Acid-Free: Paper that has a neutral or basic pH (7 or slightly greater). It can be made from any cellulose fiber as long as the active acid pulp is eliminated during processing. It is also lignin and sulfur free. Acid-free paper addresses the problem of preserving documents for long periods.
Archival: Refers to materials that meet certain criteria for permanence such as lignin-free, pH neutral, alkaline-buffered, stable in light, etc.
Artist Proof: These photographs are printed especially for the artist and excluded from the numbering of a limited edition, but are exactly like the editioned prints in every other respect. Usually appears as “A.P.”
Certificate of Authenticity: Or “COA” is a piece of paper (certificate) given to a buyer along with an artwork as proof that the piece is authentic. Typical information given is the title of the artwork, the medium, size, date of creation, edition size and edition number (for limited edition prints), plus details of who has issued the certificate (artist, gallery, art assessor). There is no official organization that issues certificates of authenticity and, as with any documentation, COAs can be faked, as an art buyer you should check who issued it.
Copyright: the exclusive legal right to reproduce, publish, sell, or distribute the matter and form of something (as a literary, musical, or artistic work).
Digital Print: refers to methods of printing from a digital based image directly to a variety of media.It usually refers to professional printing where small run jobs from desktop publishing and other digital sources are printed using large format and/or high volume laser or inkjet printers.
Edition: The entire number of copies of a publication issued at one time or from a single set of type.
Edition Number: A fraction found on the bottom left hand corner of a print. The top number is the sequence in the edition; the bottom number is the total number of prints in the edition. The number appears as a fraction usually in the lower left of the print. For instance the edition number 25/50 means that it is print number 25 out of a total edition of 50.
Gelatin Silver Print: Black and White Photograph on paper coated with an emulsion of light sensitive silver salts suspended in gelatin and printed traditionally in a wet darkroom
Giclée: A modern fine art digital printing process where minute droplets of ink are precisely sprayed onto a sheet of paper or canvas to form a continuous-tone image; the process derives its name from the French word meaning ‘to spray.’
Light Jet: A photographic continuous tone process of printing digital images to photographic paper and film. Unexposed silver-halide photographic paper is temporarily fixed on an internal drum, where three digitally controlled lasers simultaneously expose the photo-sensitive emulsion on the paper medium (or back-lit transparency medium) with red, green, and blue light. The amount of light from each laser varies to provide specific color and density values for each pixel imaged to the print. The print is then processed using traditional photochemical means. After which, the photographic print is handled just as any other photo-print.
Platinum Photograph: A photographic print produced using a platinum printing and image developing technique. This process provides the greatest tonal range of any printing method using chemical development. Acid free “rag” paper is prepared by hand coating, or “painting”, its surface with a photosensitive platinum laced emulsion. A light projection device is used to project the image onto the paper through its negative. The image then becomes embedded into the paper via the platinum emulsion. Platinum prints are known for their broad scale of tones that range from warm black, to reddish brown, to expanded mid-tone grays. Platinum prints are considered the most durable of all photographic processes – even more durable than the use of gold in printing.
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