10 Affordable Print Shops for First-Time Art Buyers

10 Affordable Print Shops for First-Time Art Buyers

Sarah Coffey
Sep 14, 2010
Charley Harper print at Poster Cabaret

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 über-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.

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