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...a blurb I found on the internet - the company is no longer in business.

…a blurb I found on the internet – the company is no longer in business.

I used to work at a company called Atelier America, a fine art 3d reproduction company.

We used the “Brushstrokes” technology to create 3d replications of past masters work which included the brushstrokes texture of the original painting. The prints were “enhanced” by artists with alkyd paint, framed and sold for thousands of dollars.

I worked in several areas of the business during my time with the company; framing, production floor, print editions and finally as the Marketing Co-ordinator for the small products division.



Created Value

My biggest take away from Atelier America was the understanding that the reproduction market is all about CREATING VALUE. It is the manipulation of product to produce the PERCEPTION OF VALUE.

Reproductions, especially giclées, are nothing more than copies. There is no inherent value to them, until you create a framework for that value to exist.

Pull the 3d reproductions off the vac-form machines at Atelier America and there was no value to them. They were treated as a commodity, piled and waiting for the next production process.

They raw reproductions needed to be prettified, packaged and presented with value.

Typical ways to create value are:

  • packaging
  • presentation
  • scarcity

Packaging and presentation are 2 sides of the same coin. Even the “look” and “feel” of your website has to support the value of your reproductions. Is it a quality product? Is it packaged in a sleeve with a backing board? Is it rolled in a tube? How is the print treated by the artist?

Is it a quality print? What paper and inks are used? Are they archival? Are the colours and quality true to the original?

Include a certificate of authenticity. Create a personal stamp to differentiate your “official” reproductions from knock offs.

Signed limited editions - even the reproductions are sold out.

Signed limited editions – even the reproductions are sold out.


Limited Editions

Offer only limited editions.

Limited editions introduces scarcity to the reproductions which increases value. A signed by the artist, limited edition reproduction run is ALWAYS more valuable than an open edition.

The final note to successful reproduction runs – don’t offer them until you’ve sold the original. Even further – hold off on offering prints until you sell MOST of your originals.

Reproductions will cannibalize the sales of your current originals.

You may be ready to offer reproductions for past, sold out series – especially if it’s in a style that you are no longer creating.

That’s a market for scarcity – and ready for reproductions.

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2016 Update

I think the above is good advice for a fine artist creating more traditional canvas paintings and pursuing a gallery path.

For everyone else – especially merch artists and illustrators – there is value and wisdom in starting out ONLY selling reproductions and holding back your originals until you gain a following and can sell the originals for a more lucrative amount.

Artists like Koyamori and Odd Fauna have put this kind of system to good use and have seen a significant jump in the prices for their originals over a short period of time.

Reproduction & Original Sales:

Food for thought: Best selling art and reproduction mediums:

  • 1. Limited Editions Litho/Offset
  • 2. Limited Edition Giclée
  • 3. Open Edition Litho/Offset
  • 4. Oil & Acrylic Originals
  • 5. Watercolour
  • 6. Original Prints (Printmaking)
  • 7. Open Edition Giclée

Carry on.

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Discussion (4) ¬

    Have you been thinking about whether to start offering prints of your artwork?

    Read my post on reproductions to give you some ideas about when it's time to get into prints and how you can help them sell.

    Wendy Landkammer says:


    Anna Mazek says:

    Its the age old equation between selling a few for a lot, or sellming many for less….. there is definately value in limited edition prints, but they are fast becoming 'historic' for the majority of the public, who either fussed, and those that continue to wish for a valuable item. In this economic time, unless you are already in the giddy echeleons of Hirst, et co, limited editions are difficult to sell at a higher price. Also there is the ever increasing development on the market of PODS where a customer can order a top quality print and choose both mount and frame with it….. people are getting in the know that a print for £100 will last as long as one for £1000….. so the value has to come from the artist having a collectible 'presence' for it to work. But the future is so fluid and changeable at the moment….. who knows what the future aps are and how they will change.

    Lezley Davidson says:

    I think it's important not to go into the print market too soon and cannibalize sales of your original work.

    A friend of mine once said, "If you can't keep up with the demand for new work, it's time to go into prints."

    I'd also say that prints are a good choice for any completed series that's mostly sold.

    @Anna – I'm not even considering reproductions for $2000 – I have no idea even what that could be or how there could be any value in it at all unless there's only a handful left…

    In my experience the higher end of limited edition giclee reproductions runs around $200 – $300 and caps the edition size at 2 or 3 hundred (and I've seen them up to 500 or 1000, but then the price is lower).

    It's a lucrative market, once you've built an audience to support it. 😀

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