Humberto Calzada

Are Limited Edition Prints Worth Buying? Four Things To Look For 

The world of fine art adds an elevated dimension of aesthetic beauty to many corners of life. This is a well-known concept among architects, interior designers, art enthusiasts, and art buyers for corporations such as hotels, transportation centers, and medical facilities. And many individuals who have a love of art are also interested in purchasing a piece or two for themselves. If you’re interested in acquiring some artwork, you may be wondering: are limited edition prints worth buying? Here are a few things to know if you are considering buying limited edition prints.

Reproduction vs. Original Art

One of the first things you will be considering is whether you should purchase a piece of original art or a reproduction. But what’s the difference between the two? Original artwork is exactly as it sounds: it is not copied from anything else and is completely unique. On the other hand, or reproduction is not the result of any creative process; it is, simply put, an item that is a replication or a copy, an existing work of art.

Unsigned vs. Signed Prints

The most common misconception among art lovers who are looking to purchase a piece of art is that a signed print is original. This is not always the case. Reproductions may also be signed and sold. That being said, you are better off purchasing a signed piece of art. The reason for this is that a signature always adds an extra dimension of validity and credence two an item of artwork. Most of all, it adds an element of authenticity.

Limited Edition Prints vs. Open Prints

Limited edition prints is a term for artwork/photography that has been created with a definite number of pieces in mind. Usually, the print will be numbered and signed. On the other hand, the term open prints (also known as open edition prints), means that the artist has not decided ahead of time how many prints will be offered. So when you see a piece of still life artwork that you love, for instance, the best advice would be to purchase it immediately. The status of open edition prints could change at any time and they could become unavailable; they would become limited editions and the only way you could get the piece you love would be to purchase a limited edition print. Of course, then you may wonder: “Are limited edition prints worth buying?” You would have to decide. Limited edition prints are considered more exclusive. As a result of this, they are also usually more expensive. But isn’t owning a piece that you love and having it in your collection its own reward?

Artist’s Proofs

If you see the designation AP on a piece of art, you are fortunate enough to be looking at what is called an artist’s proof. If you are looking at a print, then this is a work that has been produced through the process of printmaking. It is passed along to the artist to make sure that the condition of the work is acceptable. If it is, then more pieces are produced from the plate which was used to make the print. Only a limited number of artist’s proof, or AP, prints are made, which makes them more desirable to collectors.


It is clear that there are many factors to think about if you are interested in buying are and trying to find the answer to the question: “Are limited edition prints worth buying?” Collectors around the world ask themselves this very question, too. Interestingly, the types of art vary. Overwhelmingly, collectors prefer painting as the most popular – 83% – art form. Other media comprise 15% of collections including drawings, works on paper, and collage. But whatever type of art you are considering, whether it is whimsical artwork, still life artwork, an abstract art print, artwork inspired by nature, or some other theme, make sure you do your research and find out the answer to that one key question: are limited edition prints worth buying?