Cover image for How to identify prints : a complete guide to manual and mechanical processes from woodcut to inkjet
How to identify prints : a complete guide to manual and mechanical processes from woodcut to inkjet
Gascoigne, Bamber.
Personal Author:
Second edition, revised paperback edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Thames & Hudson, [2004]

Physical Description:
1 volume (various pagings) : illustrations (some color) ; 25 cm
Subject Term:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
NE400 .G37 2004 Adult Non-Fiction Grosvenor Room-Rare Books Reference

On Order



Is a particular print a woodcut, an etching, or a lithograph? Is it an original stipple engraving or a photogravure reproduction? Is the color printed or added by hand? Arranged in self-contained sections that can be consulted individually or as part of a larger research operation, this book helps identify accurately any printed image. Included are all the manual methods and also the mechanical processes that constitute the vast majority of printed images around us. In all, some ninety different techniques are described, both monochrome and color. Essential aspects of printing history and the printmaking craft receive full coverage, and examples are given of the features that reveal the type of print, such as varieties of line and tone. Of particular interest are the many illustrations of enlarged details showing the different appearance of various techniques under strong magnification. The one great change during the past twenty years has been the high-quality inkjet and laser prints that are now part of everyday life. How can one tell whether an attractive image is valuable in its own right or merely an appealing reproduction? As cheap printing becomes more sophisticated, it inevitably becomes harder to identify correctly an image of this kind. Bamber Gascoigne's new observations in this area, added for this revised edition, will prove invaluable. 275 illustrations, 40 in color.

Author Notes

Bamber Gascoigne is the author of several books on prints. He is also the founder of a small publishing firm that concentrates on topographical prints.

Table of Contents

Forewordp. 7
Acknowledgmentsp. 8
How to Use this Bookp. 9
I The prints
Print Families
1 The three types of print
2 Other images known as prints
3 Manual prints and process prints
4 Monochrome prints and colour prints
Manual Prints
5 Woodcuts
6 Wood engravings
7 Metal relief prints
8 Modern relief methods
9 Engravings
10 Etchings
11 Drypoints
12 Line engravings
13 Steel engravings
14 Crayon manner and stipple engravings
15 Soft ground etchings
16 Mezzotints
17 Aquatints
18 Other total methods in intaglio
19 Lithographs
20 Transfer lithographs
21 Chiaroscuro woodcuts
22 Colour woodcuts
23 Tinted wood engravings and colour wood engravings
24 Relief colour from metal blocks
25 Modern relief methods in colour
26 Colour mezzotints, aquatints, stipple engravings
27 Tinted lithographs
28 Colour lithographs
Mixed method
29 Baxter prints
30 Nelson prints
31 New methods in colour
Process Prints
32 Categories of process print
33 Line blocks
34 Relief halftones
35 Nature prints
36 Photogalvanographs
37 Line photogravures
38 Tone photogravures
39 Gravures (machine-printed)
40 Collotypes
41 Photolithographs
42 Relief
43 Intaglio
44 Planographic
Screenprints and Non-Prints
45 Screenprints
46 Monotypes and cliches-verre
II Keys to identification
47 Images with printed text
48 Words below the image: what they say
49 Words below the image: how they look
50 The plate mark
51 How the ink lies
52 Varieties of line
53 Varieties of tone
54 Varieties of face
55 Differences
56 The pleasure of oddities
57 Is the image printed?
58 Original or reproduction?
59 Embossing
60 Lift ground
61 States
62 Ruling machines, multiple tint tools, medal engraving
63 Prepared, manufactured and mechanical tints
64 Colour print or coloured print?
65 Tint or colour?
66 Colour from one or more impressions?
67 Colour separation
68 Register
69 How many printed colours?
70 Paper
71 Process, mechanical: stereotyping
72 Process, chemical: electrotyping
73 Process, photochemical
74 Halftone screens
75 Illustrated books
76 Postcards
77 Banknotes and stamps
78 Newspapers and magazines
79 Around the house
III Reference
80 A Print Vocabulary: a guide to consistent usage
81 Select Bibliography
82-106 The Sherlock Holmes Approach
107 Glossary-Index