Signing Prints

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by icassell, Mar 3, 2010.

  1. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    Up to this point, I've only printed images for personal use or for friends. I have recently donated a few to organizations for show/auction. Is there a "proper" or "accepted" way to sign an exhibition print? Pencil signature on the mat? Watermark on the print corner? Name on the back of the mat?

    In other forms of printing (e.g. woodcut, lithograph, etc.), the artist is expected to number prints (e.g. 5/100) with the denominator being the total number of prints run. Is this expected of a photographer as well?
     
  2. Overread

    Overread has a hat around here somewhere Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I think these things are very much down to yourself and the situation at hand as to what direction you take. You might find it beneficial to have your signature (clearly) on the back of your prints. Placed there it won't get in the way of viewing of the image and its present should anyone find your image and want to find out who you are at a later date.

    I know some printing firms will print images to the back of photos (its done often to help protect the image from being professionaly scaned and reprinted) and if you were doing a signature for most work I would scan (high quality) a very good and clear written one that you could then use for all your prints. That way you keep a constancy with your work and allows you to apply it to much of your work without your wrist falling off ;)

    As for signatures on the front, very dependant. You might want to and might not I honestly think the dispaly use will determin things here. Art gallery displays with other peoples work a signature would probably not be a bad thing - printings in a magazine maybe not- I don't recall many magazines or books having signed work printed on their pages in the photography world.
     
  3. c.cloudwalker

    c.cloudwalker TPF Noob!

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    Agreed. If there is a proper way to do it no one told me. :D

    I sign, number and title my prints on the front right below the image in ink. It needs to be on the print itself and in a non-erasable manner, so no pencil. I have signed, numbered and titled prints on the mat when I have mated prints in a way that hides the sig and title on the print itself but it should always be on the print too no matter what.

    What if the buyer decides to change the mat?
     
  4. kelli_anne

    kelli_anne TPF Noob!

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    In my photo class, I was told that you sign your photo on your mat board on the right hand side right below your image. If you are sign on a black board you use a silver pen, and if it is on a white board you use a pencil or black pen. I hope this helps
     
  5. pbelarge

    pbelarge TPF Noob!

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    Whenever I am viewing old photographs, there are two things I would love to know.


    Who & When

    A title would be icing on the cake.

    I would say signing on the back if the signature disturbs the photo.
     
  6. Goontz

    Goontz TPF Noob!

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    I think that a simple (pencil as you suggested) signature and date written on the matting can look very good. I actually have someone else's photo hanging at home with just that. I don't think there's a "standard," but I wouldn't want to see anything too cluttered or anything that would detract from the image. If you want to put more, I would say put it on the back.
     
  7. icassell

    icassell TPF Noob!

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    After many assorted responses and a perusal of the web, I went to the art supply store and bought an archival ink pen (about $3.00). I signed them on the front with my name and the year on the thin border under the mat. Seemed to work for now anyway. Thanks for the responses.
     

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