Art Smart: Are Prints Worth Collecting?

Art Smart: Are Prints Worth Collecting?

In art collecting, some people subscribe that the only art worth collecting are original works. However, a section of collectors state that they will collect anything that looks good on their walls, whether it’s an original or a reproduction. No matter where you stand, art is worth investing in as it brightens up a place tremendously. Whatever artwork you hang on your wall, it elevates the ambiance of your room. 

People ask, is it worth it to collect art prints? Aren’t they worthless reproductions that don’t have any value at all? Well, the short answer to the question is yes, some prints are worth collecting. However, the long answer is something we would like to explore further in this blog. So read on, and find out if your decision to plough a wad is worth it.

What’s a print?

An art print is a reproduction of an original artwork usually commissioned by the artist to make their work more accessible. There are different printmaking processes, with some printers using copper plates to transfer the art to canvas. Others use a different technique since copper disintegrates and affects the print quality. 

Aren’t prints tacky?

Some prints are haphazardly reproduced using sub-quality ink and processes that show low craftsmanship. In our opinion, yes, those prints are pretty tacky and don’t deserve any space on your wall. But, unless you manage to come up with an early edition of a Rembrandt or another artist who still hasn’t mastered the technique and process, the print doesn’t hold value. 

prints tacky

What prints should I go after?

If you’re serious about collecting art prints, you’ve got to remember that there are artists who specialize in the process. They’re the artisans who put their name on work that they want reproduced multiple times. They run several editions of the print and, in some cases, hard sign them and number them based on the production run. If you have an art gallery that sells these and there’s a certification that comes with the print, then, by all means, purchase it. 

If you buy a print of a renowned art masterpiece, don’t pass it off as the original. You wouldn’t deceive anyone with a trained eye. 

Frame them!

One of the things that you have to remember if you buy a print from a reputable dealer is that you have to frame them. Not only will you set off the print much better, but it’ll also be more suitable for display purposes. With the advances in framing technology, you’ll be able to protect the print from fading and the elements much better. 

How much should I pay? 

Market forces always dictate the value of an art print. The artist, the print run, the scarcity, these are among the things you have to consider whenever you’re buying a print. If it’s more desirable and a limited quantity, the more value it will hold. You can look for emerging artists and hope that their reputation and portfolio become desirable. You can also go with the established ones. Whatever you choose, there’s value in art prints. It may not be much for some, but there’s some.


Collecting art prints isn’t for everybody. However, it is an avenue worth exploring as it may just be what you need as a collector to establish a collection that’s definitive of your passion. 

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