“Numbered Edition” vs. “Limited Edition” prints

“Numbered Edition” vs. “Limited Edition” prints

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The time has now come that I have printed my first round of prints for sale, and I needed to decide how to best number them.  I wanted each one to be a little personal so they are all numbered and signed on the front of the print.  The big question was – should I so “limited edition” versus “numbered edition” prints.

If you’re asking what’s the difference – I was too. A little internet searching later and I made my decision to go with “numbered edition” prints.  Here’s a summary of the difference and why I made my choice …

Both “limited edition” and “numbered edition” prints are often signed and hand touched by the artist, which increases the personal connection to them.  The big difference is that with limited editions the artist decides how many will be printed before the first sale will be made.  Although this increases the ‘scarcity’ of the prints, it does not necessarily improve its value as many prints never truly sell their full number and more more limited by demand than by numbers printed.  “Numbered Editions” can print more, even adapting the size, edit on the image, and paper choice used etc if the photographer’s processing skills/interpretation change or new mediums are made for printing it on.  Doing a “numbered edition” also lets the artist reprint a copy for a person if the original is list or damaged – as long as that original version is thought to be destroyed – while this is more of a ‘faux pas’ for limited editions.  Even though more images cam be made with a “numbered edition” –  the lower numbered ones will be considered more valuable if the print or artist ever becomes collectable.  That and Ansil Adams never did limited editions – so why should I?

And now I have to start signing some prints …