The Investment Guide To Harland Miller

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Jasper Tordoff

Jasper Tordoff, Specialist[email protected]

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Harland Miller, renowned for his distinctive and satirical paintings inspired by classic book covers, has garnered significant attention and acclaim, leading to a surge in demand for his prints. His clever reinterpretations of vintage book jackets, featuring witty and provocative titles, have captivated collectors propelling his print market performance to new heights in both popularity and value. With each new release, Miller continues to push artistic boundaries and linguistic conventions while solidifying his position as a leading figure in the blue chip print market.

In this investment report, we examine Miller's print market performance spanning the past seven years. Leveraging auction and sales data from our dedicated database focused on prints and editions, our objective is to provide valuable insights to help you determine whether investing in Miller is a wise decision for 2024.

Harland Miller Seven Year Print Market Performance

Miller Sales Value And Lots Sold 2017 - 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024Miller Sales Value And Lots Sold 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

Is Buying A Miller Print A Good Investment?

The ascent of Miller into the limelight remains a subject of contention. Some attribute his breakthrough to his participation in the 1996 group exhibition Fool’s Rain at London’s Institute of Contemporary Arts, where he showcased his Penguin dust jacket series, catching the eye of Jay Jopling from White Cube and sparking a collaboration. Others point to his debut novel “Slow Down Arthur, Stick to Thirty” in 2000, a semi-autobiographical tale of a young boy's adventures with a David Bowie impersonator in Northern England. Regardless of the catalyst, Miller's secondary market witnessed consecutive year-on-year (YoY) growth in sales value and volume from 2017 to 2019. While 2020 experienced a marginal 1% dip, potentially attributed to Covid restrictions, Miller adeptly maneuvered through the crisis by releasing 250 editions of Who Cares Who Wins for £5,000 via White Cube as a Covid charity initiative–The first screenprint from this series to hit the public market fetched £21,793 with fees at Christie’s in 2021. This print release significantly impacted Miller’s market, evidenced by an impressive 81% surge in sales value and a 30% rise in lots sold from 2020. Although 2022 and 2023 saw slightly less dramatic growth, they still exhibited success with a 5% increase in sales value for both years.

Miller 2023 Print Market Performance

Miller Print Market Values 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024Miller Print Market Values 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

What Happened In Miller’s Print Market Performance In 2023?

Miller’s 2023 print market demonstrated notable success, witnessing a 5% increase in sales value from 2022 and a 9% increase from his peak year in 2021, all while maintaining the same number of lots sold at 34. The consistency in the same number of prints sold in 2023, and Miller’s best year in 2021, coupled with the higher sales value in 2023, signifies not only a modest rise but also sustained growth and demand within his print market. These achievements are particularly noteworthy given the economic challenges prevalent in 2023. The average selling price (ASP) for Miller's prints reached £14,898, underscoring their attractiveness to investors.

Miller Average Selling Price

Riley Average Selling Price 2017 - 2023 by MyArtBroker 2024Miller Average Selling Price 2017 - 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

The ASP of Miller’s prints has shown a consistent upward trend since 2017. Although there were slight decreases in alternating years—2018, 2020, 2022—the overall ASP has continued to strengthen. Meanwhile, the number of Miller prints entering the market has remained relatively low, fostering scarcity and driving demand. In both 2019 and 2020, only 26 works were sold, while 2021 and 2023 saw a modest increase of 34 lots each. The peak year for volume was 2022, with 39 lots sold, which explains the slight dip in the ASP for that year. Miller's print market provides a more accessible pricing entry point compared to other high-profile blue chip artists, attracting both investors and collectors. Over the seven-year period, Miller’s market performance has exhibited consistent growth, reflecting investor confidence in its sustained upward trajectory.

Miller Most Popular Print Series

Double horizontal bar graph showing the sales value and lots sold of Harland Miller prints in 2023. Miller Trending Print Series: Lots Sold x Sales Value In 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

Top Performing Penguin Series In Miller’s 2023 Print Market

Harland Miller Classic Penguin Prints

Miller's acclaimed Penguin Prints stand as a defining element of his artistic portfolio, stemming from his fortuitous discovery of a box of Penguin Books in Paris in 1992. In 2023, these prints continued to enjoy widespread popularity, significantly boosting Miller’s sales over the past seven years. Categorised into classic prints, many of which feature witty titles blurring the boundaries between literature and art, Hate’s Outta Date! emerged as a top performer in 2023, particularly in its blue edition. Miller's exploration of colour's influence on textual interpretation adds depth to these works, while artworks like This Is Where It’s Fuckin At blend humour with rarity in the market, leading to significant sales value. Reflecting Miller’s distinctive tongue-in-cheek wit, this piece resonates subjectively with a broad audience on a celebratory scale, interpretively related to his artistic evolution across Berlin, New York, and London—no matter where Miller’s narrative took place, “This Is Where It's At.”

aAnother standout among Miller's classic Penguin book covers in 2023 was Who Cares Who Wins, which garnered high sales values upon its original release, making it an attractive option for art investors seeking pieces with potential appreciation. Conversely, International Lonely Guy, despite its significance to the artist and status as one of Miller's earliest prints, unexpectedly recorded lower sales figures in 2023. Nonetheless, it presents an appealing opportunity for collectors interested in acquiring artistically influential prints at competitive prices, potentially offering long-term investment value.

Harland Miller Hell Prints

The Hell Prints command significant attention in the market, both in terms of sales value and lot counts. These pieces feature vibrant colour combinations that interact dynamically with their accompanying secondary text. Titles like Hell... Don't Make Me Come Down There and Hell... It's Only Forever utilise linguistic associations to amplify the artwork's impact and resonance with the concept of 'Hell'.

Harland Miller Social Science/Psychological Prints

Additionally, there are prints featuring themes from social sciences and psychology evident in their titles, such as Happiness (small) and Armageddon Is It Too Much To Ask (small), the vibrant colours and geometric abstract designs add a visually stimulating and thought-provoking dimension to these prints, which may evoke a range of responses from viewers, including subjective contemplation or reflection on the themes presented. Conversely, works like Heroin, It's What Your Right Arm's For confront social neurosis and addiction through the bold orange text, dark grey-wash backdrop and image of two forearms with a needle, but without a face.

Harland Miller Abstract And Expressionism Inspired Prints

Inspired by Abstraction and German Expressionism from a young age, prints with visually stimulating textured surfaces like In Shadows I Boogie, the cover work for Miller’s monograph published by Phaidon, and Love Conquers Nothing refer to each artistic movement with the colourful covers. However, beneath their colourful exteriors lies a subtle darkness or introspective tone, hinting at deeper psychological dimensions.

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The Most In-Demand Miller Prints Within Our Network

Among the most sought-after Miller prints available on our live trading floor is Blonde But Not Forgotten, evoking the atmosphere of film noir fiction. Penguin books were colour-coded by genre, and the green hue in this piece references Mystery & Crime, subtly inscribed on the far right edge alongside the book’s title. Belonging to Miller’s classic Penguin prints, this artwork made its auction debut in June 2023, fetching £22,113 with fees, a significant leap from its initial release price of £2,400 by White Cube.

Other coveted Penguin series within our network hold significance either to important exhibitions in Miller’s career or personal sentiment. For instance, Tonight We Make History holds a sentiment as it marks Miller’s first solo exhibition at Blain in Berlin, where he unveiled a new body of paintings continuing his Penguin series; I’ll Never Forget What I Can’t Remember serves as a poignant anecdote to his father’s battle with Alzheimer’s; and Narcissist Seeks Similar debuted at the artist’s largest solo exhibition in his hometown of York, UK, in 2020.

Also in high demand on our trading floor are other Penguin classics such as Love Saves The Day and There’s No Business Like No Business, both featuring a Penguin Play formatting on the title.

Browse Harland Miller prints on the Trading Floor and find out more about the print market growth on the MAB100 Print Index.


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Comparative Blue Chip Market Performance

Harland Miller
Bridget Riley
Damien Hirst
David Hockney
L S Lowry

Blue Chip Artists Markets To Know

Over the past seven years, Miller's market performance has been analysed against the ASP trends of other prominent British artists in the Modern, Contemporary, and Post War sectors. His ASP demonstrates fluctuations and trends comparable to those of David Hockney from 2017 to 2020, with a noticeable upward trajectory observed from 2021 to 2023, albeit within a different pricing scale. Interestingly, Miller’s market mirrors the ASP market trends of Bridget Riley, yet performs on a higher scale of sales value. Miller’s market performance also shares similarities with that of Damien Hirst in terms of overall trajectory and dynamics.

For further in-depth market insights on blue chip artists read our 2024 Investment Guides for: Hockney, Hirst, Riley, and Lowry.

Miller Print Market Price Distribution

Pie chart illustrating the price distribution of Harland Miller's print market by lots sold in 2023. Miller Price Distribution By Lots Sold © MyArtBroker 2024

Where To Start When Looking To Buy A Miller Print?

The chart above shows the price distribution of Miller’s print market by lots sold in 2023. Like other blue chip artists, the smallest portion of Miller’s print market share is works priced above £40,000 comprising 3%. In 2023 this was only one work titled, This Is Where It’s Fuckin At, an extremely rare print which has only hit the auction market twice, setting an impressive record and increased value appreciation in October 2023. To read about other blue chip prints that set records in October 2023 read our full auction report.

Artworks priced between £30,000 and £40,000 constitute a more significant portion of Miller’s print market, accounting for nearly 12%. This price range includes various Penguin prints, such as Narcissist Seeks Similar, sharing its title with Miller’s solo exhibition in his hometown of York, and Fuck Art Let's Dance / Fuck Dancing Let's Fuck, a diptych that reflects Miller’s characteristic sardonic wit. Love Saves The Day, portraying a more optimistic aspect of Miller’s aesthetic, also falls within this category.

Works priced between £20,000 and £30,000 make up a smaller percentage, approximately 3%, similar to Miller’s highest-valued pieces. The largest segment of Miller’s print market consists of works priced between £10,000 and £20,000, accounting for 44%. Within this range, collectors can acquire various Penguin prints, including Who Cares Wins (NHS blue), published and released by White Cube as part of a charitable initiative during the Covid pandemic. Other iconic pieces such as In Shadows I Boogie are offered within this price bracket, making it an enticing range for collectors seeking the Phaidon book cover edition of his monograph.

“When I came up with International Lonely Guy, my life was quite boring – lonely. I had gone to New York with, I mean, hell, I guess this idea of making it. However you would judge that idea of making it, I certainly wasn’t doing it on any level.”
Harland Miller

Prints To Invest In Below £10,000

Miller prints priced below £10,000 offer enticing opportunities for art investors, constituting 38% of his market share in 2023. Within this price range, collectors can acquire iconic pieces reflecting Miller's artistic journey, such as International Lonely Guy (red), a print infused with the artist's personal narrative conceived during his residency in New York City. Additionally, prints like Hell... It's Only Forever, Happiness (small), Armageddon Is It Too Much To Ask (small), Love Conquers Nothing, and Heroin, It's What Your Right Arm's For are readily accessible.

These prints feature Miller’s trademark provocative titles, often carrying incisive social commentary on the complexities of human psychology. With a diverse range of Miller’s Penguin book covers available, editions in various colourways cater to different budget points. Consulting with experts who can assess fair market value and analyse market saturation, coupled with leveraging tools like MyArtBroker’s value indicator, facilitates the acquisition of desired prints at optimal price points.

Explore how other art dealers in the print market leverage MyArtBroker's technological resources in our latest Case Study.

“Being brought into the company and given free rein of their archives in Bristol was a kind of heaven – I spent days in there.”
Harland Miller

Liquidity Of Miller’s Print Market

Miller's prints possess a unique marketability that play a significant role in driving the liquidity of his print sales. The titles of his artworks, which are subjectively thought-provoking, serve as memorable hooks, capturing the attention of collectors and art enthusiasts alike, thus enhancing the desirability of his prints to a broad market. Miller himself has acknowledged this phenomenon, noting how people adopt the text from his works as a sort of mantra, further cementing their appeal. Additionally, the everyday nature of Miller’s prints, combined with their bold and vibrant colours, also contribute to their marketability.

An intriguing aspect of Miller's journey is the lawsuit he faced from Penguin for copyright infringement, which ultimately worked in his favour. Instead of legal action, Penguin embraced Miller’s work, commissioning him to produce a new series of his trademark book cover canvases for their offices over what Miller describes as a “lavish lunch” and granting him access to their Bristol archives. This move not only expanded the reach of Miller's market but also enhanced the liquidity of his works through positive attention and cultural relevance.

A pie chart illustrating Harland Miller print works sold by volume in different geographies throughout 2023. Miller Lots Sold By Location In 2023 © MyArtBroker 2024

Recent Market Performance And Current Opportunities

While not universally embraced for their sardonic wit and sarcasm, Miller's prints enjoy strong appreciation from devoted enthusiasts, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom. The majority of the concentration in the UK not only pays homage to Miller's Northern Yorkshire roots but also underscores the significance of Penguin Book covers, originating from the iconic British publishing house established in 1935. Several English celebrities with significant influence in the United States, including Rolling Stone's Ronnie Wood and Elton John, have endorsed Miller’s work, further enhancing its appeal. Wood famously queued at London's White Cube gallery for a signed copy of Miller's monograph “In Shadows, I Boogie”, published by Phaidon, while Elton John attributed the experience of loneliness in a new city to Miller’s “International Lonely Guy” artistic theme and pseudonym persona.

Despite spending time in Berlin and Paris, Miller's 2023 print market surprisingly did not extend to these countries; however, 3% of his prints reached as far as New Zealand.

What Makes A Miller Print Desirable?

Miller's prints serve as a refreshing gateway into art collecting, appealing to both seasoned collectors and newcomers. With the ability to evoke laughter, inspire reflection, and encourage personal interpretation. Miller’s affinity for literature and music has enabled him to create an exceedingly relatable and humorous artistic body of work, allowing art collectors and enthusiasts alike to comprehend Miller’s prints without needing an art history degree.

Harland Miller Top Selling Prints

Miller Most Investable Print Works


This Is Where Its Fuckin At

This Is Where It’s Fuckin’ At belongs to Miller’s renowned Penguin series, featuring the iconic book cover design and logo against a grey backdrop with weathered edges, characteristic of Penguin Books. Authored by Harland Miller, the title encapsulates a blend of positivity, celebration, and ambiguity. This print is exceptionally rare in the market, having appeared only twice. Initially seen in 2019 and then again in 2023, it experienced a remarkable 1.4-fold increase in sales value, setting a new record for the print. In 2023, it became Miller’s highest-selling print, fetching £73,072 with fees at Phillips.


Love Saves The Day

Love Saves The Day, a part of Miller’s Penguin print series, features a captivating abstract pink wash background. Drawing inspiration from abstract expressionism and the works of modern art luminary Mark Rothko, Miller infuses his artistic vision into prints like Love Saves The Day. While retaining its linguistic and literary charm, Miller's artistry shines through as he places emphasis on the rich, saturated background reminiscent of a book cover. Released as a limited edition of 100, this print has made only four appearances on the secondary market, all in 2023. The highest recorded sale occurred at Tate Ward Auctions in June, fetching £50,000 including fees.


Fuck Art Let's Dance / Fuck Dancing Let's Fuck

Fuck Art Let's Dance / Fuck Dancing Let's Fuck is a diptych print featuring two Penguin cover books positioned side by side, adorned in striking yellow and magenta tones, each adorned with the iconic penguin logo. Originally released in a limited edition of 50 prints plus 12 hors commerce (HC), this piece was initially priced just under £2,000. Despite its dry yet celebrated and raw message, it has garnered significant popularity and remains highly sought after in the market. With a total of five appearances on the market, this work achieved remarkable growth, particularly evident in its sale at Phillips in January 2023 for £40,320. This represents a twenty fold increase in value from its original release price, highlighting the substantial investment potential of Miller’s prints.


Narcissist Seeks Similar

Narcissist Seeks Similar originated from a painting of the same title, which debuted at the artist’s expansive solo exhibition in York, UK, in 2020. The classic Penguin novel is depicted in a striking pink hue, with each penguin meticulously hand-finished in the studio. Despite its rarity, appearing only twice in the market, this print gained attention. In 2023, it fetched £17,640 with fees at Christie’s in September.


Love, A Decisive Blow Against If

Also adopting the classic Penguin book style and set against a vibrant pink backdrop, Love, A Decisive Blow Against If showcases two dancing penguins at the bottom, accompanied by a title steeped in ambiguity, inviting collectors to interpret the piece in their own way. Blending figurative painting with nods to pop culture and literature, this artwork straddles the line between pop art and conceptual abstraction, showcasing Miller’s keen artistic prowess and his ability to seamlessly blend various art historical periods into one contemporary masterpiece. Despite its rarity, having appeared only once in the market, this piece garnered attention. It was sold at Phillips in September 2023, fetching £27,940 with fees ranking among Miller’s top selling prints for 2023.

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