Last year, we hosted our print exchange for the second time, and once again, it was a lot of fun for everyone involved! Since its start, almost 750 people have signed up to swap prints with each other and have them displayed in various exhibitions. Now, we’d like to do it again!
- Register below for the print exchange by paying the submission fee before Jan 15th 2024.
- Send in an edition of 10 prints created with a 3D printed press.
- All prints must be in Cologne, Germany before March 1st 2024!
- We will send you back 9 prints from other participants.
- One of your prints will be digitised, the original will travel the world in exhibitions!
- You'll get a catalogue of all submissions from this year.
What is the Open Print Exchange?
The Open Print Exchange is a worldwide exchange of tiny artworks. That means that you print an edition of 10 prints with a 3D printed press, send them to us and we send you 9 random prints from other participants all over the world in return. The 10th print will be displayed in exhibitions, in the online archive, and a catalogue!
Don't have a 3D-printed press yet? You can either print one yourself or get one here:
- Paper dimensions must be 7x7cm, the plate can be any size.
- You can use any kind of printing technique, but it needs to be flat.
- All 10 prints should be close to identical, please keep that in mind for monoprints or hand colouring (techniques like this are fine if you focus on making them look similar).
- There is no specific topic or theme.
- We encourage the use of deckled/torn edges instead of cutting your paper to size.
- All prints have to be created with a 3D printed press (see why in FAQ section).
- Please sign each print by hand, with title and edition number on either the back or front of the print and be mindful of its orientation (so we know how to frame it).
- Prints should be sent as a letter (see “Shipping” section below).
- Please only use high quality paper, such as Hahnemühle, Awagami, Fabriano, Somerset, etc. You can also use hand-made paper.
- We’d love to receive works that are created specifically for this exchange, but you can also submit prints created with an older plate. Please always print an edition of ten, so 1/10 - 10/10. If you want to print more for yourself, please don't raise the edition but start a new one.
- In February, we will send out a survey via email. You will need to fill it out so we can get information about your print. Please make sure to check your spam folder, without this information we cannot publish your prints!
- Keep in mind that people who receive your prints will be free to use them however they like, just like you can decide on what to do with the prints you receive!
- To host this print exchange with all its features, we need your permission to use your prints in any way. We promise to not exploit the trust you give us, we'll treat your prints respectfully! All the prints will help us in our mission to bring printmaking to as many people as possible. We've summarised all the things we are planning to do with them and specified the terms more clearly in this PDF.
- To match you with your print, it's crucial that you write your print number on the back of each print.
We'll send you an email shortly after you have registered where you’ll find your unique print number. You need to write it on the back of each of your prints and in the upcoming survey where we’ll ask for title, technique, and location of your print.
Because this is an international project, we will show all prints online on our website and give you the opportunity to learn more about each print and connect with each other on social media. All 745 prints from 34 countries that were part of our previous exchanges are shown in our online gallery.
There is also an Instagram account where we post your prints every day!
We are celebrating printmaking with this project, so it’s a no-brainer to us that we will put the prints in a nice catalogue! It'll show all the prints in their original size.
By signing up for this exchange you are automatically going to receive a catalogue! You will not have to order another one once they are going live on the website (unless you want to buy another one).
Just like last year, we’ll organise a bunch of exhibitions in museums, galleries, print studios and at events. To do this, we have come up with a system to make it easy to ship packs of 99 framed prints to galleries across the world and have them set up an exhibition in no time.
So far, we have organized 15 shows in various countries and will continue to host exhibitions around the world, aiming to showcase each print at more than one location. We plan to maintain our current rate of approximately 10 shows per year. Feel free to reach out if you'd like to host an exhibition in your space! Currently, we are in talks with people from various places and will share news as soon as we have things finalized.
Unpacking hundreds of envelopes last year, we’ve found a packaging style that is inexpensive for you, keeps your prints safe and makes it easy for us to unpack. We’ve made a little guide showing it here: Packaging Guide
Surprisingly, we found that regular letters are the best choice for shipping your prints. All prints fit in a regular letter and get delivered quite quickly and without problems. Deliveries from FedEx, UPS & Co have not been as smooth and are a lot more expensive for you and for us (customs and horrific handling fees). Communicating with them was very time-consuming as well, so oftentimes regular letters were much faster. That’s why we ask you to not use FedEx & Co to send your prints.
Please wait until January before sending your prints. That way we can avoid the Christmas Chaos and have all letters arrive without problems. Please don’t forget to write your print number on the back of each print and send them to:
Open Print Projects
- Swap prints with printmakers from all over the world.
- Have your print framed and shown in various international exhibitions.
- Feature in the online gallery and on Instagram.
- Receive a catalogue featuring photos of all entries, including yours!