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


a colour printing process by lithography


G: Farbdruck, Mehrfarbendruck

cliché (F)

photograph, negative


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.


G: Ferrotypie


Gesellschaft mit beschränkter Haftung (also GesmbH in Austria), meaning “company with limited liability”, is a type of legal entity very common in Germany, Austria, Switzerland (where it is equivalent to a société à responsabilité limitée), and Liechtenstein. It is an entity broadly equivalent to the private limited company in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries, and the limited liability company (LLC) in the United States. The name of the GmbH form emphasizes the fact that the owners (Gesellschafter, also known as members) of the entity are not personally liable or credible for the company’s debts. GmbHs are considered legal persons under German, Swiss, and Austrian law. Other variations include mbH (used when the term Gesellschaft is part of the company name itself), and gGmbH (gemeinnützige GmbH) for non-profit companies.

The GmbH has become the most common corporation form in Germany because the AG (Aktiengesellschaft), the other major company form corresponding to a stock corporation, was much more complicated to form and operate until recently. Source: wikipedia


I: linotipie lithograph G: Lithografie


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

G: signet


G: Fotograf,


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




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.


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


Japanese: (literally mail)

ポストカード (Posutokādo) seems to be the modern term


I: tipografo G: Drucker

publisher’s mark

G: Signet

publishing house

G: Verlagsanstalt, Verlag

trade mark

G: Schutzmarke, Marke


I: tipografie G: Typografie

Universal Postal Union


Side 2 Dormitory Gong read as much as possible