Americas Collection Graphics

4 Factors to Consider When Buying Limited Edition Prints

The inclusivity and scarcity of limited edition prints make them valuable and a good addition to your art collection. Many factors come into play when deciding the value of limited edition art prints for sale. As an art collector, you should be able to answer the question, ‘are limited editions worth buying?’ before you add limited edition print in your collection. Here’s how to tell if limited edition prints are worth buying.

1. The Number of Editions in Production

Artists often limit the total number of artwork produced in an edition. Many factors influence the number of limited edition prints that an artist will produce. The printing technique is among the top reasons. Some printing techniques, such as serigraphy, are sophisticated and result in high-quality fine art prints. Most artists may choose to produce serigraphs by themselves or trust an expert master printer whom they closely supervise. For each edition, an artist will restrict the number of fine prints reproduced so that each print retains its original value. Not many artists will have a second or third edition of their artwork. Typically, the first editions of an artist’s artwork will fetch more value in the market. When buying limited edition prints, you want to consider the total number of fine prints produced in an edition, and whether the artwork is the first, second, or third edition.

2. Uniformity of Limited Edition Prints

Each piece of artwork in a limited edition should be identical. To distinguish each piece in an edition, artists usually label every piece with a specific number. For instance, if a particular edition has 20 pieces of total fine prints produced, they may be labeled as 1/20, 2/20, 3/20, and so forth. However, each piece of the limited edition prints should look the same. After closing the production of limited edition art, artists and printers sometimes destroy all the materials used to create the limited edition prints. This ensures that no extra piece is added to the edition. The labels are usually printed at the bottom of each piece or the back of the artwork. Therefore, it’s easy for you to identify each piece in a limited edition series. Sometimes, people may associate the value of artwork with its print number. You may wrongly assume that the piece labeled 1/20 is more valuable than the one labeled 20/20. This may hold water, but not on all occasions. Art galleries may first display the 1/20 piece at a certain markup price. As demand for the edition grows, the consecutive pieces may fetch more money. Therefore, you may pay more for the 20/20 piece than the 1/20 piece.

3. The Reputation of the Artist and Printer

Limited edition prints from world-famous artists will have more demand in the market. Usually, top artists will individually supervise each piece produced in an edition and make sure that they are above quality. You’ll find such pieces signed by the artists as a sign of authenticity and originality. A signed print is especially worth keeping because it is proof that the artist approves the artwork as an original piece. The reputation of the printer also influences the quality of fine art print. Top artists will only work with the best printers who will produce quality artwork. You may find two signatures at the bottom of a piece of artwork — one from the artist and the other from the printer. Limited edition fine art prints from a reputable artist and printer will command more value in the market because the quality is guaranteed.

4. The Freshness of the Artwork

Before releasing limited edition prints, artists may introduce new ideas in the artwork. Other than reproducing limited edition art prints of their old artworks, most artists incorporate fresh ideas that make the piece more relevant to the current trends. As a collector, such pieces will add value to your art collection.

Limited edition prints are a value-addition to your art collection. You will need to conduct more research before buying limited edition art, but the above factors should get you going.