Print Definitions

Signed & Numbered sells limited edition prints from emerging and established artists based in Australia and worldwide. Print mediums include, but are not limited to, screen prints, gocco prints, etchings, digital (including giclee and hand-embellished / hand-finished prints), wood block, letterpress and lino prints.

Screen Prints

Screen printing, also known as serigraphy, is a method of creating an image on paper by pressing ink through a screen with areas blocked off by a stencil. The image to be printed is photographically transferred to a very fine fabric (the screen) such that the non-printing areas are blocked off and the fabric serves as a stencil. The ink is wiped across the screen to pass through the unblocked pores and reach the paper. For each color to be printed a separate screen is prepared and the process is repeated.

Giclee Prints

The word Giclee comes from the French for "to spray". Giclee prints offer high-resolution imaging and long term colour fidelity through the use of light-fast high quality archival inks.

The process of making a Giclee print involves images being generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various surfaces including canvas, fine art and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction. Giclee prints are typically created using professional 8-Color to 12-Color ink-jet printers.

Gocco Prints

Gocco technology was invented in Japan (1977) as a home-use, lo-fi mini screenprint system that allows simple, multi-colour printing.

Using flash bulbs and small thermal print screens, this ingenious invention has been adopted by artists who love the unpredictable, handmade quality to the process.

Stencils

A stencil is a template used to draw or paint identical letters, symbols, shapes, or patterns every time it is used. Stencils are formed by removing sections from template material. This creates what is essentially a physical negative. The template can then be used to create impressions of the stenciled image, by applying pigment on the surface of the template and through the removed sections, leaving a reproduction of the stencil on the underlying surface.

We like to call our stencil prints 'multiple originals' as even though they are part of an edition, each one can be quite unique.

Letterpress Prints

In this method, a surface with raised letters or shapes is inked and pressed to the surface of the paper to reproduce an image in reverse.

Digital Prints

Modern printing methods such as laser and ink-jet printing are known as digital printing. In digital printing, an image is sent directly to the printer using digital files such as PDFs and those from graphics software such as Illustrator and InDesign. This eliminates the need for a printing plate, which can save money and time.

Wood Block Prints

The wood block is carefully prepared as a relief pattern, which means the areas to show 'white' are cut away with a knife, chisel, or sandpaper leaving the characters or image to show in 'black' at the original surface level.

It is necessary only to ink the block and bring it into firm and even contact with the paper to achieve an acceptable print. The content would of course print "in reverse" or mirror-image. The art of carving the woodcut is technically known as xylography, though the term is rarely used in English.

For colour printing, multiple blocks are used, each for one colour, although overprinting two colours may produce further colours on the print. Multiple colours can be printed by keying the paper to a frame around the woodblocks.

Etchings

Etching is a process where the line and tone of an image are created by exposing areas of a metal plate to acid.

The surface of a metal plate is covered in wax and the artist then creates their image by scratching into the wax. The plate is then immersed in an acid bath. The areas of the plate not covered by the wax are then ‘eaten’ away by the acid creating a grove for the ink to sit in. The plate is then covered with ink most of which is then rubbed off so only the ink in the groves remains. The plate is then placed face up on the press bed and covered with dampened paper which in turn is covered with layers of finely woven wool "blankets". All this is run through the press which looks a bit like a mangle which forces the damp paper into the etched areas of the plate picking up the ink.

Lino Prints

Linocut is a form of relief printing. A design is carved into a piece of lino (linoleum). This is inked with a brayer (though you can use a brush, it's harder to get the ink even), and a print made by placing a sheet of paper on top so the ink is transferred to the paper. Pressure is applied to get an even transfer of the ink by either running the linocut block and paper through a printing press or using a burnisher (often simply the back of a spoon).