How do I turn my original artwork into a limited edition print?

So you have an artwork original, and you want to turn it into a limited edition print; this can seem a daunting task if you have never produced one before.


There are so many production methods; how do you know which option to choose? Our helpful guide will get you started on this journey and point you in the direction of more detailed information.




How was your original produced?


If you are a photographer or digital artist, you probably have a digital version of your artwork held on a computer, so you will want to use this file as the basis for your print.

If you have a physical work of art, for example, a painting or drawing, you will need to get this original scanned or photographed to create a digital version of the image. We offer an in-house photography service that uses a high-resolution digital format camera, carefully calibrated to capture the detail and colour of your image. The resulting digital file is used to create a print at any size you want. For more information, see our photography page.

Please view our article " Supplying digital files for Print Production and getting the best results " if you are supplying us with your own digital files, from digital artwork or photography.

At this point don’t forget to think about your choice of image, have you got good feedback from friends' family or social media for the image. Is it one of your more popular images do you think it will sell well? Even if you plan to print on demand there will be some cost in getting the digital image for printing and proofing the prints, as well as your time marketing it.


What type of print do I want to make?

We offer three main types of printing, Giclee, Silkscreen and a mixed media prints using both methods.


Giclee printing This is a flexible and cost-effective method which is excellent if you are starting out making prints. You can print any number of prints at a time and print the same image in various sizes. We have a range of high-quality fine art papers and canvas available. We can also print large formats and onto unusual materials using our flatbed digital printer.



This type of printing is excellent for photography, fine art paintings, watercolours, charcoal, sketches and digital art. For more detailed information, please see our Giclee page.


Silkscreen

The most cost-effective way of producing full silkscreen prints is to print a complete edition at once in an edition length of at least 20 or more prints.

We work closely with the customer when producing Silkscreen editions. We help create the artwork you need for printing, and choose the best screening method to make your prints.

For more detailed information, please see our Silkscreen page




Mixed Media

Using a mix of image-making processes can add another dimension to a giclee print taking it beyond a digital reproduction of an original to being a work of art in its own right. Making a Mixed Media Giclee print involves printing the image as a Giclee and then adding finishes and effects using the screen print process. Because Silkscreen necessitates creating a screen for each colour or effect, we recommend a minimum order of 10 prints. The effects can include leafing, diamond dust, glosses, iridescent Fluorescent, metallic colours, and glitter gloss. Using our flatbed printer, we can also print over Silkscreen or metallic leaf.

For more information, please see our Creating a mixed media print article.




Hand finishing

This is something you can do to any giclee print we have produced, and if you are starting out and not wanting to produce many prints, this is a great way to add a little extra interest to your prints. Make sure you ask for a sample print and test that you can enhance the print to your satisfaction.





What size should my prints be?

If you have used our photographic service, you should be able to print your work at any size. If you are providing a digital file, the print size will be dictated by the resolution and size of file you provide. We are not restricted to A paper sizes and can now even cut circular and oval-shaped paper.

Think about your original and your customer and choose a size that you think will be popular. If you are printing on-demand, you may want to offer more than one size but be careful not to overwhelm people with options.

How many prints should I print?

This is up to you. If you intend to make a Limited Edition by numbering your prints, decide the edition's length at the start.


  1. Number in the Edition

  2. Number of Artist Proofs

  3. Number of Printers Proofs

A Giclee Edition can be printed one print at a time, but we recommend a minimum order of 10 copies for prints with added silkscreen enhancement.

If you are new to self-publishing, you might want to start with short production runs, 5 or 10 prints at a time. Once you have a more mature market, planning longer production runs will be more viable.

The only way to ensure all prints in an edition are identical is to print them together in one production batch. However, we realise customers can not always afford to do this and do everything we can to ensure that each batch's colours remain the same.


Variables between production batches include:


  1. The texture of paper; (paper is made using natural felts these can change over time)

  2. Slight colour changes in inks available.

  3. Digital printing due to machines and software being updated and improved.

If your prints are sold as individual images, it is unlikely customers will see individual prints together at the same time, so small changes won't be notable.


Once you have each of these questions answered you should be in a strong position to start your print making journey.

Get in touch with our expert team who are here to get you on our way


Plus don’t forget to check out our 101 of printmaking terms to answer all the little questions about printing you were too scared to ask.



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Contact us at


sales@harwoodking.com

+44 (0) 1273 512554

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Harwood King Printmakers, Unit 8, E-Plan Estate, New Road, Newhaven,

East Sussex, BN9 0EX