Although monotypes and monoprints involve distinctly different processes, the two terms are often used erroneously as synonyms, or are mistakenly used for each other.
A monotype is a single print pulled from a glass or metal plate on which ink or paint has been applied. The image can be transferred to paper by hand rubbing or with a press. A monotype remains one of a kind because it contains no repeatable matrix in the image from which a perfect second impression can be made.
A monoprint begins with a repeatable matrix in the image, such as an etched plate, which could, if desired, be editioned to produce a series of like impressions. What gives the monoprint its singularity is the process of subsequent hand colouring or doctoring to make it uniquely different or a one of a kind print. A series of monoprints - all derived from the same plate, but then individually hand manipulated - is often called a unique edition and is signed and numbered accordingly.