Limited Editions?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Melisa Taylor, Nov 4, 2004.

  1. Melisa Taylor

    Melisa Taylor Member

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    I think I'm a little confused on Limited Edition Print runs.

    If you do let's say "15" only, is the Limited Edition only limited to that particular sized print or is it ANY print made from that negative?


    I have a huge piece that I did about 6 months ago, got it matted and framed, etc. I signed it and decided at the time that I didn't want to print another one of that image THAT big, I wrote 1/1 by my signature because that's the way I understood Limited Editions worked.
    Now I'm confused because someone else said that meant you can't print the negative period (as far as print sales are concerned).

    I guess if anything I can still print one and call it an "artist's proof"? :confused:

    Am I making sense?
     
  2. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Melisa, chech over at Lenswork, there were some great articles written in the past couple of years about 'editions'. My take on the whole thing is you could have the edition limited by size - 1/20 16x20, 1/30 - 11x14 and so on. Or you can edition 1/20 for all sizes...it's your stuff you can do whatever you want. I think the standard - who knows who sets this, is to limit the edition for ALL sizes.

    Not something I worry about, since my editions are limited to the number of people that are interested to hang one of my works on the wall. :D
     
  3. Graeme Hird

    Graeme Hird Member

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    Melisa,

    If your avitar is a self portrait, you can do WHATEVER you like!!!!!!!

    Artisits proofs are one way around your dilema.

    Have you sold your first print? If not, don't worry. Rub out the 1/1 and go for it.

    Most people I've spoken to say the limit is the total number of prints available. Some say it's the number of that size and quality.

    I say "don't make limited editions until you're already rich and famous".
     
  4. roteague

    roteague Member

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    I would be curious to know if the use of "limited editions" drives the price of a print up, or whether it is just marketing hype.
     
  5. Joe Symchyshyn

    Joe Symchyshyn Member

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    Melisa,

    Here is the link to what Photomc is refering to... It will either make it perfectly clear what you want to do, or confuse you further.

    In my opinion it's the best thing ever written on the topic.

    joe :smile:
     
  6. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    Limiting editions is a marketing tool used by galleries to suggest higher values. Many photographers will limit their editions by print size which actually diminishes their market overall. One ploy that amazes me is the "price increases as edition is sold" BS.
    Several articles in Lenswork and the late Photovision suggest that limited eds. work mainly to the benefit of the gallery. AA's unlimited prints don't seem to hurt the value of his prints. He was nothing if not a prolific printer.
     
  7. WarEaglemtn

    WarEaglemtn Member

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    If you want to do a limited edition, go for it. The positive & negative are there either way.
    It is an excellent way to keep from having to reprint a few favorite 'best sellers' over & over & over again for the next forty years. At the same time it keeps you from reselling new iterations & keeps the bank account lower.

    As for pricing higher as the edition sells out... why not? Encourages buying early in the run & assures a higher price if the edition becomes a demand item.

    As for whether you want to limit yourself to a specific number/size edition & then do a "new" number/size later, you better think on it carefully.

    Don't make editions of 5000 or so though unless you want to be a darkroom slave for years to come or are really, REALLY sure the edition will sell. Nothing worse than seeing someone with 10 year old editions trying to sell number 4/5000, showing they can't even give them away.
     
  8. Sean

    Sean Admin Staff Member Admin

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    I will probably limit mine, but I will label that on the back of the board instead of having 3/20 on the front.. I will also have family, friends, and apug print exchange editions :smile:
     
  9. rbarker

    rbarker Member

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    The Lenswork article does a good job of pointing out the different perspectives and policies with respect to "editions". But, like many ideas that seem good in the beginning, it seems that the concept of editions has become so over-parsed and weasel-interpreted that it has become largely bogus and dishonest.

    Let's face it. The average buyer probably assumes that the denominator represents the total number of prints to be made in any size or any style. If they are buying 2/100, they likely ascribe a certain value to the limited number of total prints. If, however, they are actually buying 2/100 of the 11x14 selenium-toned Ilford Warm Tone semi-matte edition, only to find out there was another 100 printed on neutral tone Ilford, another 100 printed on Seagull, etc., they'd probably feel cheated. And, rightly so.

    Thus, unless one clearly states that the denominator is the total prints ever to be made, the mechanism become too obvious a marketing ploy. The real moral question, of course, is whether to sell the prints sequentially, or hold 1/100 to be sold last, when the price is the highest. :wink:
     
  10. Sjixxxy

    Sjixxxy Member

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    Isn't the term "Limited edition" kind of kooky in theory? 100,000,000 copies of the same prints technically is still "limited".
     
  11. Bruce Osgood

    Bruce Osgood Membership Council Council

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    There are only Limited Editions once you have destroyed the negative. It's really that simple.