What the Heck is Giclée?

You probably have noticed that with our products we offer some as giclee prints. And you may be wondering—what the heck is giclee, or giclée?

First, it's pronounced "zhee-CLAY" and basically it's a name for art printed with an inkjet printer; the term was conceived in 1991 by printmaker Jack Duganne. The word's origins are with the French word "gicler," which translates to "to squirt, spurt, or spray" (think of how the ink sprays onto the paper). When you see the term giclée used by a print artist, it usually means a high-resolution print of very high quality. 

Giclée originated with an inkjet printer called IRIS, a high quality prepress proofing printer that was indeed an inkjet (this foils the idea that inkjets are always cheap). It was used to create sophisticated prints and reproductions of 2D art. Another great thing about giclée is that, opposed to the four-color offset lithography printing process, prints can be made one at a time instead of big batches, giving the artist more control over the production process. They also maintain the color longer than in litho prints.

While some artists balk at the term, it is becoming more and more accepted in the industry. We definitely embrace it here. Our giclée prints are made with an HP z3200 ink jet plotter.

For further reading, the article What's In a Name: The True Story of "Giclée" has additional insight.

Thus ends your artmaking history lesson for the day!

November 18, 2013 by Meg Cotner

Reminder: Free Shipping in November and December!

We know it says so on the front page, Free Shipping in November and December:

But wanted to clarify that you don't need a coupon code, or a Groupon code, or anything like that—free shipping comes automatically with every order! This is a sweet deal, especially since the holidays are coming up fast.

In the background of the image above, you can see our new shipping boxes, which are artful in and of themselves. We designed them ourselves and they make a great gift box, too.

So, order our products with the peace of mind that you won't have to deal with any of those pesky shipping costs. Find our prints in the "Products" drop down menu above, or if you feel like it, head to The Grommet, where I recently had a product launch. I'm still pretty psyched to have my prints available there!

November 15, 2013 by james mcdonald

I Lost My Dog on The Grommet

I'm excited to share with you the news that I Lost My Dog launched TODAY on The Grommet. The Grommet is a great site full of interesting things, and I'm proud that my products are included in that category. You might think of a "grommet" in the traditional sense, as a metal ring used to reinforce holes in leather, cloth, shoes, canvas and other fabrics, but in this case, "Grommets are products with a purpose invented by people with stories." Awesome. 

Here's what they wrote about me and I Lost My Dog products:

When you think of your favorite places, you can’t help but smile. The same thing happens when you see locations near and dear to you brought to life in a one of a kind way on typographic maps by graphic designer James McDonald.

In celebration of the unique landmarks and details that make different cities, boroughs, and towns special, James draws every aspect of his maps by hand right down to each individual letter—not a single typeface is used; every word is custom-designed. The result is more than a map. It’s a typographical tribute and work of art. James' background as a graffiti artist in his youth, work as a graphic designer, and his passion for travel are evident in each piece he creates.

James uses high-end paper and ink on an ink-jet plotter in order to transform his hand-drawn creations into gallery-quality giclee prints in sizes that are easy to frame and affordable enough for all to enjoy.

Of course, my products are available on The Grommet, including maps of Brooklyn, Manhattan, Boston, San Francisco, Ireland, and Italy, among others.

The maps are very colorful and full of my signature typography style, and are priced at $39.95. Prints are easy to frame and fit into ready-made frames; they are a great conversation starter in any home. Check out this post to learn more about framing your art after purchase.

I look forward to your business over at The Grommet!

November 13, 2013 by james mcdonald

How To Frame Your Art

The topic of framing our art came up on our Facebook page recently:

"All of our prints are made to fit standard frames. 11x17, 18x24, 12x36 are all standard sizes you can get at your local mom and pop frame store or the bigger chains. Michael's has a large variety and great coupons and weekly sales. We make it easy for you."

This is definitely a built in benefit, making it easy to frame your new ilostmydog art. You can see how some of our prints have been framed—very simply:


To give your print a little something extra, you can add a mat to your framed print. Our friends over at 20x200 put together a video on this very topic—enhancing your art with a ready-made frame and a custom mat. Some of the guidelines are:

  • Simple frames are better (especially if you're on a budget)
  • A black frame is a great choice (and hides wear and tear easily)
  • Buy a frame bigger than a piece (e.g. for a 8x10 print, go for a 14x17 frame)
  • Shop around for frames.
  • Inspect for damage first.
  • Get a custom mat (throw out the one that comes with the frame).

Check out the video for more tips, especially when it comes to the custom mat.


November 11, 2013 by james mcdonald