Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: « 1 [2]   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Signing fine art prints  (Read 9545 times)
RFPhotography
Guest
« Reply #20 on: December 20, 2011, 08:15:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Isn't it a problem from authenticity standpoint? I mean you cannot sign a check by putting into the printer and have your signature printed on it, even if you made it unique. Wouldn't it be better for future authenticity checks if the signature is made with a pen of some sort?

Actually, yes you can.  Facsimile signatures are extremely commonplace in the corporate world.  Too many cheques being written to waste a senior exec's time manually signing.  Manual signatures, these days, are really only done by small businesses that can't justify the expense of the cheque printing/signing printers and related software.  Even cheques are going the way of the Dodo bird as more payments are done electronically.

Back to the original question, though.... Historically it was considered bad form to sign on the actual printed area.  The print is sacred and should stand on its own, unadulterated by a signature. Photographers today who don't have the sense of history or haven't learned from an 'older' pro will have a greater tendency to sign in the printed area.  This is becoming more true with newer media like canvas where the image is being treated more as, and considered as more like, a painting than a photograph.  Borderless printing methods also make it difficult to avoid signing inside the printed area unless the signature is on the reverse.  Farming out printing and framing/presentation also makes it difficult to have the print signed, which is a good reason only to farm out printing (if you have to farm out anything at all) and have the print delivered back to you for presentation before it goes to the customer.  If signing on the reverse, care needs to be taken where the signature is placed so that it doesn't affect the front of the print from pressure of the pen/pencil.

As far as what is used to sign, if you're going to use conservation methods and materials then you want to do the same with the signature or any other information included on the print.  Pencil is a classic.  There are numerous types of pens available that are labeled as acid free.  

Editioning is what it is.  And there are arguments on both sides of the fence as to the worthiness of editioning.  But there's no reason not to sign an open edition print.  What you may consider doing is providing a certificate of authenticity.  Terry's posted an example.  I do something similar.  What I also do (and, again, there are arguments on both sides) is create a unique alphanumeric identifier for each print.  That identifier is written on the print and is put on the COA.  I tell buyers that the two should be kept together or if the COA is to be stored separately, it should be kept in a place where it won't get lost, damaged or forgotten.  Personally, I sign on a non-visible area of the print.  Typically that's the unprinted border or for canvas on a portion of the canvas that will be wrapped around a stretcher.  With matted/framed prints, I also sign on the mat.  

Re: manual or digital signatures on prints, while cheques can have facsimile signatures, doing so on a print would lend credence to the audience that feels photography isn't as legitimate an art form as other visual arts.  It lends credence to the idea that the photographic print is a 'reproduction' and not an original.  Quality of handwriting really shouldn't matter.  Plenty of artists have/had bad handwriting.  Sign the prints manually.  Manual signing also lends a more personal touch and removes the idea that it's simply a mass produced piece that could be bought at Wallyworld.  A signature in pencil will always be evident as manual but with some pens, it can look like a reproduction.
« Last Edit: December 20, 2011, 08:21:28 AM by BobFisher » Logged
Mary K
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 107


« Reply #21 on: December 20, 2011, 09:42:58 AM »
ReplyReply

Several of you have provided excellent comments that have me rethinking this issue. 

I think it would be difficult to tell my Wacom signature from a pen signature on many of my prints, but it might be noticed on some.  While I know that each print signature is unique, it hadn't dawned on me that the buying public wouldn't know that -- short sighted of me! 
Logged

Sharon Van Lieu
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 376


Nantucket Landscape and Architectural Photographer


WWW
« Reply #22 on: December 20, 2011, 12:40:43 PM »
ReplyReply

Thanks for all the feedback on how you experienced guys do.

I don't think a signature adds to the visual part of the photograph, especially not mine since it looks like sh*te :-) so I don't want it visible, but that's only my personal taste, I can understand if one wants it visible like the tradition to sign a painting.

What I find valuable is that the print is authorized by the photographer personally (many artistic decisions is made from raw file to finished printed product), and signed to indicate that.

I don't really like the concept of limited editions, but customers seem to like it, and it seems to work as a trick to be able to charge more money. I have not yet decided if I will adopt it, I don't think I will, but numbering the prints can be good anyway to be able to identify in which order they were made. I may for example change the post-processing slightly to new prints as I evolve as printmaker.

Torger, I don't have the greatest handwriting either but I have found that most customers prefer to have a visible signature somewhere and will request it. I sign the mat and also the print. If i used matte paper, I would sign the print only and cut the mat wide enough to show the signature.

Sharon
Logged

framah
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1177



« Reply #23 on: December 20, 2011, 03:30:09 PM »
ReplyReply

For those who are planning to write on the back of the print or put ANYTHING on the back of the print...

remember that if you press too hard, you will  impress the lines into the paper and that will telegraph to the front.

If you aren't careful as to where you write,  you may be in a light area and that will also make the pencil lead or pigments show thru the paper.

The other thing is don't put a sticker on the back anywhere in the same area as the art on the front.

I'm saying this only because I have already seen it on work that has come into my shop to be framed.

Logged

"It took a  lifetime of suffering and personal sacrifice to develop my keen aesthetic sense."
ckimmerle
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 442



WWW
« Reply #24 on: December 20, 2011, 05:49:59 PM »
ReplyReply

For you folks considering digital signatures on your prints, I think you need to really think about what a signature is supposed to mean. It's not a decoration, nor should it be taken lightly. It's a symbol that you, as the artist, have individually certified that a specific piece of work is to your standards. If you can't even be bothered to sing your own work, how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously.

As for poor penmanship, you don't have to use your actual signature. As my normal written signature is done very quickly and is quite haphazard and unreadable, I have resorted to simply PRINTING my name beneath the images. Nobody has ever questioned me about it, nor do I think they even care.

How you sign is not important. Signing is!
Logged

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new landscapes, but in having new eyes." Marcel Proust

Chuck Kimmerle
WWW.CHUCKKIMMERLE.COM
Rick Popham
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 124


WWW
« Reply #25 on: December 20, 2011, 06:18:13 PM »
ReplyReply

As for me, I always sign under the image -- bottom right.  Sometimes I'll put a title and location on the bottom left.  If I'm matting the print (which is usual), I leave 1/4 inch of paper showing around the image, which leaves my signature visible.  If I'm using matte paper, I sign in pencil.  Lately I've been printing on Ilford Gold Fibre Silk or the similar Canson Baryta paper, and pencil doesn't work.  I tried a black Staedtler pigment pen, which works well, but looks very stark.  I prefer something that looks more like pencil. 

I found a Sharpie product that uses "Liquid Graphite" which works pretty well on the glossier papers.  I'm not sure how archival it is though.

This fall I bought a print from Ctein during one of the print sales at The Online Photographer.  Printed on IGFS, it looked like he had signed and titled it in pencil.  When I asked him about it, he said that he was using a calligraphy pen with the light-light black K3 ink. I thought that was a really good idea, but I haven't experimented with it yet.  It might be worth getting one of the smaller cartridges to try it out.
Logged
Mary K
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 107


« Reply #26 on: December 20, 2011, 06:54:55 PM »
ReplyReply

For you folks considering digital signatures on your prints, I think you need to really think about what a signature is supposed to mean. It's not a decoration, nor should it be taken lightly. It's a symbol that you, as the artist, have individually certified that a specific piece of work is to your standards. If you can't even be bothered to sing your own work, how can you expect anyone else to take you seriously.

As for poor penmanship, you don't have to use your actual signature. As my normal written signature is done very quickly and is quite haphazard and unreadable, I have resorted to simply PRINTING my name beneath the images. Nobody has ever questioned me about it, nor do I think they even care.

How you sign is not important. Signing is!

I presently sign my prints with a Wacom tablet, and believe me when I say that signing each print this way is much more time consuming than signing the print with pen or pencil after I've made the print.  I signed all of my prints with pen or pencil up until about six months ago when I started selling canvas wraps.  Since then I have been signing my canvas wraps with my Wacom tablet before printing, and each signature is unique, which is to say that every print I make has a unique signature unlike any other, including reprints. 

As a result of this discussion I am rethinking this practice, but as you say, none of my customers has complained, nor do I think they care. 

I agree with your last statement:  How you sign is not important - signing is.
Logged

Alan Goldhammer
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1605


WWW
« Reply #27 on: December 20, 2011, 07:25:23 PM »
ReplyReply

As for poor penmanship, you don't have to use your actual signature. As my normal written signature is done very quickly and is quite haphazard and unreadable, I have resorted to simply PRINTING my name beneath the images. Nobody has ever questioned me about it, nor do I think they even care.
+1 since my handwriting is poor as well.  I print my name 0.3 micron Pigma pen.  It works well on both gloss and matte paper.  If I'm selling matted and or framed works I sign on the over mat as I like to have the mat covering the full image since I mount with Mylar photo corners.
Logged

Mike Guilbault
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 815



WWW
« Reply #28 on: December 20, 2011, 10:40:17 PM »
ReplyReply

I tend to agree with the 'real' signature side of the equation.  There's something about actually putting pen to paper that may not only be more authentic legally, but adds that personal touch.  I quite often will sign the print while the customer is there to witness it. In effect, it becomes part of the delivery ritual.
Logged

Mike Guilbault
MG Photography
BarbaraArmstrong
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 288


« Reply #29 on: December 30, 2011, 12:49:45 AM »
ReplyReply

This is for those of you who may be worried about their handwriting.  I recall seeing a video recently of Henry Kissinger signing the Paris Peace Accords to bring our involvement in the Vietnam War to an end.  He simply printed a bold H and K, with the forward vertical of the H forming the back of the K; the two printed initials were simply run together. It formed a very simple and very individual "signature."  And obviously, printing is just fine.
Logged
texshooter
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 210


« Reply #30 on: December 30, 2011, 12:06:26 PM »
ReplyReply

use an ultraviolet invisible ink pen.
Logged
Geraldo Garcia
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 167



WWW
« Reply #31 on: December 31, 2011, 12:11:51 AM »
ReplyReply

The following reflects my own opinion, based on what I am used to do and on what I see in on European and South American galleries:

Number on the left (##/## or A.P. or P.P.) , title on the center (usually between quotes) and signature or initials on the right, written with pencil or pigmented pen below the image on the white border.

If it deserves a signature or, even more, a numbered limited series, it should be treated with the proper respect and care. That means archival (reversible) mounting with an over mat (passe-partout) and printing with nice and wide white borders. Drymounting, facemounting and other procedures are very nice for decoration-oriented images but are not appropriated for signed and numbered pieces of art.

I never sign on the mat. Honestly, I think it is ugly and makes no sense. Think about it a bit: if your prints are signed below the image the final owner have the option to show the signature with a nice reveal (mat window cut bigger than the image) or hide it with the over mat. A signed mat will force the owner to re-mat the piece and who knows where the mat with your signature will end? Nah... Ugly and makes no sense.

Again, no "rules" here, only my opinions.

Best regards.
Logged
Pages: « 1 [2]   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad