In the spring of 2018, about the time I sold my last calendar for the year, I discovered there was a market for my trimmed-down “calendar” prints. This was a surprising little byproduct of the calendar that I hadn’t even thought of before. That first year – and every year after – I was able to sell prints from leftover stock at the end of the season.
In late February of every year, I sign and package prints from my surplus inventory and put them up for sale. For my customers, it’s an inexpensive way to nab multiples of their favorite images. For me, it’s a responsible use of overstock and a way to extend the calendar season indefinitely. It really is a win-win for all.
I currently sell 58 different images as 11 x 14 prints for just nine dollars apiece, and I’m really comfortable with that price point. Like so many things in this city, my prints are affordable to all.
But these little gems are finite in number, and the per-unit cost of reprints is much higher than a full calendar run. It just isn’t feasible to go back on press for a single image. When a print is gone, it’s gone.
Earlier this month, at the Best of Missouri Market, that happened with my print of the MOBOT Garden Glow. The December feature from my 2021 calendar was the first of my prints to sell out completely. A few more are likely to follow in the coming months.
There is good news in all of this. First, judging from the interest in my 11 x 14 prints, it appears that the St. Louis experience is valued. That means a lot to me. Second, I still have 58 different nine-dollar prints available for sale. And third, every image I have ever created is still being sold as a limited-edition archival print, including the Garden Glow!
Archival prints are much different from litho prints – or “calendar prints” as I often call them. Here’s a side-by-side comparison to help determine which type of print is right for you.
|Litho “Calendar” Prints||Archival Prints|
|Qty available||Ltd to qty on hand, varies by print*||Each image limited to 100 prints|
|Size||11 x 14, fits a standard frame||16 x 20, fits a standard frame|
|Paper||100# silk cover||Acid-free cotton rag paper|
|Finishing||Exactly as seen in the calendar||Images refined, colors brightened|
|Printing process||Offset – Dots seen when magnified||Giclée – continuous tone|
|Ink permanence||About 30 years without fading||More than 100 years without fading|
|Signed/numbered?||Signed||Signed and numbered|
|How to purchase||Online or cash and carry||Special order, allow 10 days|
|Where to purchase||Online, in stores, art shows||Online, art shows|
|Customization||No||Yes, with upcharge|
I don’t know that I’d be doing this deep dive into prints, were it not for the fact that my sales seem to be nudging me in that direction. But, as sad as I am to say goodbye to that little print of the Garden Glow, I really am excited about the bigger picture. In just a few short months, I’ll have 84 giclée images on my site, prints that people can hang in their homes and pass down to loved ones, prints that will remind those in the next century just how much we loved St. Louis today.
Archival prints and litho “calendar prints” are available for sale at ayearinthecity.com/newproducts