Saturday, December 06, 2008

Misuse of terms

I have to say something.

I think that most people that misuse the term "original print" do not do so on purpose, they do not mean to be lying. They are not aware of the facts and are laying claim to a term that belongs to another group of artwork. To have an original work of art (a watercolour painting, for example) scanned and then reproduced as a print means that there was an original and that the printed items are reproductions. They are not original prints.

An original print is one that is made to be a print as its original form. It is not a reproduction of a watercolour painting, for example. The original version of an original print is the print.

This can be a woodcut, lithograph, photograph, screenprint, or digital print. They are multiples of the same image, but that image has never existed except as this print. An original print is not a copy of another artwork.

A print made from a scan of your painting can be a limited edition, it can be signed, it can be a giclee print (which is a fine art term for an archival quality ink-jet print), but if your print is a copy of a painting it cannot be called an original print.

Now you know.

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