Limited Editions – What they are & Points to Consider
What are Limited Edition prints?
A Limited Edition (LE) is a run of prints which is restricted to a pre-determined quantity. The idea behind offering prints as a Limited Edition is to make them more exclusive and therefore increase their market value by restricting the number of copies available. Their value can even increase over time particularly where demand outstrips supply.
Points to consider
The Fine Art Trade Guild print standard recommends that Editions are kept below 850, however, deciding on the size of your Edition should be a practical decision based on how many copies you realistically expect to be able to sell, always bearing in mind that the lower the number the more desirable the prints are likely to be.Limited edition prints are generally signed and numbered e.g. 15/25, by the artist along with a written assurance that no further copies or alternative formats (such as greeting cards or any other products) will be produced. There is no legal obligation to follow this rule but it could be considered unethical and you run a high risk of damaging your reputation as an artist and drastically devaluing your LE prints by having the image available in any other form. Remember, your potential customers are only prepared to pay for a Limited Edition print because it is by its’ very definition, limited. To further guarantee the integrity of your Limited Edition, production files will be destroyed once the final print has been produced.
Ideally, each print within a Limited Edition should be accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity bearing the same number. Having Certificates of Authenticity helps you to effectively market your Edition and ensures the buyer (and future buyers) that they can verify the authenticity of their print.Each Certificate should include, but is not restricted to, the following information;Title of imageNumber of prints in the edition including their size(s) and media variations, if applicableEquipment, inks and substrate(s) usedAssurance that the image is unique to that Limited EditionArtist signature (and contact details, if desired)
When you request us to print an image as a Limited Edition, we will draft a Certificate of Authenticity for your approval. To maintain the integrity of an edition, each print produced will be supplied complete with a printed and embossed Certificate of Authenticity bearing the appropriate number, stating all the required information.
As an ethical and professional print maker, we will not be able to confirm an edition as limited unless we have provided dedicated certificates from the outset.
Can you change the quantity of prints produced later?
No. The edition size must be determined at the outset and stuck to.
Can you change the size of prints or substrate used later?
The thing to remember here is to make your intentions clear from the outset. There is nothing to stop you from having different sizes of print within an edition provided the total number of prints does not exceed the edition size but this variation must be clearly explained on all Certificates. It is also acceptable for prints to be produced on more than one media but again this must be clearly stated on all Certificates.
Do I have to have the entire edition printed in one go?
No. One of the benefits of Giclée printing is that we can print on demand so you do not have to order the entire Edition or a minimum quantity like with more traditional printing methods. You can order prints one at a time as you sell them! With Limited Editions, we will keep a record of the prints we have previously produced and issue the appropriately numbered certificate with each print you request.
Can I have a proof copy for my portfolio?
You can request an Artists Proof which will be supplied stamped to render it unsaleable (normal colour proof charge applies). We may also retain stamped ‘Printer Proofs’ or ‘masters’ which are used for comparison when printing to ensure consistent output.
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