness and in specific environmental conditions, pigment-based inks can last up to 200 years without noticeable fading or yellowing.
  • Giclée prints are often used by artists to make limited-edition prints* of their work, as they are extremely accurate reproductions and high-quality. They’re often signed and numbered by the artist.
  • Giclée prints have a much wider color gamut. This means that they can reproduce more colors, making them more accurate representations of the original image.
  • Giclée prints also have a higher resolution than traditional prints, meaning that they will be sharper and more detailed.
  • Under standard home or office lighting, without sunlight, you can expect a framed giclée printed on the highest-quality fine art paper to last up to 85 years without any noticeable fading. (Any artwork exposed to sunlight will fade.)
  • Additionally, giclée prints are made with a finer quality of paper or canvas that is acid-free and of archival quality. This means they will have better longevity and look better over time compared to “non-giclée” prints.

Even though a giclée print is a reproduction (a copy), one advantage of buying limited-edition giclée prints is they usually increase in value over time because of their premium quality and rarity. They typically become more valuable as the artist becomes more well-known, retires, or passes away, so they’re definitely worth collecting.

Can You Tell the Difference Between an Original Paintings and a Giclées?

Is there any difference between the look of a giclée print and an original painting?

It depends. With the popularity and advancing techniques of producing giclée prints, it’s getting harder to tell the difference between paintings and premium giclée prints.

Here are a few tips to help you tell the difference:

  • One of the easiest ways to tell if you’re looking at an original painting or a print is by the price. Generally, originals will be a lot more expensive than prints. If you’re not sure, ask the seller or gallery owner for more information.
  • Look at the texture. Paintings will usually have more texture and brushstrokes than giclée prints, due to the nature of the medium used (e.g. painting vs. giclée printing). A giclée print will look smoother and more polished.
  • Check the Signature. Most artists will sign their name on an original work of art, but not necessarily on a giclée print.
  • Finally, take a close look at the colors. With original paintings, you’ll often see more variation in color because the paint has been mixed by hand.

Conclusion: Are Giclée Prints Worth the Extra Cost?

Giclée prints are more expensive than other types of prints, but they are also more durable and the printing process allows for a lot of detail and color to be captured in the print.

So, are giclée prints worth the price?

That depends on what you’re looking for in a print.

If you want something that will last a long time and look great, then a giclée print is probably a good investment.

Or, if you plan on buying art as an investment and you can’t afford an original work of art, then a limited edition giclée print is a financially viable alternative.

And, if you’re an artist, printing giclées might actually increase the value of your original artwork. Plus, you’ll make extra money from the same artwork with little effort!

So is a giclée print for everyone?

No. If you’re just looking for something to hang on your wall for a few years, then you might be better off with a standard print that’s more affordable.

The answer really depends on what you plan to do with the print.