Art Fair Insiders

Call for Artists, Making Money at Juried Art Fairs, Craft Shows and Festivals

Hello everyone!

2016 has been an exciting year for us! So many new opportunities to learn from throughout this our first year of Art Fairs. From the Booth Photos, Jury Process, Finding Art Fairs, Choosing Art Fairs, Applications, Acceptance, Rejections, the list goes on and on. Its been exciting and fun!

I am sure you all remember your first year as well. For us, knowing this and respecting the opinions and advice of those who know so much more than we do at this point, we would like to ask for your advice, your opinions and your guidance.

A bit about what we do. We are photographers that offer our images for sale at selected Art Fairs in Minnesota and Wisconsin primarily. We offer a large selection of 8X10 prints matted to 11x14. We also offer 11x14 prints matted and framed in 16x20 frames. The frames used are simple contemporary wood frames in black or mocha. All prints are printed in Lustre.

We have noticed that our 8x10 matted prints are selling fine yet our framed prints are not. Our question for everyone is this:

What are you finding to be the best sizing and format for larger images being sold at an art fair? Framed? Canvas? Metal? Have you run into this same issue? What did you do to overcome?

A concern that we have is that the 8X10 and the 11x14 sizes may be to close together in on first glance and people may think the matted prints are the same size as the framed prints. So people may think they are just getting a frame with the larger prints not realizing the image is larger as well. Ultimately, they purchase the cheaper of the two. Should the framed prints be larger?

Thank you all so much for any comments, advise or help you can offer.

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Replies to This Discussion

I do 8x12 prints in 12x16 mattes which seems to be a good size. The other sizes are 12x18 in 18x24 mattes with a few 12x16 in 18x24 mattes. The largest size is 16x24 in a 24x30 matte. Go figure that framed pieces are hardly moving, and canvas 20x30 sell a few at each show but not many. I needed a low price point, so did digitally matted pieces, 5x7.5 and 5.625x7.5 printed on 8.5x11 paper.

Unfortunately the flavor of the day seems to be metal prints for the higher end. I have an aversion to them as they are strictly lab prints and not something you do yourself at home. It makes me feel like I'm filling wedding orders again if you know what I mean. Regardless, I broke down and ordered a few. Yeah, the color screams off the metal and they do look sharp as a tack. I ordered 5 12x18 pieces, and will order some larger pieces to see what they do at my next show in three weeks.

I'm also starting to print on metallic paper and that makes an amazing difference, enough that I may order a 17" x100' roll and do about 40 large prints. I just reprinted a wide tonal range B&W image and it's got me excited :-) Expect to do a lot of experimenting to find what works best for you, and don't expect immediate results. It takes time to listen and hear what the customers are saying, and then to put that feedback into use.

Robert, Thank you for your response! Its so appreciated! 

Very detail and useful information for us,get it

I think you mean photographs, not products.

In general, over 75% of what sells is matted unframed from bins. And when you offer adjacent sizes you're competing with yourself, and investing too much on inventory. If you sell 8x10 matted 11x14, your next size should be 16x20 matted whatever size you're comfortable with. I mat 14x20's (full frame 35mm) 22x28. One small size and one large size. That way people will choose faster and not take up space in your booth at busy shows. And you'll see a higher gross.

Larry Berman
http://BermanGraphics.com
412-401-8100

Larry, Your always a wealth of information. Thank you so much! 

Thanks for sharing.  This will be my first year.  Looking at the initial costs, this could be folly.  Sharing marketing strategies and solutions to common problems may help us all.  I really appreciate it.  Have a great Christmas one and all.  Robin

oops sorry hit the wrong thing. 

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