Definitions and terms used in the fine arts print field have been varied. The older, even sometimes archaic, meanings are not necessarily the same today. There are terms that are quite colloquial to a locality. Then we have the user's interpretation whether artist, publisher, gallery, curator, museum, collector or consumer. We hope this glossary is of some assistance.
Offset Lithography
The commercial lithographic process in which the printed image is transferred or offset to a rubber blanket (rather than stone or metal) for printing. (see Lithography)
The vehicle for binding pigments and which causes them to become viscous.
Old Print
A general term to denote age of a print. A collector usually considers those prints nineteenth century and prior as "Old Prints" or Antique Prints.
The term used to describe the quality or degree of transparency.
Open Edition
Standard edition; unlimited.
Original Print
An original print is a work of art which has been created specifically for the printing medium by other than photomechanical means, is printed by the artist or under his / her direction, and is approved by the artist when completed. The photomechanical printing of other original works of art, such as watercolors, oil paintings, etc. made by the artist are reproductions. (see Reproduction).
Overall Size
Generally, the size of the sheet of paper or its complete outside dimension.
A thin, flexible material made in sheets from a pulp of cotton linters, straw, wood or other fibrous material.
Ground coloring matter mixed with gum and formed into a crayon, or a picture drawn with these crayons; a soft, pale shade of a color.
Graphite bonded with a binder and supported in wood or a wrapper.
Personal Commission

Time limited edition for others produced jointly with the publisher.

The measurement of the chemical activity of the acid present in a substance. The scale is numbered from 0-14, with 0 the greatest concentration of acidity and 14 the greatest concentraton of alkalinity. A "Neutral pH" of 7 is desirable in paper because even a slightly acidic condition may have deteriorating effects. Buffering agents are sometimes added during manufacturing to raise the pH of paper, making it more alkaline.
An image, usually on a specially coated light-sensitive paper and generally meant to be made by the artist photographer.
Reproduction of an image produced using photographic means.
Photo Reproduction

Prints reproduced photomechanically from original works conceived by the artist in another medium, such as oil paintings and watercolors.

PINX. Pinxit
"Has Painted It." (Latin).
The term used to describe a surface printing process such as Lithography (see Lithography, Offset Lithography).
The printing surface (stone, metal or other material) from which printed impressions are taken.
Plate Size
The impression of the full plate into the paper which is usually larger than the image. The "Plate Mark" is an impression left in the paper, and often visible in engravings and etchings.
(French) A process of hand-coloring prints with stencils; also prints made my stencil process.
A selection of prints; a case used to carry a group of prints.
In photography, an image with lights and shades corresponding to those of the subject.
Generally, a pictorial advertisement for an exhibit, event or product.
Posthumous Print
A print which has been printed after the artist's death.
Presentation Proof
Specially-designed extra-worked proofs; proofs dedicated and presented by the artist to a friend or collaborator.
A mechanical device used for printing.
Press Proofs
Trial proofs used to assure color correctness and balance.
A generic term used to describe a picture or design printed from a plate, block or roll, such as an etching, engraving, lithograph, etc. Such prints may also be referred to as "Graphics." Sometimes, to avoid confusion,  further descriptive term may be added, such as Original Print, Fine Art Print, Limited Edition Print, etc.
See Master Printer.
Printers Proof
Individual impression prior to the published edition; proof used by the printer to assure correctness of the printed image.
Sinle color proofs assuring that each color is consistent with the trial proof.
A test print from a plate or block. May be used in some situations interchangeably with "print".
The producer and distributor of prints for an artist.
Publisher's Proof
See Hors Commerce.
A mixture of ground, moistened cellulose material, such as wood, linen or cotton linters, from which paper is made.
Degree of fineness.
  A-B    C    D-F    G-K     L-N   O-Q    R-S     T-Z 
A-B    C    D-F    G-K     L-N   O-Q    R-S     T-Z 
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