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the act of preparing a printing surface by etching the surface of a metal plate

an illustration made by printing from an engraved plate

COMMENT: The term ‘engraving’ does not mean the same in printing as it does in fine art. An artist engraves a plate by cutting fine lines on it with a burin (a type of sharp needle); the image is formed by putting ink into the cut lines, and wiping excess ink off the flat top surface. In printing, the opposite is the case, as photoengraving etches (with an acid) the non-printing surfaces, leaving the top surface to carry the ink. Photoengraving can be used for reproducing either line drawings (where tones are represented by lines of ink) or halftones (where the tones are conveyed by many little dots of different sizes).



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