Question About Limited Edition Prints

Question About Limited Edition Prints
(Luke Collins) #1

I have been doing local art shows for about 5 years now. I have mostly been selling matted prints, metal prints, and canvases. Lately, I have been thinking I would start offering limited edition prints but have a few questions about limited editions and acceptable uses of the image in the future.

Let’s say I select an image to print as a 16x24 matted print on fine art baryta paper in a run of 250.

Can I offer that image for sale in any other medium (such as photo paper or metal) as an open-edition print?

Can I offer the image as a print in another size or medium as another limited edition? Like a 20x30 acrylic print in a limited edition of 250.

Since I’ve been doing shows for a few years, if I have already sold a print as a non-numbered/unlimited print on regular photo paper or metal, can I still create a limited print run of that image? Or should I select only images that have never been printed before?

I’d appreciate any opinions and advice you might have!


(Dennis Plank) #2

I don’t have any experience in this area, Luke, but if I were one of your customers, and I found out you were offering the same print again on a different material, I would not be happy. Just my opinion.

1 Like

(Luke Collins) #3

I agree! But I have read opinions out there that each size and each material can be their own limited edition. But I also think that kind of defeats the purpose of limited edition prints. SO I am wondering what others have done.


(Preston Birdwell) #4

I disagree with this. If one offers a limited edition, the edition should be for a single media type and size, exclusively. The image should not be offered for sale as a print once the limit is reached.

A limited edition is simply a statement of the image’s value. If the image is offered in various sizes, or media, and if the number of prints is high, then the value to collectors is diminished. To me, that defeats the purpose.


(Luke Collins) #5

That was my impression as well.


(Lori Ryerson) #6

Limited edition seems to take on different meanings depending on who you speak with, and what market is involved. Up here in my end of the world, any print run larger than about 30-ish is not considered “limited”. For myself, after a few permutations over the last few years, this is what I have settled on: all my work is based on a limited edition of 25 copies. Period. Doesn’t matter what size it is (18x24, 24x36, 30x40 etc.), or what substrate it goes on (metal, paper, acrylic, because different clients like different substrates) - once I get to 25 copies, it’s closed. That’s how I handle it. So far, so good.


(Luke Collins) #7

Thanks for your input Lori! I really like this approach. I like how it remains limited while keeping in mind the print preferences of the purchaser.


(Ed Cordes) #8

I agree with the concept that a “limited edition” print means just that. If you say Limited Edition of 100 then all prints of that image regardless of paper type or size will total 100. That said, what about note cards? If I have a run of 100 gallery quality prints but then want to produce 4 X 6 note cards do the note cards count toward the 100? After all, they are not wall hangers. Just playing “Devil’s Advocate”.