Prints often offer an affordable option when buying art but it's not quite as simple as buying a reproduction of an image. There are many different types of print: engravings, lithographs, screen prints, aquatints, linocuts and woodblock prints are the most common types.
For several of those methods, the artist uses a specific method to create an original image on a surface like wood, metal or stone, applies colour and then creates a print onto paper. These types of print are still produced by the artist's hand and will, most likely, be limited to a small run.
There are other types of print that do not necessarily involve the artist in the reproduction process, such as lithographs and giclée prints (digital prints using inkjet printers). Lithographs are traditionally seen as the 'acceptable' way to reproduce original art (so long as they are strictly editioned) and giclées are yet to receive acceptance by much of the industry. Always ask what type of print it is before you buy it.
It is important to only buy limited edition prints, whether lithograph, giclée or any of the 'artist hand' methods. We impose strict edition limits for work shown at Cambridge City Art Fair: sculpture is a maximum edition of 25, photography must be limited to 50 prints and all other prints must be in editions of 100 or less. Mass produced, unlimited prints are not acceptable.