Lithography is a flat printing technique. With a fat or oil-based crayon the artist draws on a fine-grained limestone or zinc plate. When the drawing is finished the stone is moistened and then rolled with printing ink.
A piece of paper is placed on the inked stone and all is placed in the press.
Chromolithographyis a printing technique intended for making multi-colored prints. Other color printing methods were developed in the 19th century, but the chromolithography method was the most popular. For each color a seperate printing plate or stone is used.
Serigraphy or Silk-screen printing is a printing technique used for multiple graphic purposes, such as textile printing, posters and art prints.
Etching is deep pressure technique. The drawing is done on a copper or zinc plate covered with varnish. Then the drawing is bitten in acid and printed on damp paper.
Engraving or dry needle is a deep pressure technique. The drawings are scratched into a copper plate with etching needles or diamond pins. Unlike an etching, in which the drawing is obtained by using acid, by engraving the image is scratched directly on the copper plate.
Woodcut or xylography is a high pressure technique. With special gouges the drawing is cut in a soft type of wood. The block of wood is covered with an ink roller with black or colored printing ink and then a sheet of paper is firmly pressed on the block.
Heliogravure or photogravure is a graphical technique to add an image to the printing process. A photografic image is hereby applied to a printing plate in a fixed, light-sensitive layer. The plate is etched and printed by inking the deepened surfaces.
Offset printing is a flat printing technique used for printing books and magazines.
Mixed Media is the name for the combination of differents printing techniques, a method Dalí liked to apply such as for example:
Don Quichote: litho with an etching.
Alice in Wonderland: litho with a woodcut.
Les Diners de Gala: offset with an engraving.
The engravings of Dalí are often printed in two runs; first one witn an ink print and the second edition with an aquatint or color stamp.
Tirage or the number of prints is the garantee for the originality of the work. Depending on the technique the same print medium can produce several dozen to several hunderd editions.The first numner 0/000 indicates the order in the edition and the last number the total number of the edition.
E.A stands for Epreuve d´Artiste, these are the first print proofs.
H.C. stands for Hors Commerce, a limited number of prints for the artist and editor.
Dalí signs the original prints both on the ´plate´ as well with a pencil at the bottom of the image.
In the illustrated books with the originals works, Dalí used to sign only the Tirage page.
The signatures of Dalí show a wide variation.