What is an original Print

An original print is a work of art which an artist creates by processing a surface so that more than one identical image can be printed from it. The surface to be processed may be a woodblock, lithographic stone or plate, a silk screen, or a mental card board or plastic sheet. From such prepared surfaces, ink is removed onto a paper or other material which becomes the original print.

An original print should never be confused with a reproduction, which is a copy of an original work of art made with photographic mass production techniques. In contrast, the original print is hand inked by the artist or by a skilled person supervised by the artist. The original design and composition are conceived and designed with the process itself being an inseparable part of the whole creative act.

Signature & Edition

An artist always signs an original print. By doing so, he takes responsibility for its originality. The total edition size should also be given because there are physical limits to the number of good impressions that can be made from a single plate. A notation in fraction form such as 5/20, for example, refers to the 5th print in a limited edition of 20 prints. The concept of limited editions began in England, where formerly only editions of 75 or less were accepted as works of art.

Artistís Proof [AP]

An ĎAPí [ artistís proof ] or ĎEPí [ epreuve dí artiste ] notation refers to a print which is made outside the regular addition but is guaranteed by the artist to be of equal quality. While these were originally intended for presentation as gifts, to those who had cooperated with the artist in the creation of the print, they now sometimes appear on the market at the same value as the regular edition prints. The artist is allowed by convention to denominate 5 to 10 % of the edition as Ď APí. Strictly speaking, the AP prints should also be numbered in sequence.