Limited edition prints.

A Comprehensive guide to creating, authenticating, and selling your exclusive fine art giclée prints.


Limited Edition Prints
Creating limited edition prints is a powerful way for artists to enhance the value and exclusivity of their work. This guide will walk you through the essentials of setting up a limited edition print run, the importance of Certificates of Authenticity, and the differences between limited and open editions. Whether you're a seasoned artist or new to the world of fine art printing, this guide aims to provide you with practical advice and industry standards to help you navigate the process with confidence.

Many of our customers produce ‘limited edition’ prints. At Art4site, we are committed to helping you achieve the highest quality reproductions of your artwork. We offer comprehensive services, including professionally designed Certificates of Authenticity, to ensure that your limited edition prints are not only beautiful but also properly authenticated and valued.

What is a ‘limited edition’ print?

A limited edition means that you are promising you will only make a finite number of reproductions from a particular piece of artwork.

Once the entire limited edition has been produced the image is then ‘retired’. Traditionally, this would have been the point at which the printing plate was destroyed rendering it impossible to produce any more.

Deciding to produced limited edition prints can enable you to command a higher price than you would ordinarily be able to charge for standard open editions. It also makes it possible to generate extra interest amongst your clients once just a few numbers of the edition remain.

Numbering Limited Edition prints

Do I need to have the entire print run in one go?

No, you can produce the prints as needed. However, you do need to decide the details of the edition before you begin to sell the prints.

Once the first print accompanied by a certificate has been sold the parameters of the edition have been set, so it is a good idea to think carefully about the scope of the print run beforehand.

This will ensure that you don’t get halfway through a print run and realise that you needed to declare a larger edition, extra proofs or any other details.

Can I produce more than one size of print?

Yes, it is the image itself that is limited. As long as you keep within the number of prints stated on the Certificate of Authenticity they can be in a variety of sizes.

However, you do need to declare the sizes you will be offering on the certificates when the edition is set-up. Once these are set you would need to keep within the declared sizes.

Do You Need a Certificate of Authenticity to Accompany My Limited Edition Prints?

While not 100% essential, a Certificate of Authenticity is highly recommended for limited edition prints. It provides a secure and recognised method to validate the specifics of each artwork and edition, enhancing the perceived value and authenticity of your prints.

At Art4site, we can supply Certificates of Authenticity for any artwork printed on-site. Our certificates include essential information such as the title of the artwork, the copyright holder, the release date, the size of the edition, and other relevant details. This ensures that each print is authenticated and recognized as part of a limited edition, adding value and provenance to your artwork.

Do I Need to Sign My Prints?

Signing your prints by hand is highly recommended as it adds a personal touch and authenticity to each piece, enhancing its value and appeal to buyers. A hand-signed print signifies the artist's approval and connection to the work.

If you prefer, a digitally printed signature is also possible, but it doesn't carry the same level of personal authenticity as a hand-signed print.

If you would like us to dispatch prints directly to your customers, you are welcome to drop by the studio to sign them in person. Alternatively, we can send the prints to you for signing before they are shipped to your customers.

Signing prints

What About Artist Proofs?

Artist proofs are optional but can be an integral part of a limited edition print run. Typically, they make up about 10% of the total edition. For instance, if your edition size is 100, you might include 10 artist proofs, numbered as A/P 1/10, A/P 2/10, and so on.

These artist proofs should be declared at the start of the print run and documented on the Certificate of Authenticity accompanying the prints. It is important to ensure that purchasers are aware of the inclusion of these artist proofs at the time of purchase, as they hold additional value and significance.

What about special and embellished editions?

Artists often offer special and embellished editions as part of their limited edition giclée print runs. These editions add unique value and appeal by incorporating hand-embellished details or other enhancements.

Embellished editions go a step further by adding hand-applied details to each print. For example, artists might use the same paints and techniques used in the original artwork to add texture and depth, making each print unique. This process can include hand-painting or drawing specific elements or adding special effects to enhance the visual appeal.

All such variations are included in the overall limited print run for the artwork. It’s important to remember that the edition size, including any special or embellished prints, needs to be declared at the beginning. This ensures transparency and maintains the integrity of the limited edition.

Incorporating these special editions can significantly increase the value and desirability of your giclée prints, attracting collectors who appreciate the added touch of authenticity and uniqueness.

How Should I Keep Records of My Limited Edition Prints?

It is the responsibility of the artist or art publisher to keep detailed records of the limited edition prints sold. Maintaining a log of who purchases your prints and the edition numbers can help prevent any confusion later on.

We recommend keeping a record that includes:

  • The buyer’s details
  • The edition number of the sold print
  • The date of sale

This practice ensures transparency and helps you manage your limited edition inventory effectively. While we cannot maintain these records on behalf of our customers, we encourage you to implement a system that best suits your needs.

What is an open edition print?

Open edition prints offer the flexibility of unlimited reproductions, making them a versatile choice for artists seeking broader distribution without the confines of a limited series. These prints are perfect for artworks where accessibility and affordability are key, allowing continuous production and sale.

Fine Art Trade Guild Membership.

Fine Art Trade Guild
As proud members of the Fine Art Trade Guild, we adhere to the highest standards in the industry. The Guild's standards ensure the authenticity and quality of your limited edition prints, providing buyers with confidence in their purchase.

By following the advice above, you ensure that your artwork is authenticated with the utmost integrity, reflecting our commitment to excellence in fine art printing. Our adherence to these rigorous standards highlights our dedication to maintaining the highest level of professionalism and quality in every print we produce.

Art4site's Commitment.

At Art4site, we are dedicated to producing the highest quality limited edition prints that truly capture the essence of your artwork. Our meticulous printing process, combined with our expertise in colour management and archival materials, ensures that each print maintains its value and authenticity. We recommend adhering to strict standards, providing your customers with the assurance that your limited edition prints meet industry benchmarks for excellence. Trust Art4site to deliver giclée prints that elevate the prestige and worth of your artwork.
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