1. Home
  2. Photography & Printm...
  3. Editions


In printmaking the edition refers to a limited number of identical prints that are created from the same specific printing technique. A few examples are wood block, plate, screen prints and silk screen. Editions are also uniform with the medium used across the entire edition.  Some common examples are velum, rag paper, museum board and more recently aluminum and copper just to name a few.

Each print within an edition is numbered to indicate its unique position in the series. For example, if the edition size is 50, each print may be labeled as “1/50,” “2/50,” “3/50,” and so on. Additionally, the prints may be signed by the artist to authenticate their authorship and signify their approval of the quality.

Editioning serves several purposes in printmaking:

  1. Limited Availability: By producing a finite number of prints, editioning ensures that the artwork remains exclusive and limited in availability. This can increase the perceived value of each individual print.
  2. Consistency and Quality Control: Editioned prints are created using the same matrix, inking, and printing process. This allows the artist to maintain consistency and control over the appearance and quality of each print within the edition.
  3. Collectibility: Collectors often seek out editioned prints as they offer a more accessible and affordable way to acquire original artwork compared to unique, one-of-a-kind pieces. The numbered and signed nature of editioned prints enhances their desirability and collectibility.
  4. Market Value: Editioned prints can establish a market value for the artist’s work, as they provide a benchmark for pricing and comparison. The rarity of the edition, along with the reputation and demand for the artist’s work, can influence the value of each individual print.

It’s worth noting that the concept of editioning primarily applies to traditional printmaking techniques such as lithography, etching, screen printing, and woodblock printing. Photographic prints can be created through various processes, including traditional darkroom printing, digital printing, or a combination of both. The editioning process in photography follows similar principles as in printmaking.

Editioned works often come with a certificate of authenticity (COA) issued by the artist or the publisher / printer. The COA includes information about the edition, such as the title of the work, the artist’s name, the edition size, the print number, and any relevant details about the printing process or materials used. The certificate serves as additional proof of the artwork’s authenticity and can provide valuable information for collectors and buyers.

How can we help?