Art Prints vs Original Artwork: What Sets Them Apart

As an art enthusiast, I have encountered the terms art prints and original artwork many times. While they may seem similar, there are significant differences between the two. In this article, I will delve into the world of art prints and original artwork, and explain the distinctions between them.

What are Art Prints?

Art prints are reproductions of original artworks created using various printing techniques. These prints are usually produced in large quantities, making them more affordable and accessible to a wider audience.

They are often sold in galleries, art fairs, and online platforms. The process of creating an art print involves transferring an image from an original artwork onto a different surface, such as paper or canvas. This can be done through techniques like lithography, screen printing, or digital printing. The result is a high-quality reproduction of the original artwork.

Art prints

can be categorized into two types: open edition and limited edition. Open edition prints have no limit on the number of copies that can be produced, while limited edition prints have a set number of copies that can be made.

Limited edition prints are often signed and numbered by the artist, making them more valuable and collectible.

What is Original Artwork?

Original artwork, on the other hand, refers to a one-of-a-kind piece created by an artist. It is the first and only version of a particular artwork, making it unique and valuable. Original artworks can come in various forms such as paintings, sculptures, drawings, or mixed media. The creation process of an original artwork involves the artist's personal touch and vision, making it a one-of-a-kind piece. It can take weeks, months, or even years to complete an original artwork, depending on the complexity and size of the piece. Original artworks are often sold through galleries, art auctions, or directly from the artist's studio.

They are usually more expensive than art prints due to their exclusivity and the time and effort put into creating them.

The Differences Between Art Prints and Original Artwork

Now that we have a basic understanding of what art prints and original artwork are, let's look at the key differences between the two:


The most significant difference between art prints and original artwork is their uniqueness. As mentioned earlier, art prints are reproductions of an original artwork, while original artwork is a one-of-a-kind piece. This makes original artwork more valuable and collectible.


Due to their exclusivity, original artworks are often more expensive than art prints. The time and effort put into creating an original artwork also contribute to its higher price point.


While art prints can be of high quality, they may not match the level of detail and texture found in an original artwork.

Original artworks are created by hand, giving them a unique texture and depth that cannot be replicated in a print.


As mentioned earlier, limited edition prints are often signed and numbered by the artist, making them more collectible than open edition prints. However, original artworks are still considered the most valuable and sought-after pieces by art collectors.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between an art print and an original artwork ultimately depends on your personal preference and budget. If you are looking for an affordable way to own a piece of art, then an art print may be the right choice for you. However, if you are a serious art collector or looking for a unique and valuable piece, then investing in an original artwork may be the way to go. It is also worth noting that owning an art print does not mean you cannot own an original artwork.

Many artists offer both prints and original artworks, giving you the option to have a mix of both in your collection.

In Conclusion

Art prints and original artwork may seem similar at first glance, but they have significant differences that set them apart. While art prints offer an affordable way to own a piece of art, original artworks are unique and valuable pieces created by the artist's hand. Both have their place in the art world, and the choice between the two ultimately depends on your personal preference and budget.

Madeleine Jones
Madeleine Jones

Avid explorer. General music nerd. Infuriatingly humble music maven. Hardcore zombie enthusiast. Professional communicator.