Guide: Pricing Prints for Gallery Exhibitions
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. Why pricing prints matters
  2. How to assess the value of your print
  3. How to consider your reputation and experience
  4. How to set a base price for your print
  5. How to factor in gallery commissions
  6. How to adjust prices based on print size
  7. How to consider market demand
  8. How to reprice prints for different exhibitions

As an artist, one of the most significant steps you'll take on your creative journey is showing your work at gallery exhibitions. An essential part of this process is learning how to price print for gallery exhibition. Think of it like setting the price tag on your creative spirit—it's not only about money, but also about the value you attach to your work and the message you send to your audience.

Why pricing prints matters

Understanding how to price print for gallery exhibition can seem like a daunting task. After all, you're not just selling paper and ink—you're selling your creativity, your talent, and your time. Here's why getting the price right matters:

  • It reflects your self-worth: Your pricing sends a message about how much you value your work and by extension, yourself. If you price too low, you might come off as undervaluing your work. But if you price too high without justification, you risk coming off as overconfident.
  • It sets the expectation for future prices: If you start with low prices, raising them later might be a challenge. Your early customers may balk at the increase, and new ones may be put off by a sudden jump.
  • It influences your income: As an artist, your print sales can contribute significantly to your income. If you undercharge, you might be leaving money on the table. But, if you overcharge, you risk not making any sales at all.
  • It helps build your reputation: When you price your prints appropriately, it can help establish your reputation as a professional artist. Buyers and gallery owners may take you more seriously if your prices reflect the quality of your work and the market rates.

Remember, pricing isn't just about covering costs and making a profit—it's a way to communicate your work's worth, plan for your financial future, and build your reputation in the art community. So, let's dive deeper into the nitty-gritty of how to price print for gallery exhibition!

How to assess the value of your print

Now, you might be asking, "How do I determine the value of my print?" Well, let's break it down into a few key areas:

  • Materials: The first thing to consider is the cost of your materials. This includes the paper, ink, and any other elements used to create the print. Remember, high-quality materials often yield a higher-quality print, which can justify a higher price.
  • Time: As an artist, your time is valuable. Think about how many hours you invested in creating the original artwork and the time it took to produce the print. Don't sell yourself short—your time deserves compensation!
  • Originality and Complexity: If your print is a reproduction of an intricate and unique piece of art, that should factor into the price. The more complex the work, the higher the value.
  • Exclusivity: Limited edition prints are usually priced higher than open edition prints. Why? Because scarcity increases value. If you're only making a limited number of prints, this exclusivity should be reflected in your pricing.

Assessing the value of your print isn't just about adding up numbers—it's about taking a holistic view of your work from creation to exhibition. By understanding the value of your print, you're well on your way to mastering how to price print for gallery exhibition.

How to consider your reputation and experience

The next step in understanding how to price print for gallery exhibition is taking into account your reputation and experience. Let's face it: if you're just starting out, you can't price your prints the same as an artist who's been in the game for decades. But don't worry! Here's how you can factor in your reputation and experience:

  • Your Portfolio: The strength and consistency of your portfolio can speak volumes about your experience. If you have a solid body of work that shows growth and development, that can add value to your prints.
  • Past Sales: Have you sold artwork before? If so, how did those sales go? Successful previous sales can be a good indicator of what your market is willing to pay.
  • Awards and Recognition: Have you received any awards or recognition for your work? These can be great selling points and can help justify a higher price tag.
  • Artistic Education: If you've studied art formally or attended workshops and seminars, this can add to your credibility and influence your pricing.

Remember, your reputation and experience don't just add value to your prints—they also tell your story as an artist. And there's no price tag you can put on that!

How to set a base price for your print

Now that we've considered your reputation and experience, let's move on to setting a base price for your print. This can seem a bit daunting, but we're in this together, remember? So, let's break it down:

  1. Material Costs: First things first, you need to calculate the total cost of the materials used to create your print. This includes things like ink, paper, framing, etc. Don't forget to include any shipping costs if you're ordering materials online!
  2. Time Investment: Next, take into account the time you spent creating the print. This isn't just the physical time spent making the print, but also the time spent on research, brainstorming, and planning. Time is money, after all!
  3. Profit Margin: Once you've calculated your total costs, you need to decide on a profit margin. This is the amount you want to make on top of your costs. It's important to be realistic here; too high and you could price yourself out of the market, too low and you undervalue your work.

Now, add up your material costs, time investment, and desired profit margin. Voila! You've got your base price. Remember, this is only a starting point. You'll need to adjust this price based on other factors such as gallery commissions, print size, and market demand, which we'll discuss later. But for now, give yourself a pat on the back. You're well on your way to understanding how to price print for gallery exhibition.

Let's talk gallery commissions. Galleries take a cut of your sales, typically between 30% and 50%. It's a partnership: they provide the space and the audience, you provide the art. So how do you factor this into your print pricing?

  1. Calculate the Commission: Let's say your gallery's commission rate is 40%. If you've set your base price at $100, the gallery would take $40. So, you'd be left with $60. But wait, you want to make sure you still make a profit, right?
  2. Adjust Your Base Price: To ensure you're still making a profit after the gallery takes its cut, you'll need to adjust your base price. Divide your desired profit (the base price you calculated earlier) by the percentage you'll receive after the gallery commission. Using our example, if you want to make $100, and you'll receive 60% of the sale, you'd set your price at $167 ($100 / 0.60 = $167).

So, in essence, you're setting your price higher to account for the gallery commission. It's a bit of a balancing act, isn't it? But don't worry, with a little practice, you'll become a pro at figuring out how to price print for gallery exhibition taking gallery commissions into account.

How to adjust prices based on print size

Size matters — especially when it comes to pricing prints for gallery exhibitions. Larger prints require more material, time, and effort, so they naturally command a higher price. Here's a simple way to adjust your prices based on print size:

  1. Determine a Price Per Square Inch: This can be as simple as taking your base price and dividing it by the total square inches of your print. For example, if your base price is $200 for an 8x10 inch print, your price per square inch would be $200 / (8*10) = $2.5.
  2. Calculate the Price for Different Sizes: Now, use this price per square inch to determine the price for different sizes. If you have a larger 20x30 inch print, the price would be $2.5 * (20*30) = $1500.

Voila! You've got a pricing structure that scales with the size of your prints. This method ensures you're compensated for the extra materials and effort that larger prints require, and it's a fair way to demonstrate how to price print for gallery exhibition based on size.

How to consider market demand

Art, much like any other product, is subject to the laws of supply and demand. If your work is in high demand, you can generally afford to set higher prices. But how do you determine the market demand for your prints? Here's a simple step-by-step guide:

  1. Research: Look at similar artwork in your local area or online. What are the prices like? If the prices are high and the pieces are selling, it might indicate a strong demand.
  2. Experiment: Try selling your prints at different price points. Do they sell better at a higher price or a lower price? This can give you an idea of what people are willing to pay.
  3. Feedback: Listen to your customers. Are they saying your prints are a bargain? Or are they hesitating because of the price? This can give you an idea of how the market values your work.

Remember, pricing isn't set in stone. If you find that your prints aren't selling, don't be afraid to adjust your prices. After all, figuring out how to price print for gallery exhibition is as much an art as it is a science. Go ahead and play around with your pricing until you find that sweet spot where your prints are flying off the shelves!

How to reprice prints for different exhibitions

It's no secret that the venue and audience of an exhibition can greatly impact the perceived value of your artwork—and, consequently, the price you can command for your prints. So, when you're packing up your prints for a new gallery or show, it's worth taking a moment to consider whether your pricing strategy needs an update. Here's how:

  1. Know Your Venue: Is the exhibition in a high-end gallery in a big city, or a local art fair in a small town? The prestige and location of the venue can affect what visitors are willing to pay.
  2. Understand Your Audience: Who will be attending the exhibition? Professionals with a budget for art collection may be willing to shell out more than students or casual art lovers.
  3. Consider the Competition: What are other artists at the same event charging for their work? You don't want to undercut yourself, but you also don't want to price yourself out of the market.
  4. Factor in Costs: Are there additional costs associated with this exhibition, like travel expenses, booth fees, or higher commission rates? Make sure your prices cover your costs.

Remember, there's no single right answer for how to price print for gallery exhibition. It's a balancing act between what you believe your work is worth, what the market will bear, and what allows you to continue creating. So, don't be afraid to adjust your prices as needed for different exhibitions—it's all part of the art business.

If you found this guide on pricing prints for gallery exhibitions helpful and want to further explore the process of organizing your own exhibition, check out the workshop 'How to Plan Your First Exhibition' by Caleb Stein. This workshop will provide you with valuable insights and guidance on how to effectively plan and execute your very own gallery exhibition, ensuring you make the most of this opportunity to showcase your work.