So my wife and I purchased a new house last year and hired a interior designer to take care of the decorating. The designer is a friend of a friend and works for many of the very wealthy in my area (she gave us a "friend's discount".
She came over to see how things were going and noticed a stack of my landscape images that we had mounted and framed and really liked them. She emailed me a few days later and asked if I would allow her to sell my work to her clients and I said "of course!" I set a gallery up on my site (I do weddings so already had the site)
Well, now she wants to buy a bunch of the prints but would like them to be limited edition.
Having never sold my prints as "wall art" before, I've never had the need to look into limited edition printing or certificates of authenticity, etc. I need some help!
I'm planning on having my current lab (prodpi) do the printing but I need to know how to do everything else.
Do I need to add a white border so I can sign the front?
Do I sign in pencil?
Do I also write the image title, date, and edition number on the front?
Do I include a label on the back?
Are there any examples of CoA?
How about a fade guarantee?
Am I missing anything else?
Thanks for the help!
1) I sign in pencil on rag/matte papers, or with a pigment ink pen on gloss or semigloss papers. This goes beneath the lower right corner of the image, with the title at lower left. Other folks tend to include the edition number (12/25 or whatever) with the title.
2) New York State actually has specific legal requirements for a COA; it must specify the means used to create a print as well as edition size. (Amadou Diallo actually spells out the law in his book Mastering Digital Black & White
.) I use a separate small piece of laser printed parchment-type paper with the image title and a nicely worded summary of the inkset and paper used, articulating the artistic reason for the choice. I also include expected print longevity (citing Wilhelm's numbers) and instructions for care (i.e. keep out of bright sun, away from ozone etc.). I'm not pretentious or successful enough to edition prints, so I note that it's an open edition. I don't bother with a replacement guarantee; it strikes me as a bit cheesy, and I don't want to invite hassles from someone who hangs the print where it gets cooked by mid-day sunlight.
3) Make sure you charge enough to cover all your costs. It's a real ego boost when someone values your work enough to buy it, but don't sell at a loss. A rough rule of thumb is to total up what it cost you to print, mat, frame and hang the image; then multiply by four. That will generally permit you to cover the cost of your time and expertise, not to mention those spiffy lenses and cameras required to produce the work in the first place. This is just my two cents; I'm no expert on the subject. I just sell enough prints to pay for paper and ink for my own work and call it even. Other folks obviously make a real business of it.