Printed Art Forms
There are many ways in which an image can be placed onto paper. The most
common types are:
Poster – An inexpensive printed reproduction of a piece of artwork, generally
containing some form of promotion in the margins (artist’s name, gallery or
museum name, some type of event).
Print – A generic term used to describe an impression made on paper from a variety
of sources such as a block, plate or film negative. It generally contains no
Lithograph – A generic term used to designate a print made from a planographic
process. This would include an original lithograph done on a stone or a commercial
print made by a photo mechanical process.
Serigraph – A method of printing using a prepared stencil attached to silk or
polyester fabric through which color (ink) is forced.
Etching – A printing process where an image is scratched into a plate through an
acid resistant ground. The plate is dipped into acid, causing the scratched areas to
be eaten away. The plate is then inked and pressed into the paper to transfer the
Engraving – A printing process where lines are cut into a plate using a tool. No acid
is used in this process. The plate is then inked and pressed into the paper to
transfer the image.
Collagraph – A work of art produced by the inking of any combination, or collage of
materials. This forms a plate for printing.
Intaglio – A process which includes all-metal plate engraving and etching
processes in which the printed areas are recessed. It would include etchings,
engravings and mezzotints to name a few.
Monoprint – A one-of-a-kind print made by painting on a sheet or slab and
transferring the wet painting to a sheet of paper. The process can be done by hand
or by machine.
With the exception of posters and monoprints, any of the above forms of printing
may be open editions, where there are an unlimited number of prints, or a
limited edition, where the prints are limited to a certain quantity.