Glossary of Terms

Anastatic Print

Anastatic printing is a printing process where traditionally a zinc plate is used to etch out the design. Everything except the printing section is etched, then inked.

It was used to make facsimiles and is considered a forerunner to photocopying. 



Aquatint is an intaglio printmaking technique. It is a variant of etching that produces areas of tone. It has been used in conjunction with etching, to give outlines to the print.


Archival Pigment Print

An Archival Pigment Print refers to the long term stability of the ink used. Archival ink is tested to guarantee the ink used will last over a long period of time.

Artist Proof

An artist’s proof is an impression of a print taken in the printmaking process to see the current printing state of a plate while the plate (or stone, or woodblock) is being worked on by the artist. Usually marked in the corner with an AP instead of an edition number.

Counter Proof

A counter proof is a reversed print taken from an ordinary fresh proof by contact impression and used to study the state of the engraved plate.

Digital Print

Digital printing is printing from a computer image file directly to a printer as the final output. No plates are involved. The quality of digital prints has evolved over time and are now exceptional.

Drypoint Engraving

An engraving made with a steel or jewelled point directly into the metal plate without the use of acid as in etching.


The whole number of copies published at one time for a print series.


Embossing is the processes of creating either raised or recessed relief images and designs in paper and other materials. An embossed pattern is raised against the background.


Engraving is the process of cutting figures, letters, or designs on to an engraved plate, block, or other surface.

The plate is then used to make a print.

Etching Print

Etching prints are a made by printing from an etched metal plate.

Flock Print

A flock print is made using a process in which material (as flock or metallic powder) is dusted or sprayed over matter (as Christmas cards or wallpaper) previously printed with an adhesive (as glue or varnish).


A giclee is a process by which high-quality prints are produced using an ink-jet printer.

Impression print

A stamp, form, or figure resulting from physical contact.

Intaglio printing

Intaglio printing is the opposite of relief printing, in that the printing is done from ink that is below the surface of the plate. The design is cut, scratched, or etched into the printing surface or plate, which can be copper, zinc, aluminum, magnesium, plastics, or even coated paper.

Japanese prints

a color print executed from wood blocks in water-based inks and developed to a high degree of artistry by the Japanese especially in the late 18th and early 19th centuries.


the process of printing from an inked raised surface especially when the paper is impressed directly upon the surface.

Limited edition prints

An edition of, or reproduction of a print or object, limited to a specific number of copies.


a print made from a design cut into a mounted piece of linoleum.


the process of printing from a plane surface (such as a smooth stone or metal plate) on which the image to be printed is ink-receptive and the blank area ink-repellent


Mezzotint printmaking is a manner of engraving on copper or steel by scraping or burnishing a roughened surface to produce light and shade.

Monotype Print

A monotype print is a impression on paper of a design painted usually with the finger or a brush on a surface (such as glass).

Offset Printing

Offset printing is a process in which an inked impression from a plate is first made on a rubber-blanketed cylinder and then transferred to the paper being printed.

Original print

An original print is a copy or reproduction of an artwork which is made from the origin or primary image of the artwork. Usually by hand one print at a time.

The primary image is often carved into material such as wood, stone or metal which is durable enough to facilitate the production of a limited number of copies or prints.  These prints typically involve a handmade process by the artist or print maker during the production of the original prints as opposed to a photo based method common with offset lithography.

Common mediums or methods for creating original prints include: woodblock, etching, linocut, and silkscreen printmaking.


A process (such as lithography) for printing from a plane surface.

Relief Printing

Relief printing is a family of printmaking techniques, that includes wood engraving, wood cut, metal cut, linocut, relief etching and many others where an inked raised surface is impressed directly upon a surface like paper.

Relief printing is said to have originated in China around 200 AD using wood blocks. It is one of the oldest methods of printing.

Remarque print

A remarque print is a drawn, etched, or incised scribble or sketch done on the margin of a plate or stone and removed before the regular printing.


Serigraphy is an original silkscreen colour print.

Silk Screen Art Print

A stencil process in which colouring matter is forced onto the material to be printed through the meshes of a silk or organdy screen so prepared as to have pervious printing areas and impervious nonprinting area.

Silver point printmaking

A drawing technique utilizing a pencil of silver usually on specially prepared paper or parchment.

Stipple engraving

The act or process of engraving by stippling.

The technique allows for subtle tonal variations and is especially suitable for reproducing chalk drawings.


Wood Engraving

A relief printing surface consisting of a wooden block with a usually pictorial design cut in the end grain.

Woodblock Printing

Woodblock printing is a technique where images or text are carved into the surface of a block of wood. The wood block is then inked and pressed against some form of paper. This technique has been around for thousands of years and still continues today.


Woodcut prints

A relief printing surface consisting of a wooden block with a usually pictorial design cut with the grain.