Comparing Giclee Prints to Pret-a-porter Redux

Giclee Prints Can Make Spectacular Reproductions of Original Art

Notes About This Week’s Post:
It’s mid-summer and I’m dialing back this week as last by replaying a post from the 500+ in the Art Print Issues Archives. This week’s is inspired by a post by my friend and fellow art marketing blogger, Lori Woodward, on Her Passive Income Streams Giclee Prints post sparked lots of comments, including mine.  It’s a worth read.
The image is one of the incredibly prolific Natasha Wescoat’s most popular pieces from her collection curated by She just relaunched Wescoat Fine Art website. Check it out.








They said pret-a-porter will kill your name, and it saved me. – Pierre Cardin

June Tree - Natasha Wescoat - giclee prints

June Tree – giclee by Natasha Wescoat from

In France, the term haute couture is a protected term. To earn the right to call itself a couture house and to use the term haute couture in its advertising and any other way, members of the Chambre syndicale de la haute couture must follow explicit rules.

If it were possible to protect the term giclee, more fine artists might use it. ~ Elizabeth Saab Couture

The Cow Is Out of the Barn

When it comes to what to do about the abuse of the term giclee, the adage “Don’t bother closing the barn door after the cow is gone” applies to how giclee is used.

If you will pardon the pun, it’s spilt milk, so let’s not debate the issue. I see a trend where some artists and giclee printers have stopped using the word, but this is difficult since it has passed in the lexicon of the average art buyer.

Giclee Prints As Pret-a-Porter

I suppose some artists will find the idea of comparing giclee prints to pret-a-porter offensive, which is okay. If you are not ruffling someone’s feathers with an opinion, you are not adding any thing interesting to the conversation. Besides, its just as likely the comparison will add a new, positive outlook on using reproductions. Your choice.

The comparison to me is valid. Haute couture is about the one-of-a-kind original garments made with creativity and to the highest standards. Certainly, all self-respecting artists commit to such standards when they create their original works.

If nearly all the world’s top fashion designers also create ready-to-wear [pret-a-porter] work for the masses who cannot afford original designs made and hand-tailored specifically for them, it seems visual artists should be just as confident in using fine art digital reproductions to help them reach collectors who do not have the budget for their originals.

Giclee Prints Open Doors

Selling giclee prints of your work is not a cure for original art that is not selling. However, if you find your work sells when seen by enough of the right buyers, then you are a serious candidate to start adding giclee prints into the selection of what you offer to buyers.

Besides being able to provide sizes your customer wants, and make unlimited copies (assuming you do not go down the path of limited editions), you also open the prospects of your work being picked up in the licensing, hospitality, design and healthcare markets.  There are numerous examples of artist entrepreneurs who have become wealthy and well known through their involvement in these markets.

I am not suggesting that adding to giclees to what you sell will save your business as pret-a-porter did for Pierre Cardin. It might not need saving. Giclee prints will broaden your product line, give your work more price points, introduce your work to new customers, and more.

 Last Chance! 2-for-1 Book Deals Close July 31!

Deal closes 7/31 - Order Your Copy Today

Deal closes 7/31 – Order Your Copy Today

The second edition of my book, How to Profit from the Art Print Market, remains the definitive resource to learn more about it. When you order it through my website, you get a free How to Price Digital Fine Art Prints e-book with it.

My new book, Guerrilla Art Marketing for Artists: How 100 Collectors Can Bulletproof Your Art Career has been on a special 2-for-1 deal with my The Zen of Selling Art e-book.  The Guerrilla Marketing book is written to help artists just like you learn how to take control of your career and build a loyal following of direct buying collectors. The e-book will help you discover new ways to sell more art when you get the all important area of closing sales.

Guerrilla Marketing for Artists ~ 2-for-1 deal closing 7/31 - sell giclee prints

About Barney Davey

I am an art marketing author, consultant, blogger and podcaster. I enjoy helping others understand and reach their potential. Follow me on and check out my art marketing e-store at


  1. We love, love, love your blog! Really cool+ super-inforrmative.
    We’ve been to an amazing contemporary art show the other day by a young German painter…maybe you wanna check it out:

    Greetings from Europe,


    • Hi, thanks for the link and kind words about my blog. You are right, the art looks great! It is obvious from seeing your blog that you too are a couple of fun, cool characters.

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