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Author Topic: "Signing" prints using Photoshop  (Read 17114 times)
PSA DC-9-30
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« on: April 13, 2013, 11:59:17 PM »
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I just created a mock-up of a large framed print in Photoshop to show relative dimensions of the print, reveal, mat, frame, etc. This is for a friend, and my first-ever paying customer (i.e., for a framed print as opposed to a digital file/permissions).

To show how this would would look with my signature, I scanned my sig. and placed it in as a layer on the reveal  in the lower right. Given that I don't always like how my signature ends up looking, I considered just printing the file with the scanned signature still in the image.

I have seen debates on pencil vs. pen, and debates about signing on the front vs. back, but I have never heard of a photographer "signing" a print in this way. Do photographers ever do this? Is this/would this be considered tacky or bad practice?

Thanks,
Kevin
« Last Edit: April 14, 2013, 12:01:10 AM by PSA DC-9-30 » Logged

louoates
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« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2013, 08:53:10 AM »
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I sign all my prints via embedding it digitally as you describe. Either in white on dark backgrounds or in black on lighter backgrounds. I also use the opacity slider of that layer to dial back the intensity to it blends more easily into the image rather than looking like its pasted on. Once in a while a customer may ask me to sign the back as well. I've never had any objections from customer or gallery with this method.

If you use the same file to print 8x10s and 24x30s you might want to keep two versions and adjust the size of the signature in keeping with the right scale.
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Richowens
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« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2013, 07:10:36 PM »
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Hi Kevin,
  Try this http://www.outbackphoto.com/workflow/wf_54/essay.html

Rich
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KLaban
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« Reply #3 on: April 15, 2013, 08:32:32 AM »
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Is this/would this be considered tacky or bad practice?

Yes. 
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PeterAit
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« Reply #4 on: April 15, 2013, 02:54:31 PM »
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Yes. 

I tend to agree. For better or worse, I associate signatures that are actually on the print with cheesy high school portrait and wedding photographers. Fake gold leaf anyone? That may be unfair, but there it is.
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Peter
"Photographic technique is a means to an end, never the end itself."
View my photos at http://www.peteraitken.com
louoates
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« Reply #5 on: April 15, 2013, 05:52:05 PM »
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I tend to agree. For better or worse, I associate signatures that are actually on the print with cheesy high school portrait and wedding photographers. Fake gold leaf anyone? That may be unfair, but there it is.

The main reason I embed my signature (no fake gold leaf, though) is one of necessity. I deliver as many as 50 prints at a time to my main gallery that mats and frames them and sells them directly to the public. For me to sign the number of different mats before they install the glass, etc. would be unworkable for them. And it would require additional time and work on my part, which I avoid as much as possible.
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KLaban
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« Reply #6 on: April 16, 2013, 03:40:02 AM »
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The main reason I embed my signature (no fake gold leaf, though) is one of necessity. I deliver as many as 50 prints at a time to my main gallery that mats and frames them and sells them directly to the public. For me to sign the number of different mats before they install the glass, etc. would be unworkable for them. And it would require additional time and work on my part, which I avoid as much as possible.

Your prints are essentially unsigned.
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KLaban
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« Reply #7 on: April 16, 2013, 04:53:23 AM »
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The convention is - and the art world is surprisingly conventional on these matters - that original artworks are signed on the artwork and prints are signed on the border. Signing the matte results in a signed matte.
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petermfiore
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« Reply #8 on: April 16, 2013, 06:50:25 AM »
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When you physically sign your print you are stating that the print is up to your ""Artistic" standards. Signed in print, can be produced without your approval. Far less desirable by a long shot.

Peter
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petermfiore
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« Reply #9 on: April 16, 2013, 06:56:03 AM »
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And it would require additional time and work on my part, which I avoid as much as possible.



I find this of interest. In a questioning way.


Peter

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louoates
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« Reply #10 on: April 16, 2013, 02:09:16 PM »
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When you physically sign your print you are stating that the print is up to your ""Artistic" standards. Signed in print, can be produced without your approval. Far less desirable by a long shot.

Peter
Anyone ripping off someone's work would simply copy the signature on the mat also.
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PSA DC-9-30
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« Reply #11 on: April 16, 2013, 02:42:17 PM »
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Thanks for your comments. Thanks Rich for the link.

It is an interesting debate, and I'm trying to envision how I would feel if I were the customer in this situation. I am a bit undecided at this point. However, with the increasing acceptance and prevalence of electronic signatures in the business world, I can only guess that in the future, more and more people may be accepting of digitally signed prints.

My main issue is that I often don't like how my signature looks (and it can vary widely), and I don't want to have to rip through a stack of perfectly good prints before I get a signature that looks good to me. For me, it is of some value to have my signature look good--as well as consistent--across all prints I sell.
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Schewe
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« Reply #12 on: April 16, 2013, 03:26:32 PM »
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My main issue is that I often don't like how my signature looks (and it can vary widely), and I don't want to have to rip through a stack of perfectly good prints before I get a signature that looks good to me. For me, it is of some value to have my signature look good--as well as consistent--across all prints I sell.

I know this might sound silly, but I suggest you sit down and practice...that's what I did. I wrote my signature hundreds of times and picked out a few that looked really good and practiced matching that limed few, over and over. Also note that the signature I use on prints is considerably different than what I use on checks and documents! I remember a story about an artist who suffered early identity theft because he signed checks the same way he signed paintings and prints/lithos. Somebody stole some checks and used his signature on his lithos to forge his handwriting...
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PSA DC-9-30
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« Reply #13 on: April 16, 2013, 07:04:50 PM »
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Thanks Jeff--interesting thoughts. I never thought about the check thing, so that's definitely helpful. 
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louoates
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« Reply #14 on: April 16, 2013, 07:12:08 PM »
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Not to worry. As I understand current bank practices, most banks never compare check signatures with any kind of matching signature card. It's all automated. If it has anything in that signature space it goes through with no problem. If you are ripped off, or you lose your checkbook, you notify the bank and they credit your account for any fraudulent use, and issue you a new account number.
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marcmccalmont
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« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2013, 11:49:05 PM »
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I know this might sound silly, but I suggest you sit down and practice...that's what I did. I wrote my signature hundreds of times and picked out a few that looked really good and practiced matching that limed few, over and over. Also note that the signature I use on prints is considerably different than what I use on checks and documents! I remember a story about an artist who suffered early identity theft because he signed checks the same way he signed paintings and prints/lithos. Somebody stole some checks and used his signature on his lithos to forge his handwriting...

My ex is an artist and she stated "your photography is not Art unless it is signed"! Then she had me practice a stylized Marc that did not look anything like my chicken scratch signature. I signed the prints on the lower border, numbered or A/P on the left, title in the center and signature on the right. Canvas prints oh I mean "Giclee's" just signed on the canvas' right corner. Well at least that was acceptable to an Artist?
Marc

PS PSA dc9 30, maybe I should change my handle to PanAm 727 Smiley or ACA J32 or JAL 747 or Sky 737 or maybe QR 777 I wish they didn't keep going out of business Sad
« Last Edit: April 20, 2013, 11:52:38 PM by marcmccalmont » Logged

Marc McCalmont
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