Originally posted 7th May 2019 – Updated 11th June 2020
When reproducing your artwork, one of the major considerations often surrounding this, is how many prints should you include in your print run. There are many ‘rules’ surrounding the concept of limited edition giclée prints and here we hope to answer some of those questions to make your process much easier!
What is a limited edition giclée print?
To begin with and to put it simply, a limited edition print is a set of prints of the exact same image which will only be produced to a maximum number eg. 100. These series of prints will always look exactly the same when processes such as accurate colour correction and artwork reproduction are followed. It is also worth noting, all prints in your edition do not have to printed at the same time either avoiding the costly overheads – you can print as required (eg. when you sell a copy – see our on demand section here).
One of the most comprehensive resources surrounding this topic comes from The Fine Art Trade Guild. The Fine Art Trade Guild provides a lot of excellent guidance on how limited edition giclée printing should work. Firstly, it is recommended that a limited edition print run is kept to below 850 prints worldwide, however, you can have as few prints as you like. This also includes any artist proofs. But it is worth considering that the lower the edition run, the ‘more rare’ your prints will be – potentially this can be good for resale, however, the more prints produced, the higher the potential income initially. This is really for the artist to decide upon as it depends on your objectives and purpose. We can of course, help advise and give guidance if required.
The Fine Art Trade Guild also states that, ‘a limited edition print is based on an agreement between the licensor, usually the artist or artist’s estate, as a holder of the copyright, and the licensee, usually the publisher.’ The licensor should agree that no previous reproductions have been made and will not be produced again for publication. The publisher will also agree to not exceed the agreed print run which has previously been specified.
Additionally, to comply as a limited edition giclée print run, the image should not be produced in any other format, anywhere in the world. This includes on other items such as mugs or other items for example, or as a different sized print. However, there is an exception in that it can be printed for promotional purposes in items such as brochures or books.
All print edition details should be included in the certificate of authenticity which is provided with the print included which print number the specific print is and out of how many.
You don’t always need to limit!
Alternatively, you don’t need to ‘limit’ your print production and you can produce open edition prints. Basically, this means you can print as many as you like in whichever formats you like! Again, this is your personal choice and agreements need to be put in place. However, it is worth considering the sales value and resale potential with open editions can be much less than with limited edition prints. With limited edition prints you tend to find that there is value added due to the uniqueness and exclusivity. Open edition prints are much better suited to mass production and high turnovers.
Did you know that we are the only fine art printing company in the UK which has been accredited by Canson Infinity, Hahnemühle Fine Art, Epson Digigraphie, ILFORD and the Fine Art Trade Guild? Also, why not sign up to our mailing list to keep up to date with news, products and future competitions at The Artists Print Room – just complete the form below.