Edition number tracking

Primarily photographers and possibly painters might have an answer.

ALL of my work is done in limited editions, for any one particular Art work.

I am looking for a system to track edition numbers, for my copies, in my inventory.

I already, hand sign EVERY print, with the edition #:

Example: 3/250  or 5/100 etc.

I also put this in the COA that accompanies the Art work.

This allows me to keep it with the art work. Then at point of sale, I can enter it into the receipt.

However, when working in my shop, I would like to know what the edition number, that I've reached, is. Then I can number the new piece accordingly. It is very important I keep this accurate.

I know I can go back through the receipts to see what sells, however that is not efficient.

Although I am not an advocate of Square, it is what I use at POS.

However I do not find a good way to input that data into the inventory, prior to shows.

Example: I might be bring 5 copies of one particular art piece to a show... 11/250, 12/250, 18/250, 19/250 & 24/250.

I would have to create new items, for every edition, instead of just an inventory count.

I am not proficient with Square, mostly because I don't like it, so I don't want to learn it better :-)

I've talked with the Square support people. Mostly useless.

Anybody have a good system?

In Square would help, however I'm up for other ideas.

This is not a matter of just a few pieces. I have a fairly large inventory.

If the only solution entails they be in consecutive integers, I can handle that by just hand doing the, out of order ones, until I'm back to sequential.

You need to be a member of Art Fair Insiders to add comments!

Join Art Fair Insiders

Votes: 0
Email me when people reply –


  • I am a digital artist and I sell limited edition prints of my work. I have hundreds of images and I keep track of all of the edition numbers of all of them. I print my work using a large format Epson inkjet printer. When I create the print master for every print I keep the image within the borders of the paper and include printed trim marks so that I can cut the paper to size after printing. Outside of the trim mark borders, I type the name and the print number of the image. After printing I sign and number the print before trimming it to size. The next time I print that image, I simply change the print number to the next number in line. So, I keep track of each limited edition number directly on the print master. I’ve used this system for many years and it works very well.
  • In Square, at sale, you can enter the edition # into the notes field. When you run/export your sales reports, you will be able to see the edition sold. It’s pretty easy. I have used this at my Gallery to track the editions sold for multiple artists.
  • The obvious answer is a database like Access or File Maker pro. But you can do it the old fashioned way of keeping a notebook and record every time you make a print. Selling is not relevant but making the print is. Have a page for each image style number or name. Naming is good as a selling point but having a style number allows you to keep better track of each image. I've known photographers who gave each image they've created a consecutive number throughout their entire career. That made it easy to keep track of editions and customers.

    I even did that when I had almost a hundred teddy bear images I sold at shows. Not that they were editioned, but I needed to write down what sold in my sales book so I could replace inventory from my van during the show. And I was averaging about 500 prints a show and easily kept track.

    Larry Berman

    • How many I sell is not a problem.

      With 100's of different images (really thousands), as well as variations on some. Then the edition numbers on every one. It becomes a bit problematic.

      At shows I'm just working off the cell phone, so working with different databases, spreadsheets and POS is battery draining. Also the POS does not play well with Databases. They use a proprietary system. If I use a DB, I want it to talk to the POS.

      I'm too busy to write my own.

      If I had a page for all that I have, I would be carrying around a novel.

      Not efficient to work with, for me.

      I prefer the digital way so it can be easily accessed from multiple locations.

      • I am curious. Do you really sell 250 copies of a print on a regular basis?

This reply was deleted.