LIMITED EDITION PRINTS
WHAT ARE THEY? WHY ARE THEY ‘LIMITED’, WHAT MAKES THEM SPECIAL?
Limited Edition prints are a great go-between when you:
- can’t afford the original
- the original is already sold
- the original is too large for your walls but you LOVE it so you really would like a smaller version
- you want a top-notch print that will last a lifetime
A limited edition print is a professional quality printed copy of the original. This means the original has been scanned in at high resolution or photographed to capture the original colours and textures and formatted at specific sizes for printing on paper. The artist then works closely with a printer to select suitable paper and ensure that the colour reproduction matches as closely as possible the original artwork. The artist decides how many copies of the artwork they want to ‘limit’ the print run to. For example, an artist may decide to release an A3 print of one of their works, limited to 100 copies at that size. Once 100 copies have sold they will never again print it at that size. Whilst you don’t have something unique you do have something that only 100 people in this world will have access to — still pretty special! Ergo, the value comes from its limitations, some people place even higher value on the first print of the edition.
What to look for with Limited edition prints:
- Indication of professional quality printing: archival quality inks (which means your print won’t fade over time) on acid-free paper (again another preservation technique)
- Signed and numbered edition: look for the artist’s signature on the print, commonly on the white border surrounding the art at the bottom. Ideally there is a signature, title of the artwork and a number e.g 5/100 (which means it is the fifth print in a run of 100).
- Certification of authenticity: limited editions commonly come with a certificate as well, this is usually an additional piece of paper included with the wrapped print that certifies that it is a real limited edition print. This often also has the date and signature from the artist on it.
OPEN EDITION PRINTS
As you may have guessed, open edition prints have no limitations on numbers, as a result they tend to be the cheapest option and their open nature allows the artist to print limitless quantities depending on demand. In order to keep costs down the artist may print these on their own printer, the paper might not be acid free, and the ink may not be archival quality — if you see these items listed then expect to pay a little more for your print in order to receive a print that will have a longer life. Non-archival inks will eventually fade and discolour over time, especially in bright sunlight, so bear this in mind if you want your print to be placed on a sunny wall!
All of our Open Edition Prints are printed on quality archival paper.