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In its simplest form, a print is an impression made by any method involving transfer from one surface to another, usually using either a wooden or metal plate. Different from a straight reproduction, an original print is designed and often also printed by the artist themselves. Original prints are usually produced in small numbers and are usually numbered and signed by the artist.

The number of prints in a given edition produced by an artist impact the value. The smaller the edition, the rarer and therefore more valuable the print is.

Printmaking can often be a laborious process, especially if the color is introduced. There are also cases where prints can be quite large, which is also yields a more complex production process, which also contributes to value. A print purchased from a well-known print shop that works regularly with the artist can also add value.

As with paintings, drawings, and other fine and decorative artworks, the condition is an important factor in determining value. Since the majority of prints are works on paper, they are prone to staining, fading and creasing. If a print is in poor condition, it can negatively impact the value.

Another important factor for a print’s value is the presence or absence of an artist’s signature. If the print is hand-signed by the artist, the value likely increases. Many larger edition prints have printed or stamped signatures, which makes them more affordable.

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