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Unlimited Design Shop and Gallery

Glossary of terms and print care


Printing processes

Don't know your letterpress from your giclée? Fear not, here's some help!...

Letterpress print
The letterpress printing process uses moveable letters, usually made of metal or wood. The letters are firstly set and spaced into a composition; then inked; and then the paper is pressed against the letters to create a print.

Giclée print
Giclée fine art digital printing process uses light-fast, pigment based inks on high quality archival paper. 

Screenprint
Screenprinting is a technique where ink is transferred onto paper through a fine mesh screen. One colour is printed at a time, so several screens can be used to produce a layered multicoloured image or design.

Indigo print
A high quality digital printing process using a Hewlett-Packard Indigo printer. Like conventional printing presses, it uses ink to print an image, however the ink is transferred to the paper using charged particles within the ink.

Risograph print
Riso, meaning ideal in Japanese, is a form of print invented in Japan in 1986. Initially designed as a speedy, low cost, high-volume print process, in the last few years creatives have re-claimed it. The process is somewhere between offset lithography and traditional screen printing.

Paper sizes

Our prints come in many shapes and sizes. Many of our prints use the A sizing system. Successive paper sizes in the A series are defined by halving the preceding paper size across the larger dimension, effectively halving the area of each sheet. They work well for A-sized readymade frames. These common A sizes and measurements are:

A1
59.4cm x 84cm
A2
42cm x 59.4cm
A3
29.7cm x 42cm
A4
21cm x 29.7cm
A5
14.8cm x 21cm

Other common sizes which also fit commonly found readymade frames are 70 x 100cm, 50 x 70cm, 40 x 50cm and 30 x 40cm.

Print care

Avoid hanging prints in an area where they will be exposed to too much daylight. Light will fade all prints given time.

Avoid damp or outside walls pre-disposed to cold/damp/extreme changes in temperature. Prints are also not best suited to bathrooms!

Humidity will cause most prints to wrinkle inside of their frames. The paper they are printed on naturally expands and contracts, how extreme they';re affected will depend on where they are hung and also the paper stock they're printed on. Also if framing them in a tight-fitting frame, the paper often has inadequate breathing room. Unfortunately it is a natural affect of humidity levels changing and you can't do much to prevent it! At the gallery we have a dehumidifier we use to control levels indoors. You can of course buy domestic dehumidifiers which will also help at home.

For ‘non-valuable’ prints, dry mounting is one technique used, but if you feel it is a collectible or may increase in value one day, then that’s not the best way to solve the issue as it can devalue the piece. It would be best to seek advice from a professional framers as to the best way to protect and frame your print if concerned with wrinkling or damage from exposure.