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Understanding what you are bying

Understand what you are buying. We have extracted these informations from different sites. The links are provided below each one of them, for credit purposes. Please visit the various authors of the copy and pastte of this work.

Plate Signed

“For a print, plate signed means the artist put his ‘signature’ on or into the printing plate and the resulting prints have his printed faux signature. The signature is part of printed graphics. Some might call it a faux or pre-printed signature.

This is as opposed to ‘hand signed’ print, where the artist autographed the finished print by hand. Hand signing a print is a relatively recent thing , starting in the late 1800s. Original Rembrandt and Durer prints are not hand signed. Durer prints often have his monogram as part of the printed graphics. In modern times, the artist’s hand signature on an original print shows that the print was personally approved as finished by the artist. The artist signs it when it’s all finished and meets his or her approval. Prints that didn’t come out right go unsigned and are often literally destroyed and tossed in the trash. This explains why art collectors pay more for a hand signed original print by a famous artist. The extra price is not just because it’s autographed, but because the autograph indicates the print was personally okayed by the artist.” Please visit the author: ( Lithographs “An original lithograph is when the artist creates the work of art on a stone plate. The word “lithograph” is derived from two ancient Greek words: “lithos” meaning “stones,” and “graphein” meaning “to write.” The practice is defined as a style of printing that makes use of the immiscibility of grease and water when they come into contact with one another. While other printing methods require etching and other forms of imprints, lithography is unique because it more closely resembles painting. To create a lithograph, original works of art are printed and reproduced, most often using flat stones or metal plates. The artist makes the lithograph by drawing an image directly onto the printing element using materials like litho crayons or specialized greasy pencils. When the artist is satisfied with the drawing on the stone, the surface is then treated with a chemical etch. The treatment bonds the greasy drawing materials to the surface. With this process, the blank areas will attract moisture to the plate and repel the lithographic ink, while the areas that are drawn on will hold the ink. Water is then wiped onto the unpainted areas to help prevent the ink from smearing. Once the image is inked, paper is laid over the stone and it is covered with a tympan, a layer of packing that is typically placed between the plate and paper to help equalize the pressure. Next, these materials pass through the scraper bar of the litho press. When creating a lithograph, it is crucial that the stone that is used is properly thick enough, as this machine provides enormous pressure. After the stone passes through the machine, the tympan is removed and the paper is pulled off to reveal a mirror-image of the drawing on the stone. The paper will retain whatever was drawn by the crayon, creating a perfect replica that can be repeated as often as needed.

What is the difference between a lithograph and a print?

If you are unsure whether you are looking at a real lithograph or a particular type of print, it can be helpful to take a closer look with a magnifying glass and an informed eye. Use the following tips to help you determine whether you are looking at a hand-pulled or offset lithograph.

  1. Look for a signature. Hand-pulled lithographs will typically have a signature on the back while offset lithography prints and reproductions will not.

  2. Use a magnifying glass to look for rows of dots. Offset lithography will leave a dotted circular pattern in rows. If the lithograph was created by hand, there will likely be random ink dotting or discoloration on the print.

  3. Check for discoloration. Look for signs of chemical oxidation or blemishes in non-image areas, as these can occur when the aluminum printing plates used in offset lithography are not properly maintained.

  4. Carefully feel the thickness of the ink. In original stone lithography, the ink will be slightly raised on the surface of the print in contrast to the flatness of the ink seen on offset lithographs. To avoid smearing the ink, it can be helpful to wear gloves and proceed with caution.

If you acquired the lithograph from a reputable art dealer or auction house, it’s most likely an original stone or plate lithograph. However, make sure to use the tips above to verify the seller’s cataloguing.

Types of Lithographs:

As the technologies of printing continue to become more advanced and reproducing images becomes more streamlined, those who are unfamiliar with printmaking have trouble distinguishing different variations of lithographs. The list below outlines the types of lithographs that you are most likely to encounter in the market.

1. Original stone lithographs

The original stone lithograph is the oldest and greatest lithography technique. This method is what most people think of when they are referring to a traditional lithograph. Original stone lithographs can also be referred to as hand-pulled lithographs and are hand-drawn on limestone or marble. To incorporate more than one color, multiple stones must be used. After each edition is hand-printed, the artist will sign and number each print.

Each addition of original stone lithographs is carefully documented and imperfect impressions are destroyed. This type of lithograph is unique in that it is hand-made by an artist who draws directly onto a stone or other similar material. These lithographs are typically valued more highly due to their quality and the fact that a lower run of prints is usually made.

2. Original plate lithographs

An original plate lithograph involves the artist hand drawing the image that is being reproduced onto aluminum plates. These plates are cheaper than the stones used in original stone lithography and they are easier to transport, making them a popular alternative to stone lithography for original printing.

3. Lithographic reproductions

Lithographic reproductions can be copies of any type of art across any medium. To create a lithographic reproduction the artist will take a photo of the original piece. Then, a color separation is produced using the photograph and this information is transferred to lithographic plates that are photosensitive. These reproductions are often referred to as posters.

4. Mylar plate lithographs

To create the mylar plate lithograph, an artist draws on a mylar sheet, which is a material similar to a polyester film or plastic sheet. Once the drawing is completed, the image is transferred onto a photosensitive lithographic plate and printed like an original plate lithograph.

5. Offset print

An offset print is any type of lithograph that is created using an offset press. Offset lithography uses a similar tactic as original hand lithography based on oil-and-water repulsion; however, with an offset press, the ink is transferred first to a rubber blanket and then directly applied to either stone or paper. With offset lithographs, the color often varies from the original piece, but this technique has still become quite popular due to its affordability, quality, and speed of production. These pieces are not handcrafted like fine art lithography is, making them a more affordable option.

While identifying and acquiring lithographs can seem complex, understanding the history of these pieces and the different types of lithographs available will help collectors know what to look for. Before visiting an auction or a gallery, do your homework to better understand the type of print you’d like to add to your collection. If you’re interested in acquiring lithographs, it’s best to approach these pieces with reverence for their unique characteristics, rather than viewing them solely as reproductions of paintings or other works of art.” Please visit the Author: (


A print is a work of graphic art which has been conceived by the artist to be realised as an original work of art, rather than a copy of a work in another medium.

Prints are produced by drawing or carving an image onto a hard surface (known as a matrix) such as a wood block, metal plate, or stone. This surface is then inked and the image is transferred to paper or another material by the application of pressure, thus creating an impression, or print. The printed image that results is the exact reverse of the image on the plate.

Please visit the Author: ( What Exactly Is an Original Print? What’s an original print?

In its simplest form, an original print is an artwork that has been manually created – drawn, carved, inked – and printed on a printing press by an artist. It is not a reproduction of an original. Each piece is handcrafted in its own right.

What does ‘limited edition’ mean? An original print is printed in a strictly limited ‘run’, or ‘edition’. So, for example, an artist may produce 50 prints from the same plate or block. That number is then fixed, and the artist cannot add more prints later. Any new edition would have to be different: an artist could not replicate the same image in a second ‘run’, or edition. They would have to alter the colour or composition, or add some new creative element. What is a ‘fine art print’, or an ‘art print’? Confusingly, a fine art print, or art print, refers to a digital copy – a reproduction – of an original artwork. This may be of high quality, and is increasingly common in the printmaking world, but it is not the same as an original print. You may also see these referred to as giclee prints. Top tips for buying an ‘art print’: look for those that include some element of hand finishing, such as spot varnish, or are combined with another printmaking technique, such as screenprint. They should also be limited edition, numbered and signed. Why would I buy a print instead of a one-off painting? The joy of printmaking is its accessibility. A print by its very nature is more affordable than a one-off artwork, but this in no way lessens the mastery that goes into making a print. Printmaking is an incredibly time-consuming, expert craft. In recent years it has taken its rightful place as a fine art medium, with galleries such as Tate Modern helping to champion it. How do I know a print is authentic? An original limited edition print is printed on high quality, specialist paper, chosen by the artist for the way it interacts with the ink and the printmaking process. It is numbered and signed. Typically, the signature will be in pencil to the bottom right of the image; the edition number will be to the bottom left. The number looks like a fraction – so, for example, 1/25 means this is the first print printed in an edition of 25 in total. You may also see an A/P – this denotes an ‘artist’s proof’, which is basically an artist’s test copy and can also be sought-after. There is no official added value in having the ‘first’ in the edition, as all prints are handmade and the same. Do I need a certificate of authenticity? No. A properly signed and editioned print is proof of authenticity. The printmaking process should be clearly labelled by the seller (is it a linocut, for instance, or a screenprint?). Monoprint Occasionally a print may be a ‘monoprint’, which means it is a one-off – for example a linocut that is individually hand-coloured on top of the original print, rendering no two prints identical. How are prints made? There are many different forms of printmaking – here’s a quick rundown of some of the processes used by our own artists: Linocut The artist carves the design into a piece of lino, then uses a roller to ink the remaining raised areas. The lino then passes through a printing press to transfer the image on to paper. There can be many stages of carving and inking-up to create the final print. See linocuts by Paul Cleden and Colin Moore. Screenprint This is essentially a stencil print using a screen made from fabric – originally silk, hence the term ‘silkscreen’ – stretched tightly over a frame. Screenprints use acrylic paints, which lend them a distinctive, bright look. Anna Marrow, Peter Blake, Bruce Mclean and Martin Grover all use the screenprint method. Lithograph Lithography means, literally, ‘stone drawing’ and is a method that uses a flat polished stone or metal plate. An image is drawn on the stone with a greasy substance that attracts ink. The design is then transferred to paper lightly using a printing press. It creates an effect where the ink lies entirely on the surface of the paper and is neither raised nor embossed. Gill Tyson’s landscape artworks are masterclasses in ‘litho’. Collagraph Derived from the Greek ‘colla’ (glue) and ‘graph’ (to draw) this is in its simplest form a collage of materials of various textures glued to a printing plate, often thin wood or cardboard. The plate is then inked up and printed either manually or by press. Check out Barry Goodman’s retro beauties for a prime example of this technique. Etching This is one of the most widely used methods of printmaking, whereby a design is cut or engraved into another material – usually a metal plate – and the incised line holds the ink (as opposed to a print like a linocut where the surfaces left in ‘relief’, i.e. not cut away, holds the ink). It may be combined with other techniques, such as ‘aquatint’, where powdered rosin is used to achieve tonal shading. Clare Grossman, John Duffin and Margaret Ashman all show the breadth and variety of effects achieved by etching. Woodcut The artist creates an image on a block of wood and carves the unwanted areas away. Ink is applied to the surface with a rubber roller and the design printed on to paper. The technique has been used for centuries – especially in Japan – as a method for printing on textiles and, later, paper. See Alex Booker’s landscape prints, created by carving into plywood and printing on to Japanese Hosho paper. Please visit the Author: (

Poster The term "Poster art" describes a general category of printed 2-D artwork which is designed to be affixed to a vertical surface. Its evolution and development was (and is) closely linked to advances in printmaking processes, notably lithography and offset litho, which in turn are strongly influenced by photographic and software techniques.

Posters may consist exclusively of images, or images and text. In rare cases (eg. works of calligraphy) it may consist entirely of textual graphics.

Poster art is used by painters and printmakers, art publishers and cultural organizers, politicians and propagandists, as well as commercial firms, PR and Advertising Agencies, and may be divided into the following types: (1) Fine Art Posters (2) Reproductions of Famous Paintings (3) Political Posters. Please visit the Author: (

Signed in the Stone When an artist scratches their name into the metal etching plate or uses a lithograph crayon to sign their name onto a lithograph plate, the prints that come from those plates are said to be “plate signed”. “Plate signed” and “signed in the plate” mean the same thing. (The term “plate signed” is in contrast to “hand signed”, where an artist signs each print in pencil, crayon, ink, or some other medium. Hand signed prints are usually numbered.)


Linoleum printing is one of the most accessible types of printmaking, whether you’re an art enthusiast or professional. You can use a variety of paper for this medium, but if you’re just beginning, try a lightly-textured paper. This will ensure that your ink is fully absorbed into the surface but it’s not so textured that it will cause inconsistent impressions in your stamp.

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