A great deal of care and close attention goes into the creation of each Simonson limited-edition print. The goal is always to create a print that is as close as possible in look and impact to the original work on which it is based.
Under the artist’s supervision, the original drawing or painting is scanned using a large-format scanner, and a high-resolution digital file is created. Then, using a high-resolution inkjet printer and archival paper and inks, the edition is printed. If the artist approves the output, the result is a strictly limited number of prints (in the Simonson Studio, usually 100 or 250), and 20 Artist’s Proofs, which are remarkably close in every way to the look and feeling of the original work.
The next step is for the artist to sign and number each print individually. The artist’s signature is his guarantee that the print meets his quality standards and that the edition consists of only the number stated. For instance, “Simonson 25/250” means that the artist has approved this print, and it’s number 25 out of a total edition of 250 prints.
For prices and further information on individual prints, click on any image on this website, and you’ll see in the drop-down menu whether or not it is available as a limited-edition print.
What is an Artist’s Proof?
Many people ask, “What’s the difference between an artist’s proof and a regular print?” Well, to be honest, there is not a lot of difference, at least in reference to the prints produced by Douglas Simonson. To explain:
In traditional methods, when an artist produced a print, the artist actually created the plate by hand, inked it with a roller, and turned the wheel or crank that ran the printing press. The proof was actually that: a way of proofing, or checking, the process, to see that the results were what the artist wanted. Usually adjustment was needed, like more ink or less ink, or perhaps the plate needed some refining or changes. In those cases the “Artist’s Proofs” were the first, non-standard works created from the original plate. The artist put those aside, and sometimes destroyed them, but sometimes kept them, and signed them with an “A/P” before the number to show they were proofs.
Artist’s Proofs, since they were variations from the main run of the edition, gradually came to be considered more valuable. The proof was a sort of limited edition within the limited edition.
Today there are still artists who follow traditional procedures in these matters. Many other artists avail themselves of current technology to create their limited-edition prints. Douglas Simonson is one of the latter.
Because modern equipment and the professionalism of the printers Simonson works with create a product that is uniformly excellent, Simonson proofs are intrinsically no different from non-proofs. He simply chooses a number of prints (usually 20) out of the total run to sign as proofs, and those become the “limited edition within the limited edition.” They are more valuable not because they are visually identifiable as a variation from the norm, but because the artist has chosen them as proofs. It is simply the artist’s signature, in this case, that makes the proof more valuable.
If you are a print collector, and you prefer proofs, then that ‘A/P’ by the artist’s signature is important to you, and you will want to purchase the Artist’s Proof of the limited edition you choose. If you just want to get the print, and really don’t care about whether it’s a proof or not, be assured your print will be just as esthetically and technically perfect as the Artist’s Proof.