Dear Antler, What is “giclée” printing?

Dear Jed,

Thank you for sharing your website and advice. I am captivated by your blog, and your swanky outfit….as well as the art showing in the gallery. I love your site and think it's perfect. There was just one word I didn't understand. On your FAQs, you mention giclée printing. Does the term giclée originate from the Cervidae (deer) family or elsewhere?


Lucky Dog

Dear Lucky,

Thank you for your message. 

Giclée (pronounced zhee-klay) printing refers to a method of printing fine art reproductions using high-quality inkjet printers. The word comes from the French gicleur, or "nozzle," referring to the way in which the ink is applied onto paper during the process. 

I contacted an art historian friend of mine who let me know that there is in fact a link to the Cervidae family of deer and deer-like animals. Apparently, the first time that giclée printing was used was in the production of posters for the popular Disney cartoon Bambi. Evidently, a real fawn, who served as the model for the film's namesake, was reared on the Disney lot in Burbank. Its caretakers, who for some reason were French, spent much of their time feeding the fawn with a baby bottle with a gicleur at the end of it. 

So it seems members of my genus are indeed at this word's etymological roots. Maybe that’s not exactly, or even remotely, how it evolved -- but a loquacious buck has got to have some poetic license, right?