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DPChallenge Forums >> Tips, Tricks, and Q&A >> Signing Prints ????
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07/05/2009 07:40:51 AM · #1
I overheard a discussion among other photographers about signing their prints. This causes me to ask, do you sign your prints? If you do, where do you sign them? On the face of the print, on the back, or on the mat? If on the face, is there a standard place (bottom right, bottom left to sign?

Is there a "proper" way to sign prints?
07/05/2009 09:19:11 AM · #2
Signature and date normally lower right. If print is permanently mounted, sign the mount board. Otherwise sign the print. Signing the matte board is pointless, prints can be interchanged between mattes. Traditionally, photographs are signed with a pencil.

R.
07/05/2009 11:02:20 AM · #3
A normal #2 type pencil on the photograph? Does that show up well?
07/05/2009 11:45:36 AM · #4
Originally posted by ButterflySis:

A normal #2 type pencil on the photograph? Does that show up well?


Shows up fine on matte paper. Useless on glossy paper.

R.
07/05/2009 05:17:39 PM · #5

In the "art world" we were always taught to sign in pencil. Edition information on the bottom left below image, copyright, date, signature on bottom right below image.

These days it seems that ink is becoming quite acceptable for signing photographic prints. There are acid-free, archival pens for this specific use. A lot of the photographers that I talked to at photography school use a Rapidograph pen with an ink color that is suitable to their needs. Many use Dr. P.H. Martin's Black ink.

I personally use Micron Pigma pens, they work great on glossy paper.

All that being said, if you are doing Fine Art Prints of your photographs on archival rag paper - I believe pencil is still considered "de rigeur".

07/05/2009 05:40:07 PM · #6
For my own personal stuff I sign the matte with pencil. I know, as Bear says, you can just swap the matte, but it's my own stuff for my walls and the signature shows up best on the matte. :)
07/05/2009 07:04:26 PM · #7
For any framed images I sell, I have the photo mounted on 100% rag and sign below with a pencil, then matte (wider than image and signature) and frame.
For event images that I sell, I scanned my signature and made a PS brush out of it and apply digitally directly to the image. I usually also add the event name and date very small below the signature.

Edit to add link to Sample.

Message edited by author 2009-07-05 19:07:24.
07/14/2009 03:14:29 PM · #8
Originally posted by LindaLee:


I personally use Micron Pigma pens, they work great on glossy paper.


They range in sizes from a 005 .20mm to a 08 .50mm. Which is best for signing?
07/14/2009 05:12:28 PM · #9
Originally posted by SEG:

Originally posted by LindaLee:


I personally use Micron Pigma pens, they work great on glossy paper.


They range in sizes from a 005 .20mm to a 08 .50mm. Which is best for signing?


I can't be certain at this moment, but I think the one I usually use is .25mm. I prefer a very fine point. I have a set of 6 of them in different sizes, but cannot find them - practically everything we own is packed and in storage and I think that is where they are.

07/15/2009 05:48:27 PM · #10
Originally posted by rlewis:

I overheard a discussion among other photographers about signing their prints. This causes me to ask, do you sign your prints? If you do, where do you sign them? On the face of the print, on the back, or on the mat? If on the face, is there a standard place (bottom right, bottom left to sign?

Is there a "proper" way to sign prints?

As I have several exhibits of Limited Edition prints a word of advice. Now this is in your favor. If you sign a print that has NOT been numbered, even if your intent is to print only "1" i.e 1 of 1 or 100 prints of the same image i.e. 17/100 for example, the image belongs to you. It will revert back to your estate if it has NOT been numbered. The Helmut Newton estate were able to get back every print signed by Helmut Newton given as gifts that were not numbered..

Have a ball and sign them...They are still yours ;-)

PS...LUMAS Gallery whom I am with, has a special pen that has the DNA of the ink archived. Once I sign the series with that pen, I must dispose of it. That way if someone tries to forge the signature it is traceable.

Message edited by author 2009-07-15 17:51:03.
07/15/2009 06:41:13 PM · #11
Originally posted by benjikan:

PS...LUMAS Gallery whom I am with, has a special pen that has the DNA of the ink archived. Once I sign the series with that pen, I must dispose of it. That way if someone tries to forge the signature it is traceable.

Hmmm ... it seems to me that with a simple blood donation they should be able to code the pen with your own DNA -- that way you wouldn't have to dispose of it and contribute to our wasteful ways ... ;-)
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