Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Giclee? How about Gi-cliche?

One of my BIGGEST pet-peeves in the reproductive fine art print world today is the use of the word "giclee" to mean "made on an inkjet printer." Why? Mainly because the term giclee gives us no information about the printing process, unlike older photographic terms like gelatin silver print, platinum palladium print, chromogenic print, and even some of the newer terms used to refer to prints made on inkjets like archival pigment print or digital c-print.

According to the ever-helpful Wikipedia, the word "giclee" is derived from the french "glicer" meaning "to squirt, spurt, or spray," and was coined by a printer wanting to differentiate Iris proof prints from the finer art prints being made on the same printers. The history here, however, is somewhat superfluous to me because I have absolutely no problem with the coining and early use of this term. My problem is with the fact that such a clearly nonsensical and euphemistic word has gained popularity over more clear and to the point terms (like the aforementioned archival pigment print and digital c-print). Is the public really that easy to fool? Would we really rather hear some bastardized French-sounding gobbledygook than a clear, concise description of the printing process?

In addition to all this, "giclee" just kind of sounds gross when you say it. And it sounds like that awful JLo movie "Gigli." Gross.

1 comment:

  1. yes the public is that easy to fool, they like bad art, and it is a stupid name.