Art Print is an image drawn by the artist, who prints a limited number of the pieces by hand (or personally supervises someone else doing it), then signs and numbers the individual prints. Prints are produced by drawing or carving an image onto a hard surface (known as the matrix) such as a wood block, metal plate, or stone. This surface is then inked and the image is transferred to paper by the application of pressure, thus creating an impression, or print. Prints usually exist in multiple impressions, each of which has been created from the inked plate. The total number of impressions made is called an edition.
Letterpress, which dates back to Gutenberg in the 15th century and the creation of the print itself, is a technique of relief printing where the image makes a slight deboss onto the paper, as a woodblock. The paper is thick and resistant to the impact of the printing and able to receive its impression. The result is a beautifully textured printed surface.
Serigraphy is technique also known as silkscreen. It is a stencil technique that employs fabric stretched tight on a screen support frame. The artist blocks out areas on the fabric and applies ink with a squeegee. The ink covers everything except the blocked-out sections and the image appears on the paper, canvas or other surface placed beneath the screen.
Collage is a technique in which compositions are made out of a pieces of paper, cloth, photographs and other miscellaneous objects juxtaposed and pasted on a new surface, creating a new composition.
Engraving is the technique of making art prints from metal plates into which a design has been incised with a cutting tool.
Etching is a process in which a special needle is used to draw a design on a metal plate overlaid with wax. The plate is then treated with acid, inked and used to print the design.
Lithography is a process in which ink is applied to a grease-treated image on the flat printing surface; nonimage (blank) areas, which hold moisture, repel the lithographic ink. This inked surface is then printed—either directly on paper, by means of a special press (as in most fine-art printmaking), or onto a rubber cylinder (as in commercial printing).