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Are Archival Prints More Expensive Than Regular Prints?

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Mary Heinz
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There was a time when the moment you sold something, and that was it, it was gone. The buck is gone, and only one buyer is able to recognize your efforts.

However, with Fine art prints, this is not the case! Not only will you get more satisfaction from a work that you’ve invested many hours and efforts into, but you’re capable of reaching out to many more buyers of art who might have liked the original piece but could not have the money to buy it.

With the growing popularity of Archival art prints, it’s something worth researching as a business plan for your art. Here’s what you should learn to get started making as well as selling copies of prints.

Different Printing Types

According to art consulting business expert, Laura C. George describes it, “prints” refer to any kind of reproduction of an artwork. In simple terms, prints comprise the art of printmaking using flat plates to produce multi-layered artworks, like using monotypes, lithographs, screenprints, and others. Printmaking techniques that are traditional are usually thought of as artworks of fine art, and the artists working in these media are proficient in the art of printing.

But, if you’re trying to print the original artwork, you are searching for what’s called a giclee print (pronounced “zhee-clays”). Giclees can reproduce various kinds of artwork.

Giclee is a French word that means “to spray,” which refers to the way an inkjet printer operates and the way giclee prints are typically made. The large-format inkjet printers utilize small spraying equipment that mixes colors and applies ink precisely and provide artists with a high-quality reproduction of their original artwork, as explained by ThoughtCo.

But, not all printers print giclee images. All it boils down to four factors: resolution, ink paper, resolution, and printer model.

What is the difference between a giclee and a?

In order to create an image of this high quality, the scanner or camera utilized to create or scan the artwork must be able to print at a high resolution. For comparison, the majority of digital images are captured with 72 DPI on the screen, also known as “dots per inch,” and the file that contains the image of the artwork must be at least 300 DPI, as the greater number of dots you can get printed on smaller areas the more precise the images will be.

As far as inks and paper are concerned, CreativeBloq states that they must be of high quality and considered “archival.” It is generally accomplished with inks that are pigment-based rather than dye-based and any watercolor paper, canvas, or special printing paper that is labeled as archived. Printers are generally larger and are capable of holding up to 12 cartridges that produce a greater variety of colors that can be used to duplicate your work.

Open Edition vs. Limited Edition

Artists can choose to make limited edition or open edition prints. With open editions, the number of prints that could be produced and sold is limitless, providing artists with the possibility of a continuous source of income.

However, the number of limited editions is meticulously selected, and only one more edition print can be produced once they have all been sold. Of course, this can make prints with limited editions more attractive to collectors, and therefore artists can sell more of these types of prints.

“As the demand on the internet for prints of original artwork increased by fourfold in the last few years, and so did the communities of artists who want to sell their artwork as open editions on the internet,” says Dan. M of ElephantStock.com which is a top provider of print-on-demand wall art prints.”

“Like many other services that are available that offer services for artists, the ElephantStock.com platform assists artists by providing them with huge online exposure. In addition, we make it simpler for interior designers as well as customers to come across fresh and exciting works that fit the decor of their homes,” Dan adds.

This model of open editions has turned into an income stream that is steady for a lot of artists in 2020. It is predicted to continue to grow over the coming years as online home decor market demand rises.

Locating a Printer

For artists, printers are getting more advanced than ever in regard to quality. They’re now capable of producing quality art prints that are high-end on metal, just like Displate can!

When you’re trying to find an established printer to print your giclee, Make sure to do your homework, ask others in your community for recommendations, and then go to those studios, talk to the printers and look at their portfolios of work.

The reliability of equipment, the technical expertise, and a vision of the long-term relationship you want to establish are vital.

Create Your Own Editions

Utilizing your printer, your art will be photographed or scanned, followed by the “artist’s illustration” that can be produced. After you have confirmed that the print is in line with the original artwork to your preferences, the production file is usually produced with all the information regarding color, density, paper finish, size of print and white space for the border, and so on. It is then secured to allow for the same printing.

In some instances, in the case of a limited edition, once it is sold out, the production and proofing documents for that print are deleted in order to preserve the authenticity of the edition for buyers.

The Correct Quantity

If you decide to go restricted with your prints, you’ll soon be asking yourself the question, “How numerous limited-edition prints can I create?”

There isn’t one right or wrong number. This could mean five, or the number could even be five hundred! Whatever the case, you have to be careful when making a decision with your printer. Be aware that the fewer editions are available and the higher price you can offer, in addition to the greater value the prints are for buyers. Certain types and sizes of artwork with greater numbers of editions may be more suitable for the people you want to sell to.

Then, consider what kind of buyer is it that I am trying to connect with. What is the relationship to my other products and pricing points? How many editions do I believe I’ll be in a position to sell?

If you think about how these editions will fit into your sales strategies, You will get an understanding of the demands of your customers as well as the value you will need to position them as and the number you’ll need to have available.

The Price You Choose

Like any artwork, the cost of the fine art print you create will be based on your professional level as well as the expenses of the creation of the work, the profit you would like to make, and the amount your intended customers are willing to pay, considering the number of editions you’ll sell. The digital printmaker Old Town Editions offers more pricing suggestions and a pricing chart for giclee here.

How to Start Selling

As they’ll have less expensive than your other artwork, Try selling them along with the originals you’ve created in exhibitions, art shows, exhibitions, and to young collectors or passionate fans who really aren’t expensive. Wholesale shops and galleries might think about selling prints too.

A different option would be to utilize these high-quality photos of your work to be used for license or merchandising. Numerous talented fine artists such as Robin Maria Pedrero and Tyler Wallach have had success using this possibility. Learn their advice for artists who are interested below.

Be sure to inform your clients that what they’re buying is a printed product, and this is why they will remain at a cheaper price point. The last thing we want is to cause a client to believe they’re getting an original work or to diminish the value of an original work. But, there’s no reason not to use your own images for reproductions in order to increase your sales.

What You Must Keep Track of

The art you create is now more crucial than ever prior to editions.

In the first place, you need to identify your prints correctly when they’re offered for sale to guarantee the authenticity that the print is a limited edition, generally with a fraction such as “12 out of fifty.” Proofs of artists, as well as master image prints that aren’t to be sold, and prints made by printers must be properly marked, too.


Furthermore, you should be aware of where your prints are located at any given time, whether they’re displayed in galleries or consigned, so that you can keep track of sales and your inventory. Also, it is important to save the contact information of the buyer to be able to refer buyers to your business in the future.

With all the details you need to manage to keep track of, an art inventory management system such as Artwork Archive is a great way to save time. Our latest editions feature can help you quickly number and track your editions and export reports. You can learn more about your editions, gain an overview of all your editioned works, and include editions in your portfolio of business art.

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