Lithography is based on the mutual antipathy between grease and water. The image may be drawn with a grease-based crayon, pencil, and/or liquid (tusche) on Bavarian limestone, zinc, or specially treated aluminum plates, or it may be transferred to stone or plate by drawing on a special paper. In all cases, the stone or plate will not retain the image unless its surface structure has been changed by light etching with gum and acid so that it will accept ink only where the image has been drawn. (Areas that must remain uninked are kept wet to forestall the natural inclination of the stone or plate to accept grease/ink.) After the stone or plate has been dampened and ink rolled onto it, damp or dry paper is placed over the stone or plate and both are run through a flat-bed press under considerable pressure. Normally, one stone or plate is used for each color, excep tional care being taken to place the paper exactly in the same position on each subsequent stone or plate (registration). As an artist changes, embellishes, or simply continues to build his composition on the stone or plate, the printer will make proofs, experimental proofs, and/or progressive proofs —the last term generally being used to describe proofs that show the progress of printing each successive color.
Monotopy.Monotypy prints are considered unique prints in that they are not editioned in the same way that a lithograph or lino print would be produced. They are created in a similar way to a drawing on paper or an oil painting on paper. By using this technique an artist can work quickly and smoothly and unlike in drawing, is able to rework and erase areas simply by wiping the ink off the l lithographic limestone plate, or base polymer plate. A monotype refers to the production of a single unique print. The monotype can have som residue, traces from the production. That is normal for monotypes. The print has been selected during the proces because of its special character. The production traces is considered as an integral part of the final work.
As with Proofs they are particularly desirable among collectors due to their rarity, or their ability to provide valuable insight into the artist’s creative process.
Giclée is a printing technique which involves spraying microscopic pigments onto high-quality paper to reproduce artwork for print or display. As giclée printing uses pigment-based ink, rather than dyes, it creates vivid, fade-resistant colours.
With the latest printing technology, a huge colour gamut is available enabling very accurate reproduction of the original artwork.
When used in conjunction with high-grade paper, giclée printing achieves archival quality, creating prints that last well over 100 years, with the correct care and storage. This makes giclée a popular choice for the reproduction of a whole range of fine art, photography and digital or computer-generated art.
Artists, dealers and museums alike rely on giclée to produce prints for sale or display and as a way of recording delicate and rare pieces.
Almost marking a counter-trend to the dominant digitalisation that has been radically changing the art print market for years now, we have recently been witnessing an intriguing rediscovery and revival of offset printing. This is an underground movement, certainly a niche market, but significant nonetheless.
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.
Offset printing, also referred to as offset lithography, is a type of printing process used by virtually all large commercial printers. It is called offset, because the ink is not directly pressed onto the paper, but is distributed from a metal plate to a rubber mat where it is then set onto the paper.
Offset printing works because water and the inks used in the printing process do not mix. The images are “burned” onto metal plates using a chemical developing process similar to photography.
The technology behind offset printing allows large volumes of printing to be completed quickly and without any variations in ink distribution. Offset printing produces sharper and cleaner images and type than letterpress printing because the rubber blanket conforms to the texture of the printing surface.
Signed vs. Unsigned Prints
Most artists sign their prints at the bottom right corner of the piece. It’s considered that, by signing a print, the artist approves it, and, claims it as his or her own work. Sometimes printers also sign a print they produce, which is why certain pieces have two signatures. Signatures count for a lot at a print market since they add to the artwork’s authenticity. The value of a signed print is usually two or more times higher than the value of an unsigned print.
Open vs. Limited Edition Prints
Prints are produced in series called editions. Every edition contains a number of prints made from a single plate in a single run. Unlike unlimited edition prints (also known as open editions), that can be reproduced an infinite number of times, limited editions are (as their name suggest) made in limited amounts. Limited editions can contain anywhere between 2 and several thousand prints, depending on the technique used and intent of the artist. Prints from small editions retain exclusivity and reachhigher prices than large edition prints.
What’s a Print Run Number?
Every print in a limited edition is numbered, usually in pencil at the bottom of the print. This number (that looks like a fraction) is called a print run number and it shows the print’s position in the edition. The print run number is vital for determining the value of a print.
The denominator (the bottom number in the fraction) will show you how many prints were printed in one edition. The upper number (numerator) will show you when each print was created during the run. For example, if you see a 15/100 number on your piece, that means that you have the 15th print from the edition that contains a total of 100 prints.
As far as print run numbers are concerned, the rule is simple: the smaller the number the bigger the value. First impressions in the print run usually reach higher prices since they are considered to be the closest to the artist’s original idea.
Printer’s and Artist’s Proof
What if a print doesn’t have a number but an A/P or a P/P marking on it? Apart from your regular “numbered” prints, every edition can have one or several special kinds of prints called trial proofs, artist’s proofs, bon à tirer proofs and printer’s proofs.
During the printmaking process, the artist tests various ideas, colors, and compositions. These prints pulled out during various working stages are called trial proofs. Trial proofs can show only a part of an incomplete print and they always differ from the final piece.
When the artist is satisfied with the finished plate, a B.A.T. proof is made. B.A.T. is short for “bon à tirer,” a French expression meaning ready for printing. B.A.T. proof serves as an example of how a final art piece should look like. B.A.T. proofs are sent to the printer to ensure that the entire edition matches the artist’s original vision.
Artist’s proof (also known as épreuve d’artiste, or E.A) is an impression of a print, taken during the printmaking process to review the state of a plate. In the past, artist’s proofs were the first prints pulled off a fresh plate but nowadays an artist’s proof can be pulled out at any time during the print run. Artist’s proofs are identical to standard edition prints, but unlike regular prints with fractions, these prints are usually marked with A/P (or E.A). Artists usually keep artist’s proofs for themselves so that they can borrow them to various institutions for exhibition purposes when the rest of the edition is sold out.
Apart from trial and artist’s proofs, you may also encounter a print marked with P/P or H/C, which is short for printer’s proof and hors d commerce proof. Printer’s proofs are complimentary prints given to the publisher. There’s just a handful of these and their quantity depends on the number of printers involved in the printing process (each printer gets one proof).
H/C proofs or hors d commerce proofs (which in French means do not sell), on the other hand, are intended to serve as samples that artists present to dealers and galleries.
Artist’s proofs, printer’s proofs, H/C proofs and trial proofs aren’t meant to be sold, but often they too find their way to the market. Proofs are particularly desirable among collectors due to their rarity, or in case of trial proofs, their ability to provide valuable insight into the artist’s creative process.

Paper/print media

A sign of a true print lover is not only the interest in technique but also an obsession with paper.
The choice of paper is an important part of the printmaking process because it can directly influence the nature of what the printed image looks like. Some of our artists go for high quality, heavy paper for their prints, while others loves cheaper, thinner paper for their prints. 
Our cataloguing information will describe what type of paper a print is on.

With so many things to consider, buying and collecting prints can seem like a complicated endeavor. But if you do your research right and find out how the print was made, how many of them were made, and how many editions have been made, you will be on a good way.

Caring for your artwork at home

Avoid Heat
Ideally pictures should not be hung above radiators.  Extreme or rapid changes in temperature cause paper and wood to dry out and adhesives to fail
Beware damp
Damp can cause pictures to ripple. If the ripples touch the glass, the picture might stick and be hard to remove. Damp also encourages fungal growth - likely to show as brown stains. Conservation framing can slow these effects, but it is always best to avoid hanging framed pictures in humid conditions. Allow six months before hanging pictures on newly plastered walls
Hang securely
Use two hooks on the wall, each set about a quarter of the way in from either side of the picture. Check that the cord, wire or other hanger you use is designed to support the weight of your artwork.

A gentle clean
Dust frames or treat with a soft brush, rather than risk applying water or cleaning fluids. If cleaning fluids have to be used on the glass, apply them to a duster first (rather than spraying the glass directly); take care not to let the fluids touch the frame
Regular checks
If you find any evidence of discolouration, unsightly brown dots, small insects under the glass or that the brown paper tape sealing the back of the frame has come unstuck, return the frame to the framer.
Out of the light
Try not to hang pictures directly opposite large windows as sunlight fades colours and discolours paper. Special UV-coated glass can help to slow this down. The Fine Art Trade Guild has set industry-wide standards for printing and framing materials. Ask your framer about the ways in which you can preserve your artwork for the long-term. 
Handle with care
When carrying and transporting a picture, grasp the frame firmly on both sides. If you have to store pictures, make sure they are stacked vertically and the right way up. When stacking pictures, stand them 'glass to glass' so that the hangers do not damage the frames
About storing prints
Storing prints is an important part of taking care of them. Prints should be stored flat, either in or out of mounts, layered between sheets of non-acidic interleaving tissue. Never put your prints on surfaces like corrugated cardboard or wood; not only are these materials acidic, they also have textures that can imprint themselves on your artwork. Loose prints should not be stored rolled up. Prints that have been mailed in tubes should be flattened as soon as possible.