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Author Topic: Signature on Prints  (Read 4651 times)

BHoll

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Signature on Prints
« on: March 20, 2014, 07:27:47 AM »

Hi,

What do you guys think is a good way to sign photographic prints?
I'm selling limited edition prints in 3 options: C-Type prints (unframed and framed), inkjet prints on Hahnemühle paper, or C-Type mounted on Aluminium Dibond. I always include a Ceritificate of Authenticity with my name embossed within the certificate. Then again, some careless people may misplace the certificate at some point. And of course I want people to remember my name as a photographer ;)

With fine art prints, there's always the argument of archival quality – so I feel I'm a bit in a dilemma, particularly with C-Types, because they can't be signed with anything but a waterproof pen... which probably is not archival resistant.

I was thinking about purchasing some wafer seals for my embossing machine, so I can stick them on the back of the print / frame etc.... Then again: the glue may not be archival resistant.
Or am I worrying too much?
The wafer seals may really be the best solution – and they also add to the perceived value of a print.

How do you guys do your signature on prints?

« Last Edit: March 20, 2014, 07:30:18 AM by BHoll »
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HSakols

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2014, 08:17:16 AM »

I sign the mat with a pencil. 
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jjj

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2014, 08:36:38 AM »

Offbeat suggestion but how about using paint? Not gloss/emulsion, but artist's paint.
They need to sign their canvases and that can be long lasting.

Also you could staple seals to back of print, though do so in an area that will be hidden by frame/mat.
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BHoll

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2014, 09:21:50 AM »

Offbeat suggestion but how about using paint? Not gloss/emulsion, but artist's paint.
They need to sign their canvases and that can be long lasting.

You mean paint on the front / on top of the photograph? Not sure about that....

I like the idea of archival pen. Did some research and found the Pigma Sakura line of pigmented ink pens.

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Chris_Brown

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2014, 12:41:47 PM »

...resulting in an unsigned print.

Hmm. It was good enough for Ansel Adams, but not for you? Do you actually mar the image with your signature? Or perhaps sign in a margin of unused paper
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jjj

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2014, 03:53:12 PM »

You mean paint on the front / on top of the photograph? Not sure about that....
I meant the border. But it's up to you and what style suits your pics.
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PeterAit

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #6 on: March 20, 2014, 07:05:44 PM »

Or am I worrying too much?

IMO, yes.

I make prints to high archival standards and provide a signature on the mat and/or a signed certificate affixed to the back of the frame. If someone takes the certificate off and loses it, that's their issue. And to be honest, I ask myself, in 20-30 years what's the chance that a single soul will give a fiddler's fart if a print is a "real" Peter Aitken (as if someone will be making counterfeits, LOL). I think that's just hubris.
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PeterAit

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #7 on: March 21, 2014, 08:51:22 AM »

Why worry at all when it's so easy to get it right?



Precisely. I've got it "right" (at least for me) and I don't worry.
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HSakols

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #8 on: March 21, 2014, 10:13:14 AM »

The only way to really prove the authenticity of the print is to embed a chip into the paper that includes all the meta data.  Otherwise your print is probably a rip off or unauthentic.  Even the embossed certificate could be a rip off - be careful out there. Sorry I couldn't resist. 

People sign prints differently.
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HSakols

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #9 on: March 21, 2014, 11:15:20 AM »

Yes, Ideally you should sign the print itself.  I'm just being a cynic.  I know as artists that we need to create value to our work, but with digital technology all this talk about editions and so forth is kind of contrived.  But then again I'm a terrible sales person and that is why I stay in the classroom as a teacher.  Speaking of art, today my 5th and 6th graders will paint in the style of cubism.  This work will be original first addition work that parents will keep for ever! 
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RSL

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #10 on: March 21, 2014, 11:47:46 AM »

I agree with Keith. I also think both the idea of the "authenticity" of a photographic print and the idea of "editioning" a series of photographic prints are absurd. What matters in a photograph is what's in the photograph, not whether or not it's a copy or what its number is in a series. I realize there's a "fine art" market that has created a whole world of artificial "value" by pumping up the preciousness of photographic prints, but in the greater scheme of things it's ridiculous. Yes, if you've gained some notice as an artist, signing a print adds value to the print by implying that you made the print, but sometimes that implication is wrong. After the very beginning of his career Cartier-Bresson's photographs were printed by Voja Mitrovic, but Henri signed them, so his signature simply meant he accepted the print as satisfactory.

Oh, and the idea of signing the mat is absurd. It's easy to change a mat.

Jim Pascoe

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #11 on: March 21, 2014, 02:04:33 PM »

I'm not arrogant enough to believe my prints have any value other than what is attached buy the buyer themselves - I certainly have no value as 'collectable'.  So I sign mine on the mat purely as an identification of authorship and hopefully a bit of self promotion. It's in pencil so the owner can erase it if they wish.  Others may have reasons to want their name permanently attached to the image itself.

Jim
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RSL

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #12 on: March 21, 2014, 02:34:28 PM »

Well, somewhere down the line there may be people who've bought your stuff and have some very valuable mats.

Jim Pascoe

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #13 on: March 22, 2014, 04:17:18 AM »

Well, somewhere down the line there may be people who've bought your stuff and have some very valuable mats.

Ha - yes, they may re-use the mats when they are sick of the pictures!  I do believe in re-cycling....
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Christoph C. Feldhaim

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #14 on: March 22, 2014, 05:06:33 AM »

A good friend of mine, now over 70 years old who was a successful art seller and gallerist
sees signing on the front as plain vanity and suggests to simply sign on the backside with a pencil.
Graphite is quite archival ....

I think you can see it different ways,
but the artistic value of something is not raised by writing your name on the front of it.
Exception might be if your signature is a calligraphic piece of art each time taking at least 2 hours to make ...
Market value - no idea.

Its a modern disease, even creators of simple T-Shirts put their name on the front of their "pieces of art" ....
Everything is "art" today.
If there is a lot of hype, hybris, buzz, whatever around the person of the artist / the brand,
people might actually want to have a mark on the front, to be able to show it:
"See - I have this 20,000 $$ Feldhaim street shot 5x7" limited edition hanging on my wall ... "

So - it depends on your clients and if it helps you to sell, if that is the main goal.

I am not selling art, but when I give a print away as a present I sign with a soft pencil on the backside of the print.
Even when mounted and my signature therefore is invisible.

Cheers
~Chris
« Last Edit: March 22, 2014, 05:09:42 AM by Christoph C. Feldhaim »
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jjj

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #15 on: March 22, 2014, 05:46:56 AM »

Its a modern disease, even creators of simple T-Shirts put their name on the front of their "pieces of art" ....
Everything is "art" today.
If there is a lot of hype, hybris, buzz, whatever around the person of the artist / the brand,
people might actually want to have a mark on the front, to be able to show it:
"See - I have this 20,000 $$ Feldhaim street shot 5x7" limited edition hanging on my wall ... "
I suppose one has to mention the obvious artist who old sold one painting whilst alive, yet now his works sell for absurdly large sums.
It's very hard to say what will become valuable in the future
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Schewe

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #16 on: March 22, 2014, 06:04:31 AM »

Signing a print has nothing at all to do with vanity and or arrogance and everything to do with providing information, proof of authorship and of course exposure.

+1...it is not arrogance but providence. Signing on a separate matte is not. Signing on a sticker attached to the back it not. If you "own the print" (meaning it's YOUR print), sign the darn thing...sorry, I grew up as an "artist"...(if you made a print-stone litho, or silkscreen which are the two types I made) you signed the darn thing. I'll admit that "numbering digital prints" is silly because, well they are digital and print 1 and print 1000 should be the exact same...

I sign (and date) and title the image just outside of the image area...I use pencil on watercolor paper and a pigment pen on glossy. An un-signed print is less valuable than a signed, dated and titled print is. Simple as that...
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MarkH2

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #17 on: November 26, 2014, 11:41:32 PM »

Booming voice from the heavens to cowering humans below: "It is not arrogance but Providence!"  Thanks, Jeff, nearly spit out my coffee on this provenance malaprop.  :D
« Last Edit: November 26, 2014, 11:43:18 PM by MarkH2 »
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Jim Pascoe

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2014, 05:06:05 AM »

Booming voice from the heavens to cowering humans below: "It is not arrogance but Providence!"  Thanks, Jeff, nearly spit out my coffee on this provenance malaprop.  :D

Ha - this has resurrected a rather old thread - but well spotted!  However in the case of Schewe he probably got it right first time......
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mkihne

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Re: Signature on Prints
« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2014, 02:09:09 PM »

Just another thought. Use a tablet, sign your signature, place it in the desired location on the print similar to signing a canvas. Print the image and you have permanence. You can even sample the image for an appropriate, pleasing color, hue or shade, black gray etc. Taking it a step further, you could sign each piece of art individually(as in unique), even changing the color if you desire for the ultimate in uniqueness for otherwise identical sales.

I have done this with my prints with great acceptance(or at least indifference) ;D. In some ways it solves the whole edition thing with some uniqueness for the purchaser.
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