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Art Terms Explained

Limited Edition Prints

Artist Signature

Nearly all limited edition prints will be signed by the artist in pencil underneath the picture on the right hand side. The signature authenticates and guarantees each piece. The artist will only sign the print when they are completely satisfied that it is a true and accurate representation of the original.

Signed limited edition prints will often attract higher prices than unsigned work.

Certificate of Authenticity

Nearly all limited edition prints will come with a certificate of authenticity (COA). These are supplied by the publisher or artist.


Limited edition prints will normally be numbered in pencil underneath the image on the left hand side. The handwritten number is vital as it guarantees not only the size but also the authenticity of the edition (eg. 5/195 means the fifth print in a set of 195 identical prints).

Artist Proofs (AP’s)

Artist’s proofs are normally 10% of the total number of prints produced. They are identified by the abbreviation ‘AP’ and will normally be found underneath the image on the left hand side (eg. AP  5/10 means the fifth print in a set of ten identical prints). Artist’s proofs were originally designed for the artist to keep but they can be sold in the same way as the other prints in the edition.  Artist’s proofs are often seen as more desirable because they are rarer and will attract higher prices.

Open Edition Prints

Open Edition Prints are high quality, archival grade, prints but unlike Limited Edition Prints they are not signed by the artist or limited in the number of prints produced. Purchasing an Open Edition Print is a great affordable introduction into buying art.

The different collections illustrate an unparalleled selection of attractive and affordable images for every taste, budget and decorative scheme. The prints feature traditional and contemporary subject matter, including a selection of the world's finest artists, from the great Old Masters to some of today's most talented designers.

Prints and Posters are printed in a variety of different ways, including offset litho and digital which are usually referred to as giclées.


Print Process Guide


Giclée Fine Art Prints (pronounced “gee-clay”) are extremely high quality, archival grade, digital prints that use a ultra fine inkjet printing process to produce images of intense colour and vibrancy. Giclée printing is widely regarded as one of the very best photographic and fine art printing methods currently available and has become extremely popular with artists and photographers displaying their images in art galleries, museums and exhibitions. Although originally devised in America, the word “Giclée” comes from the French verb “to spray” and refers to the ink being sprayed onto the paper or canvas.


Lithography is a method for printing using a stone or a metal plate with a completely smooth surface.  In the lithographic process, 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 or onto a rubber cylinder.


This method is a modern development of stencil printing. Paint is brushed through a number of fine silk screens, held taut in a wooden frame, onto the paper. One screen is used for each shade. The screen traditionally used comprises a fine weave silk, or similar, pulled over and secured to the frame. The silk is then masked excepting those areas where the paint is required to pass through. As each individual colour and shade requires a separate screen the whole process is lengthy and requires considerable skill. Slowly then, screen by screen, with precise alignment the final image is worked towards. The artist is involved during the creation of each edition, approving various stages and often making changes and additions, adding to the originality of the final item.


Finishes Explained

Hand Embellished

This is done to bring the piece closer to the essence of the original. Hand applied varnishes, paints, inks or gold and silver leaf are added to certain elements of the print.

Mounted Prints

Most mounts are fairly standard. A mount is an off – white card surround that protects the print. The mount is usually 3 inches wide and sits as a border to the print when it is framed.

Box Canvas

When a piece is on canvas it is often stretched over wooden bars to form a box. This will usually give the piece a depth of approximately 2 inches.

Unstretched Canvas

This means the canvas will arrive as a loose canvas piece and will require stretching over 4 wooden bars to form a box or mounted on to hard board before it can be hung on the wall. This gives you the freedom to choose how you would like the work to be displayed.


Most of our items are sold unframed however if you need help with choosing a frame we can offer advice and provide you with details of local framing companies.