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Artist’s Proof (A.P.) 

A print reserved for the artist and not included in the numbered edition. An artist’s proof can be identified by the inscription “A.P.” found in the lower left-hand margin. Alternatively, printer’s proofs are reserved for the printer and are inscribed “P.P.”

Bon à Tirer (B.A.T.)

A print that is not included in the edition, but which indicates the standard a printer tried to duplicate for the edition. A print which is bon à tirer (translated from French as “ready to pull”) can be identified by the inscription “B.A.T.” found in the lower left-hand margin.


A set of identical prints made from the same matrix (or set of matrices). Often a number of other prints – artist’s proofsprinter’s proofsbon à tirer, and hors commerce (“not for trade”) prints – are made at the same time but are not considered to be part of the numbered edition. Each print in a limited edition is usually numbered in the lower left-hand margin. The form of this inscription is as follows: number in the edition/size of the edition (i.e. 15/50). To guarantee a limited edition, the artist or printer can “strike” the plate by incising an X on the printing face after completion.


Any numbered print from a completed edition.


The specialist who provides technical aide throughout the printing process. A master printer may have a group of assistants. Historically, printmaking has been characterized by a divided production process, where artist and printer work collaboratively but accomplish different tasks.


A print that is not considered to be part of the numbered edition. Examples include prints made in advance of the edition – known as “trail proofs” – as well as those made at the time of the edition, but which are reserved for the artist or printer.


The entity responsible for funding the development and production of an edition. Commonly, this is in exchange for either a percentage of the edition or of the profits from its sale. Some printshops publish their own editions.