Posters In The World of Fine Art
For many years it was has been perfectly acceptable
to do a run of posters, sign them, number them, and `viola!'
the poster is ready for sale. Poster-quality reproductions can
and do go for several thousand dollars. This has to do with
the collectability of the poster, and I would emphasize a
poster you buy for forty dollars at your local poster
shop is simply a piece of paper with an image on. It is
not signed by the artist, not numbered by the artist, and
done in reams of thousands. It is very unlikely for this type
of poster to appreciate in any value beyond what you initially
paid for it.
Posters are usually printed on cheap quality paper
because they are done as a mass-market product. This
paper tends to contain acid, which in time will eat away at
the image fading out the colors considerably. However, (acid
free) paper is quickly becoming less expensive and now used
more often than not.
The type of posters we're talking about here have to
do with the piece expressing a unique or fine art subject
matter.  Such reproductions like the Frankenstein Movie
billboard - essentially a poster done in 4 parts, which
auctioned for close to half-a-million dollars, acid in the paper
and all - is an example of a rare subject matter.
With posters closer to the fine art side of the market,
you will find what are called `halt posters'. A lot of pieces
labeled as posters from the turn of the century were quite
the works of art.  Halt posters were done either via
lithography with the artist hand etching the stones or
through various silkscreen processes. They became quite
limited reproductions and through time many of them have
been destroyed or damaged, leaving a surviving edition of