Let's start with the basics...


Print Edition

A print edition is the total number of impressions from a given print.


Numbered Print

The numbering of a print takes the form of a fraction. It shows the number of the print and the total number of prints in the edition, for example '25/500' means the print is number 25 within an edition of 500. 

Limited edition prints are usually numbered in pencil to reduce risk of fraud as computers can't trace it.


AP - Artist Proof

When technology was less advanced in the early days of printmaking the first prints of an edition were of a higher quality. Re-using printing plates would gradually wear them down, causing a decline in quality throughout the edition's production. The artist would often keep these higher quality prints for themselves.

Now that printing technology has advanced the quality of a print is no longer an concern. Each print in a giclee or off-set lithograph edition is identical. Today, Artist Proof's are exactly the same as numbered copies of the print.

Sometimes the artist creates an AP as a working trial. These are likely to have extra annotations etc, which show the work's progress. Take a look at this Harland Miller Artist Proof...


Happy birthday to the legend that is Harland Miller 🤙🏼🍾🎉 This rare AP is from an edition of 2 🔥

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It is more desirable to own an AP... partly because of tradition, but mainly because there are fewer AP's within an edition which heightens the desire to own one. The number of AP's in an edition should not surpass more than 10%. Due to this restricted supply, they are usually priced slightly higher than other prints. 

Above: Banksy, Morons - Grey (Artist Proof)

BAT / Final Proof

This is the final proof of a print that the artist approves and wants the rest of the edition to look like. It is argued that the final proof is more prized than the AP because there is only one.


PP - Printers Proof

As the name suggests, a Printers Proof is a print given to the printer (s) to thank them for their work. The number of PPs in an edition depends on how many craftsmen were involved in the production. 

PPs are similar to APs in that there are fewer of them. However, PPs are normally even rarer than APs, which makes them slightly more expensive. 

APs and PPs are both numbered in the same way... for example 1/5 AP and 1/5 PP. 


HC - Hors Commerce

Hors Commerce means 'out of trade' in English. 

HC's and AP's are very similar except HC's are only available directly from the artist. A HC is given as a gift to the artist for allowing the publisher to print their images. Of all the special prints, the HC's are the most valuable, since they are more rare. Above: Harland Miller, This is Where It's Fuckin at, at Least It Used to Be (Hors de Commerce)


Printing Types...


Screen Print

Screen printing is perhaps the most omnipresent printing technique today.

The process involves using an ink blocking stencil, which is added to the screen to act as a barrier. When the ink is passed across the mesh screen, the blocking stencil only allows selected areas to pass onto the surface.

See below... 


Check out this interview with Harland Miller where he talks technique...


Harland Miller - The Me I Never Knew

The Making of Harland Miller's screen print, The Me I Never Knew.



A cosy Saturday evening with the grannies!! ☕️✌🏼👵🏻👵🏻 @banksy

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Above: Banksy, Grannies (Screen print)



Woodcut printing uses a relief technique and is the oldest type of print. This technique involves removing the non-printing parts of an image, leaving the printing parts level with the surface, by carving into a wooden block.   

Above: Woodblock  Printing

 Above: David Shrigley, Fucking Ace (Woodcut)


This print by Harland Miller grabs the attention of many... We can see why! ‘Happiness: The Case Against’ 😍🙌🏼

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Above: Harland Miller, Happiness: The Case Against  (Polymer-gravure with photo-etching and woodcut) 


Linocut printing is a very similar, but more modern, technique to woodcut printing. Linoleum is used as opposed to wood. This material is far softer, which allows for more fluid, sharp lines.  

Above: Linocut printing process (Image from Pinterest)

Above: David Shrigley , I'm So Great (Linocut)

Above: David Shrigley, It's Ok (Linocut)



A monotype print tends to create just one good impression from each prepared plate. Each monotype print is cherished because they have their own unique, textual quality. Above: Monotype Printing, Image from A Monotype Workshop with MOMA 

Their creation involves drawing with ink or paint on a smooth surface like glass, metal or stone. The image is then produced in reverse when it is hand-pressed onto a ground support.  



Lithography has the most complex printing process. 

'Generally seen as the most difficult printmaking method, lithography involves drawing directly on flat surface (usually stone) with an oil-based implement, then coating it with a water-based liquid. When oil-based ink is applied it’s repelled by the water, inking in just the image and allowing it to be transferred onto a paper ground.' (Artsy, Nine Types of Print Making You Need to Know) Above: Lithography, An Excellent Printing Method - Image from InterLogic Above: David Shrigley, The Paper Weighs Nothing but the Ink is Heavy (Lithograph)

Digital Print

Digital prints are used to make common reproductions. They are created with a computer and usually use an ink-jet printer. The digital information is fine-tuned to ensure that it matches the original work.

Giclee prints are a form of digital print. Giclee literally means to 'squirt or spray'. The process involves spraying pigmented ink in mists of minuscule dots onto canvas or high quality paper.   Above: The Connor Brothers,  I Don't Want To Go To Heaven ( Giclee)



TYPE is now just two days away! RSVP for the Private View on Thursday by clicking HERE.


It’s just a few days until we launch our new exhibition TYPE 🎊🍾 TYPE is a collection of rare, sought after artworks by some of the world’s leading, contemporary artists... @banksy @connorbrothersofficial @davidshrigley #harlandmiller RSVP on our website for the Private View this Thursday.

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Thanks for reading. See you Thursday!

Hang-Up Team






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