10 Affordable Print Shops for First-Time Art Buyers

When you're just beginning to buy art and you're not sure how to go about it, print collecting can be an intriguing and inexpensive way to get a feel for what you like. There are so many small presses out there, producing new editions on a daily basis and selling sheets for anywhere from 10 bucks to the low hundreds. Here are 10 shops that we recommend checking out — add your favorites in the comments.

  1. Poster Cabaret: Based out of Austin, Texas, this shop carries illustrated prints by a wide range of emerging and established artists such as Charley Harper, Aesthetic Apparatus, and Diana Sudyka. Shown above is Gregarious Grossbeaks, an open edition lithograph by Charley Harper, $50.
  2. The Post Family: This Chicago art collective is made of up seven guys, each of whom sell their artwork through an online shop and brick-and-mortar gallery in the city's West Loop neighborhood. This is Camera Poster #3, an offset print by Rod Post, $30.
  3. Tiny Showcase: This studio — operated out of Providence, Rhode Island — produces small runs of artist editions and sells them until they run out. Shown above is Genoa, one of an edition of 200 prints by Andrew Holder, $20.
  4. Hatch Show Prints: This is one of the oldest working letterpress print shops in America, responsible for those distinctive two-color posters that were used to advertise music shows by the likes of Elvis Presley and Johnny Cash. They maintain a web shop, where they sell classics like the Triple Johnny screenprint, $16.
  5. Renegade Handmade: This online and brick-and-mortar store in Chicago was created as an extension of the ├╝ber-popular Renegade Craft Fair. They showcase the work of over 300 artists — shown above is Beach House Poster, a screenprint by Strawberry Luna, $25.
  6. Threadless: They're a community-centered online T-shirt and art print store with two retail locations in Chicago. This is Mixed Messages, a giclee print by Stuart Colbrook, $25.
  7. New Blood Art: This online gallery carries work from artists who are studying or have recently graduated from art courses in the UK. This is Whitstable Orange, a giclee print by Lucinda Oestreicher, €115.
  8. Thumbtack Press: This California-based online print gallery uses an 8-color archival ink jet process on heavy stock, and prints range from $15 to $50. Shown above is Droplets 1, a giclee print by Sarajo Frieden, $35.
  9. The Bird Machine: Chicago printmaker Jay Ryan is known for his layered multi-color posters for indie bands, but he also creates illustrative works that he sells online. This is Pigeon, a silkscreen edition of 100, available for $100 a print.
  10. Hammerpress: Kansas City's Brady Vest started this studio in 1994, and continues to create prints on antique and letter presses. This American Flag is a linocut letterpress print, available for $30.