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I do think its a bit of a marketing gimmick for most not well known photographers and artists but as long as its not actively dishonest I don’t see any problem with it.
The reality is that for most selling art is a very tough business indeed and if adding a limated edition number and a signature makes it a bit clearer to a customer that your work is the product of someone selling for themselves rather than via a large company then why not? obviously the quality of the work should make it stand out from your typical bland mass produced print but why not add a bit extra?
As far as the idea of creating public access to your work goes I think again the reality is that unless your limited editions are very small(say 10-20) its unlikely its going to be a limating factor in your overall sales, like JC I don’t think I’v ever sold more than 20 copies of a print dispite selling them as limated editions of 50. Your simply not going to get into the mass poster market, its too price sensitive.
If theres a moral judgement about access I think it depends more on price, the whole world isn’t likely to want a copy of your prints but if your selling at say £50-100 each then more of society can afford them than if your selling at £500-1000 each.