Collotype Printing

Collotype Printing is a planographic printing technique for high quality reproduction, because no halftone screen is employed to break the images into dots. Invented in the 19th century collotype printing is little-known today. The Museum of the Printing Arts Leipzig is one of the last places in Europe showing the steps of this unique printing technique.


Collotype printing was formerly the finest technique for the reproduction of fine art works. Excellent color saturation is the most remarkable feature of collotype. The results are difficult to distinguish from the original. Because of the relatively long time of collotype production and the expense of the process, the craft has fallen into oblivion. But since a few years collotype printing is increasingly rediscovered by artists using the technique for a new form of experimental expression.


In the process, a glass plate is first covered with a light-sensitive gelatin solution and then exposed to light through a photographic negative. The gelatin is hardened in exposed areas and is then soaked in glycerin, which is absorbed most in the non-hardened areas. These areas absorb moisture and repel the greasy ink, when the glass plate is exposed to high humidity. The hardened areas accept the ink.


The machines and all the equipment of the Collotype Printing Workshop Leipzig originate from the „Collection SchumacherGebler“. In the end of 2013 the complete ensemble was transferred into the collection of the Museum of the Printing Arts Leipzig.


The Collotype Printing Workshop is accessible for the public in frame of special events (Open Heritage Days Germany, Night of the Museums Leipzig). A visit beyond these days is possible for groups only by appointment and in connection with a guided tour.

Contact: Tel. +49 341 23 16 20, Mail: