Buying fine art prints can be a great way for consumers to hang their favourite art piece in their home without the expensive price tag of an original. When looking to purchase a fine art print, consumers may be overwhelmed with the options. By evaluating the types of fine art prints, the print quality, and the framing of the artwork, consumers can purchase the perfect quality print of their favourite work.
Types of Prints
There are several types of fine art prints, including artists' prints, giclée prints, and photomechanical reproductions. Artists' prints are handmade reproductions resulting in a high-value, unique piece, sometimes referred to as an original print. These prints are usually made in a set, and the artist then numbers and signs each print, providing verification of its authenticity. When signing these prints, the artist also signs an A/P or Artist's Proof to indicate its separation from the original set. Giclée prints are large replications of a piece using high resolution digital scans, an industrial inkjet printer, and paper or canvas. These tend to be more affordable as they do not carry the handmade element of the artists' prints. Photomechanical reproductions, or offset lithographs, utilise a special printing process where the printer uses the negative of the image to mass produce replications of the work.
To ensure buyers receive the best print for their money, they should be sure the print follows the Guild standards, requiring paper which is 250 gsm thick with a balanced pH level, typically between 7 and 10. This prevents too much acid in the paper from ruining the print over time. Consumers should evaluate prints carefully, ensuring the art print they desire is a true reproduction of the original image both in colour and clarity, and follows the recommended standards of the Fine Art Guild where applicable.
To keep fine art prints in great condition, consumers should see if professional framing is an option at the time of purchase. Framing protects the image from dirt, dust, bugs, and other elements that could damage the print. Utilising non-glare class in the framing prevents ultraviolet light from damaging the colour and quality of the paper. In addition, a properly framed print keeps the entire print, including its backing or mount, protected and intact. If a consumer finds a framed print, they should remove the frame to check the quality of both the artwork and the framing, as some sellers may use framing to hide flaws in the print or in the interior of the framing.