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Classifications of Printed Art

Studio Seven Arts can custom frame nearly any kind of printed art. Images can be put onto paper in a number of ways. The techniques are many, and the terminology is confusing. Below you will find a brief description of the most common techniques. 

Reproduction Art
Posters: Four color process lithographic reproduction of a painting usually with type on or around the image. Massed produced art is generally considered a poster even though people sometimes refer to them as prints.

Limited edition print: A reproduction of original artwork that is limited to printing a specific quantity, after which the plates are destroyed to insure that no more copies will be made. Each piece is numbered and signed by the artist.  Limited editions were originally intended as a way for artists to distribute a desirable work of art without greatly diminishing the value of the image. More recently some popular artists have tried to create an illusion of rarity by releasing limited editions that are produced in the tens of thousands, often far surpassing demand and the availability of many open edition prints.

Open edition print: A reproduction of original artwork that is distributed according to demand. If all available copies are sold, more may be printed.

Offset lithograph: Four-color process lithographic reproduction done on an offset press. Same as poster, limited edition print, etc.

Chromalith replica: A continuous tone reproduction with hand drawn touch colors, using both serigraphy and lithography.

Giclee: A reproduction of original two-dimensional artwork or a photograph that is printed from a digital file using a high quality continuous inkjet printer and archival grade ink.

Imprint: A dot matrix reproduction with hand drawn touch colors, sometimes with handwork by the artist.

Collotype: A gelatin based plate producing a continuous tone reproduction.

Canvas transfer: A reproduction that has been adhered to canvas.

Repligraph: A photographic fused film technology producing an image on canvas.

Litho serigraph: A mixed media reproduction using four-color process separations as a base with silkscreen touch colors added.

Original Prints
Etching: The image is cut into a plate by acid and ink is rubbed into the remaining incised area. Wet paper is laid over the inked plate and printed under extreme pressure on an Intaglio press.

Engraving: The image is scratched into a plate then inked and printed like an etching.

Stone lithograph: An image is drawn or painted with a greasy substance on a limestone slab. The stone is treated to accept water, then inked with a roller and printed on a lithography press.

Original lithograph: Printing process is the same as a stone lithograph but the image is drawn on an aluminum plate or mylar, which is then transferred to a plate.

Original serigraph: A silkscreen printing process using stencils adhered to silk or nylon mesh through which ink is pushed by a squeegee.

Collograph: An image is created by building up a relief surface with materials such as mat board, cloth, sand, wood, or putty. Rubbing ink into the textured surface or rolling ink on with a brayer then inks the surface.

Monotype: The image is created by painting on a Plexiglas or metal surface with printer's ink and printing a single copy on an Intaglio press. Ghost images are sometimes printed.

Monoprint: Sometimes used interchangeably with monotype, but the monoprint usually has a common image matrix that is inked differently each time.

Woodcut: An image is created by carving a negative image into a block of wood. The surface is inked with a brayer and printed on a relief press or an Intaglio press.

Linoleum cut: The same as a woodcut except that the block of wood is replaced by linoleum.

Serilith: A mixed media process combining hand-drawn lithography and hand-drawn serigraphy.

As you consider custom framing, you may wish to:
Review questions and answers about custom framing
Review frame, mat, and mounting questions and answers
Learn about different classifications of printed art

Call or send us an email about your framing questions:
Studio Seven Arts
-- Located in the Heart of Downtown Pleasanton
400 Main Street
Pleasanton, CA 94566

P: 925.846.4322

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