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Author Topic: Signing Prints  (Read 6490 times)
eleanorbrown
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« Reply #20 on: February 18, 2009, 05:37:21 PM »
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Good points and I agree.  Frankly I don't pay attention to much of anything the "art world" says (curators, museums, dealers especially).  Everyone has their own agenda.  With that said, I was genuinely curious about why collectors, etc. don't like signatures on the front of the image.   Amazes me to hear that we all need to get over our "ego issues"....how bizarre.  I like to see a print identified on the front and frankly I like to see whoever made the image sign it so I can see it as I look at the image "weird" as that sounds.  I usually sign very small and I actually once had an art dealer tell me I needed to sign much much larger....needless to say, next time I signed even smaller.    Eleanor

Quote from: fike
It is funny the variety of strong opinions on this (likening it to a dog urinating to mark territory...haha).  The photograph is your piece of artwork. In determining how you sign it, there are two considerations:  what you like and what your customers like.  Depending on who you are and how desperately you want to  sell work, these considerations are weighted differently.  Fundamentally, this is a matter of personal preference for you and your customer.  There is no right or wrong, even if Michael tells us how he does it.  

Depending on your intentions, there may be standards you should consider.  If you seriously think your work is going into the Smithsonian sometime soon, you may consider pencil on the whitespace outside the image area.  Documentary and journalistic photographers are more likely to apply this standard.  On the other hand highly stylized composite digital art is likely to be completely free-form.  

Pick what works for you.  Stop depending on authority to tell you what is right.
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Tklimek
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« Reply #21 on: February 18, 2009, 11:02:23 PM »
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Marc....

Without sounding too much like defending myself; I am but a beginner here in this land of photography.  If Michael and Bill Atkinson have a recommendation of how to sign prints; that's good enough for me.  Why would I want or feel the need to re-invent the wheel so to speak?  Certainly if what I am doing now (based on what I already posted) does not fit my needs or my customers needs, I will change it.  I certainly am not "depending on authority to tell you what is right"....but I don't see the need to fix it if it isn't broken.  

I do completely agree with you that it is up to what you and your customers want.

:-)

Cheers....

Todd in Chicago

Quote from: fike
It is funny the variety of strong opinions on this (likening it to a dog urinating to mark territory...haha).  The photograph is your piece of artwork. In determining how you sign it, there are two considerations:  what you like and what your customers like.  Depending on who you are and how desperately you want to  sell work, these considerations are weighted differently.  Fundamentally, this is a matter of personal preference for you and your customer.  There is no right or wrong, even if Michael tells us how he does it.  

Depending on your intentions, there may be standards you should consider.  If you seriously think your work is going into the Smithsonian sometime soon, you may consider pencil on the whitespace outside the image area.  Documentary and journalistic photographers are more likely to apply this standard.  On the other hand highly stylized composite digital art is likely to be completely free-form.  

Pick what works for you.  Stop depending on authority to tell you what is right.
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fike
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« Reply #22 on: February 19, 2009, 04:45:01 PM »
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Quote from: Tklimek
Marc....

Without sounding too much like defending myself; I am but a beginner here in this land of photography.  If Michael and Bill Atkinson have a recommendation of how to sign prints; that's good enough for me.  Why would I want or feel the need to re-invent the wheel so to speak?  Certainly if what I am doing now (based on what I already posted) does not fit my needs or my customers needs, I will change it.  I certainly am not "depending on authority to tell you what is right"....but I don't see the need to fix it if it isn't broken.  

I do completely agree with you that it is up to what you and your customers want.

:-)

Cheers....

Todd in Chicago

Don't worry.  It doesn't sound like you are defending yourself.  Learning a new form of art is a bit like learning a new language...what are the conventions?  what has been done?  But I find that a great deal of the fun IS reinventing the wheel.  Who knows, you might just come up with something completely new and different. That possibility of discovery is one of the great joys in art.  Learn the conventions, push them to their limits and then shatter them.
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Fike, Trailpixie, or Marc Shaffer
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TrailPixie.net

I carry an M43 ILC, a couple of good lenses, and a tripod.
Roscolo
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« Reply #23 on: February 19, 2009, 09:43:47 PM »
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Quote from: Roscolo
Bottom line: it's your work, so it's your choice what you do.



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Tklimek
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« Reply #24 on: February 20, 2009, 01:03:20 AM »
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Good point sir.  BTW....I checked out your site..neat stuff.  I would consider myself a "hiker" as well; only since I live in Chicago I usually am only graced with the ability to do so a few times a year when I go on vacation.  Every year we go to Telluride (CO) and we really love to hike out there.  I actually met my wife through a mutal love of rock climbing and the outdoors....we've since pretty much dropped the rock climbing part and have become hikers when we hit the outdoors.  Absolutely love it though!

Cheers...

Todd in Chicago (according to weather.com, currently 20 but "feels" like 5 degrees....  LOL)

Quote from: fike
Don't worry.  It doesn't sound like you are defending yourself.  Learning a new form of art is a bit like learning a new language...what are the conventions?  what has been done?  But I find that a great deal of the fun IS reinventing the wheel.  Who knows, you might just come up with something completely new and different. That possibility of discovery is one of the great joys in art.  Learn the conventions, push them to their limits and then shatter them.
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Victor Glass
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« Reply #25 on: February 21, 2009, 04:36:37 PM »
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Although preferences for signing (or not) are stated here thoroughly, I'll share mine and what my considerations are.

I mat a print so it has a half inch border around the printed area. Before I mat it I sign it on the bottom right. I put a label on the back (on the backing board, not on back of the print). I didn't weigh one method over another, it just seemed natural to do it this way.

In the beginning I matted right up to the border of the printed area and signed the mat. It occured to me that if the work is re-matted then the old mat with signature goes into the trash can. I concluded that signing the mat made no sense, so I stopped. My other conclusion was that signing in a border around the print made sense since the signature would be maintained no matter if the print is re-matted. I also like the look of the half inch border.

Why do I sign the print at all? Most of the work I do is photographic art. I do one piece at a time. I work it from capture, to printing to matting and framing. Many works of art are signed - it's quite natural. I don't anticipate the signature increasing the value of my work - it just indicates that it is my work. I don't confer with the customer if they want the work signed or not; it comes that way. Now, of course I don't sign all of my work - it depends on it's intended use. I've been shooting a lot of TFP with models lately. I don't sign prints that they intend to use in their portfolio. But if it is art, I sign it. Oh, when I look at the framed piece, in my personal experience it does not distract from the art.  

 

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eleanorbrown
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« Reply #26 on: February 21, 2009, 10:47:02 PM »
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Victor, you said quite clearly what I've been trying to say also.    I, as you do, always sign my prints on the print and prefer widow mats with the signature showing.  This is part of the art work and is for identification purposes.  I can personally say it has nothing to do with ego trips   or anything else that is meant to give the print "value" in the art market.  To me a signature "personifies" a print. In my experience I've never seen a painting or pastel that is only signed on the back so why should a piece of photographic art be any different. Eleanor

Quote from: Victor Glass
Although preferences for signing (or not) are stated here thoroughly, I'll share mine and what my considerations are.

I mat a print so it has a half inch border around the printed area. Before I mat it I sign it on the bottom right. I put a label on the back (on the backing board, not on back of the print). I didn't weigh one method over another, it just seemed natural to do it this way.

In the beginning I matted right up to the border of the printed area and signed the mat. It occured to me that if the work is re-matted then the old mat with signature goes into the trash can. I concluded that signing the mat made no sense, so I stopped. My other conclusion was that signing in a border around the print made sense since the signature would be maintained no matter if the print is re-matted. I also like the look of the half inch border.

Why do I sign the print at all? Most of the work I do is photographic art. I do one piece at a time. I work it from capture, to printing to matting and framing. Many works of art are signed - it's quite natural. I don't anticipate the signature increasing the value of my work - it just indicates that it is my work. I don't confer with the customer if they want the work signed or not; it comes that way. Now, of course I don't sign all of my work - it depends on it's intended use. I've been shooting a lot of TFP with models lately. I don't sign prints that they intend to use in their portfolio. But if it is art, I sign it. Oh, when I look at the framed piece, in my personal experience it does not distract from the art.
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Eric Myrvaagnes
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« Reply #27 on: February 21, 2009, 11:23:50 PM »
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Ditto to Victor and Eleanor.
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-Eric Myrvaagnes

http://myrvaagnes.com  Visit my website. New images each season.
Roscolo
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« Reply #28 on: February 22, 2009, 10:33:18 AM »
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Quote from: eleanorbrown
In my experience I've never seen a painting or pastel that is only signed on the back so why should a piece of photographic art be any different. Eleanor

It's very common for paintings to be signed on the back, or more often the signature is "hidden" in the painting so as to minimize distraction. Same goes for many sculptors who mark their work on the bottom, or hide the signature in an out of the way place. And I don't remember the last time I saw a ceramic artist put their mark anywhere but on the bottom of a piece.

Again though, there is no "right" or "wrong" way. All's fair in love and war, and ultimately anything goes in art. It's your work, so do as you will. The less fuss the better. Sign it on the front. Sign it on the back. Dont' sign it. In the end it doesn't matter as much to anyone else as it does to you. As you see, if you ask for opinions, you'll get plenty.


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