For art aficionados, amateur enthusiasts and everything in between, a contemporary print can be a great investment, both emotionally and financially. For anyone looking to start their own art collection, investing in contemporary art prints is a great way to begin (whilst experiencing utter joy along the way!). Investing in a limited-edition print of a favourite original is a great way to get the art you’ve always wanted up on your wall. From timeless flowerscapes to contemporary abstracts, when buying limited edition contemporary prints, you’re sure to find a special piece which you’ll fall in love with time and time again.
Fine art prints come in a myriad of genres, styles and mediums. Whether it’s a limited-edition print hand-finished by the artist, an original screen print or a giclée print for added longevity, the type of art print often indicates how much of the artist’s impression is evident within the work. The most valuable prints are the lowest numbers of small sets, my hand-embellished prints are usually produced in a limited edition run of 50, whilst my Giclee prints in runs of 100.
Do Limited Edition Prints Increase in Value?
Whether buying for yourself or as a gift for a loved one, when buying contemporary art prints it is important to understand what drives the value of limited-edition art prints. If you are buying it as a financial investment as many people do, then the workmanship, materials, training and reputation of the artist must all be carefully considered.
The limited edition art print market has expanded enormously over the last decade, due in part to the leaps in digital photography technology and (notably) Giclee prints technology. These digital advances mean that contemporary prints benefit from increased longevity and artists are able to reproduce prints which are much closer to the original. Limited edition prints usually retain or increase their value. However, this will depend on the artist and whether their demand and popularity increases over time. When considering the value of contemporary art, the artist is everything.
Much like you wouldn’t buy an item of clothing or a piece of furniture without checking the materials and workmanship beforehand, when buying a contemporary print it’s important to examine the materials and finish of the piece to ensure it will stand the test of time. It helps to know something about prints: how they were made, to what degree was the artist involved in their production, how many works were printed at one time, who is the printer etc. These factors, plus the quality of the work and the renown of the artist, determine the real value of a contemporary art print. A high resolution signed limited edition print is worth a lot more than a standard photograph poster stuck to a canvas!
When buying a limited edition print, the artist or printer’s proof versions are deemed rare and so are likely to hold more value. Their scarcity makes them more sought-after! Likewise, the first in the edition of a print run (1/50) holds a certain kudos which makes them more in demand. Another tip for spotting a rare print is to look for one in a different colourway, or one that’s been hand finished by the artist. While the print might already be a limited edition, these deviations will make it more unique and help the print to hold (and hopefully increase) its value.
How Do You Put Value on a Contemporary Print You Love?
My fine art limited edition giclee prints are infused with love and beauty and then produced by our master printer here in Devon. I pride myself on personally signing, titling and numbering every single limited edition contemporary print produced, and I also have a collection of printed canvasses which I hand-embellish to create the magical iridescent sparkle which makes my artwork so unique. Every limited edition (usually a run of 50) is unique as they are hand finished with oils, gold leaf, diamond dust and glitters. My prints are produced using lightfast pigment-based inks and we use the highest quality Somerset cotton velvet fine art paper from St Cuthberts Mill in Wells who specialises in creating high quality artists papers using one of the few remaining cylinder mould machines left in the world.
All this said, if you love the contemporary print and can afford it, then perhaps considerations on whether the art print is an investment/worth buying are moot – the potential future financial gain is secondary to the enjoyment you will get from owning the print. Be it the candour of the artist, the sheer beauty of the artwork, its emotional value or purely its aesthetic, the piece needs to speak to you for all the right reasons. When you look at your wall years down the line, will you see the image or the price tag?
Buy limited edition prints which you love and not for investment purpose, the true value is what the limited edition contemporary print means to you and your home.
For me, I think buying a piece of art should make your heart sing. Then the work is timeless, brings joy eternally and becomes priceless.