Definition of term:: Illustration Processes

  • John Carter explains the illustration processes: "These are of two kinds; (1) the more or less direct product of an artist’s tool (which may be a camera) and (2) photo-reprographic. The photo-reprographic reproduction processes are line-block, half-tone, photogravure, collotype, photolithography, etc. The other group, which includes most illustrations of interest to collectors of older books, may be divided into four sub-groups: (a) relief printing – e.g. the wood-cut or engraving on wood or (more rarely) metal; (b) intaglio – e.g. copper and steel engraving, drypoint, mezzotint, etching, aquatint and gravure; (c) planographic – e.g. lithography; and (d ) original, whether produced by an artist’s tools or camera. Bamber Gascoigne’s How to Identify Prints (1986, 2nd rev. ed. 2004) provides a beginner’s guide to the history and recognition methods of the different processes. A more detailed and extensive survey, with an excellent bibliography, will be found in Printing 1770?1970 (1970, 2nd ed. 1998) by Michael Twyman. For technical details the reader is referred to Processes of Graphic Reproduction in Printing by Harold Curwen; for an historical introduction, to A. M. Hind’s A History of Engraving or Singer and Strang’s Etching Engraving and the Other Methods of Printing Pictures, which also contains a full bibliography."
Source: John Carter, ABC for Book Collectors. 7th edition. With Corrections, Additions and an Introduction by Nicolas Barker. Oak Knoll Press 1995