What Is An Original, Limited Edition, Fine Art Print?
There are two kinds of prints.
The ones commonly know as prints or posters, are reproductions from an original painting, drawing or photograph and are produced by a photomechanical process, usually in large quantities. They are produced using the cheapest possible materials, which makes them affordable.
Original or fine art prints are quite different in that they have been created by the artist working on a metal plate, lithographic stone, linoleum or wood block or screen and are printed in limited numbers. Furthermore they are hand printed using light fast archival quality inks on high quality acid free paper.As a result original prints have a long life measured in hundreds of years.
Limited edition prints are numbered and signed by the artist. That is why they are called ‘original’ prints. They are not reproductions. They are produced by hand, one at a time from a matrix that the artist has worked on especially for the edition.
There are several other hallmarks that distinguish original prints from their mass market counterpart.The prints are numbered and hand signed by the artist. The numbers are usually found below and to the left of the image. An edition marked 25/99 indicates that it is the 25th print in an edition of 99 prints. The signature is usually below and to the right of the image. . Often the title of the print is hand written below and in the centre of the image.
The making of Original Prints is usually a collaborative process between the artist and a master printmaker. These printmakers are highly regarded artisans who are able to make a valuable contribution to the printmaking process through their skill, knowledge and expertise. Most printmakers will place their studio’s ‘Chop’ or embossed logo outside the image to the bottom right of the paper