Terminology

This page will help you translate some of the relevant terms between English, German, French, Italian and Spanish. Elsevier’s Dictionary of the Printing and Allied Industries has been published in two editions of which I have the 1967 which I find of great assistance.

I’m grateful to Joachim of the excellent Bibliothekspostkarten website for help with some of the German terms in this page.

art nouveau

I: Stile Liberty G: Jugendstil

Art Nouveau is an international style of art, architecture, and applied art, especially the decorative arts, known in different languages by different names: Jugendstil in German, Stile Liberty in Italian, Modernisme català in Catalan, etc. In English it is also known as the Modern Style. The style was most popular between 1890 and 1910. It was a reaction against the academic art, eclecticism and historicism of 19th century architecture and decoration. It was often inspired by natural forms such as the sinuous curves of plants and flowers. Other characteristics of Art Nouveau were a sense of dynamism and movement, often given by asymmetry or whiplash lines, and the use of modern materials, particularly iron, glass, ceramics and later concrete, to create unusual forms and larger open spaces.

Italian Liberty style, like other versions of Art Nouveau, had the ambition of turning ordinary objects, such as chairs and windows, into works of art. Unlike the French and Belgian Art Nouveau, based primarily on nature, Liberty style was more strongly influenced by the Baroque style, with very lavish ornament and color, both on the interior and exterior.

art publisher

G: Kunstverlag

chromolithography

a colour printing process by lithography

chromotype

G: Farbdruck, Mehrfarbendruck

collotype

G: Lichtdruck F: heliotypie, phototypie US: phototype S:Fototipia

A process for making high-quality prints from a sheet of light-sensitive gelatin exposed photographically to the image without using a screen.

A photo-mechanical process for printing by exposing a plate (copper, stone, or glass) covered in gelatin film under a negative, hardening it with chrome alum, and printing directly from it.

ferrotype

G: Ferrotypie

linotype

I: linotipie lithograph G: Lithografie

lithography

a planographic method of printing that uses the chemical repulsion between water and grease to separate the printing and non-printing areas.

logo

G: signet

photographer

G: Fotograf,

photogravure

G: Heliogravüre

The abbreviations héliog. or héliogr., found on old reproductions, may stand for the French word héliogravure, and can then refer to any form of photogravure

phototype

S:Fototipia

planographic

S: planográfico G: Flachdruck

Planographic printing means printing from a flat surface, as opposed to a raised surface (as with relief printing) or incised surface (as with intaglio printing). Lithography and offset lithography are such processes that rely on the property that water will not mix with oil.

platinotypes

Also called platinum prints, platinotypes are photographic prints made by a monochrome printing process involving platinum.

printer

I: tipografo G: Drucker

publisher’s mark

G: Signet

publishing house

G: Verlagsanstalt, Verlag

trade mark

G: Schutzmarke, Marke

typography

I: tipografie G: Typografie