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Author Topic: selling fine art prints  (Read 8736 times)
JackR
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« on: June 01, 2004, 09:18:20 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I sign on the front of the image in the white border and on the matte. If someone wants to reframe it they still have a signed print.


This way when I become the Ansel Adams of the 1Ds their art will retain it's value;-)[/font]
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Greg Heins
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« Reply #1 on: June 11, 2004, 03:20:37 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Always nice to hear that someone's selling prints. The 'norm' is that you sign on the bottom right, and I put a comma after my name, followed by the year the image was made. The title goes on the left, followed by edition info (3/20, for example). I do this in pencil, small and just dark enough to be legible, but not distracting from the print. Pencil is also good from an archival standpoint. I also mat with white space around all sides of the image, a bit more at the bottom.
On the back of the print, again in pencil, I write the same information but add some things. After my name, I put my city, should anyone want to track me down after a generation or so. I put the place the photograph was made (just city, state, or city, country). I put the paper and the inkset used to make that print, and I put the month and year the print was made, all for conservation information, should it ever come to that. 6 lines, in all. But then, I don't do editions of 200.
You will want to select a hardness of pencil that does not require you to bear down at all on the paper, which would leave an impression on the front. Some trial and error will be necessary. For my particular paper, I use a 4B for the front and a 6B for the back. God only knows if any of my photographs are worth all this trouble, but there you have it.[/font]
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opgr
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« Reply #2 on: June 30, 2004, 04:08:51 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
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Limited editions...Just wondering what that means to different people.

To me Greg Heins' 3 of 20 example would do fine. It makes it "trackable". If you run across another 3 of 20, or suddenly a 5 of 250 of the same image, well, that will certainly kill any credibility of the artist.

As for the location of the print: why not make it a customer option where you say it will be printed on the back, but by request also at the front, in your choice of light or dark print, visible in the margin or not, etc... Vanity of some customers may even go so far as wanting their name printed as well!? Which btw isn't such a bad idea, to have a form of tracking table at the back of the photograph where owners can jot down their name, year & loc...[/font]
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Oscar Rysdyk
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RockyMountainMommy
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« Reply #3 on: July 18, 2004, 10:51:44 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']There's another reason pencil is preferred... it can't be copied the way ink can. Almost all artists sign their work in pencil on the mat for that reason.[/font]
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Raoul
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« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2004, 07:07:54 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Jean-Loup Sieff (I believe it was him) once argued that since producing a fine print represented so much effort the number of prints in circulation would be limited by the nature of the process of making them. This is not really true for digital prints anymore, although the price for a good inkjet print will still deter the masses. Selling posters is a different business.

A more fundamental question: Why do you want to number your prints?? I believe numbering is supposed to suggest to the potential buyer he/she buys a rare item, having a potential to become collectible and be resold at a higher price. Are your photos really collector-grade? I see this practice as both pretentious and self-limiting.

Why would you be interested in the evolution of the commercial value of your prints? If you become more popular, you simply charge more for new stuff, and demand will go down automatically.

If you are a successful artist, you are lucky to sell what is popular to allow you to move on with what you are doing. You are still free not to sell to somebody you don't like. Free to reprint a picture if a buyer's dog chewed on it, or if the kids painted a moustache on the lady's portrait.

If I buy a picture it is because I like it. If I want to speculate I buy financial instruments (paper shares of companies gone bust a long time ago can be decorative as well, agreed).[/font]
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Wayne Fox
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« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2004, 12:21:39 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
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 They reason frame and mat is their work, and the print is mine.

Your kidding, right?

I'd find a new matt and frame shop if I were you.[/font]
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Mike_Kelly
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« Reply #6 on: October 01, 2004, 06:31:49 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Bill,
I have a similar problem. I found a script font on the computer, that actually looks like my signature. Then I print the "signature" and title, edition number on the bottom edge of the print in 1/2" white space. Buyer can mat making it visible or not to suite. I print it with a light grey color and most confuse it for pencil. It is also part of the print that way so it goes with the print not the mat.
I sign it with my scribble on the back as well.

Cheers[/font]
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cgordon
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« Reply #7 on: June 01, 2004, 05:14:04 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']i've started to sell some of my prints, and i have a couple questions over the minor details of signing and numbering.

is this done on the front or back of the photograph? is there a 'norm', so to speak, for this practice? i'm not sure if it should be visible when framed, or on the back just for verification.

and as to the total number of limited edition prints, in alan briot's article he mentioned 250. again, is there an acceptable 'standard' for fine art limited edition prints?

thanks,
charlie.[/font]
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Tim Gray
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« Reply #8 on: June 01, 2004, 09:00:04 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']If it's framed, the signature is often just on the matte.[/font]
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JackR
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« Reply #9 on: June 01, 2004, 09:28:21 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']I should add that the signiture in the white border is covered by the matte.[/font]
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LB Isackson
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« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2004, 01:53:03 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']It is all about perceived value..
There are two things in art.. the image..and the artist .
.do you want to own a signed Picasso or an unsigned one
People want to know something about the artist as much as the art.
So sign it ..and number it..but keep the numbering low to begin with.
Hopefully you have more than one good image in you to sell..
Put two images side by side one signed and numbered and the other not  most people will pay a premium for the signed and numbered edition.
"If" your selling …the bottom line is how much…
Just my two cents[/font]
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rickster
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« Reply #11 on: June 13, 2004, 10:33:35 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Limited editions...Just wondering what that means to different people.[/font]
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Bill Ozanne
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« Reply #12 on: June 29, 2004, 01:01:53 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']My biggest problem is that my signature and hand writing are absolutely horrible.  I mean down right ugly.  Any suggestions?  Practice?[/font]
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didger
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« Reply #13 on: June 30, 2004, 12:08:21 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
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a good way to make a small fortune in fotografy is to start with a large one.
I heard that a little differently.  A photographer won a really big lottery prize and the news interviewers asked him what he did for a living and what he would do now that he's got all this money. The guy said, "Oh, I reckon I'll just keep doing photography until the money runs out". [/font]
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opgr
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« Reply #14 on: June 30, 2004, 06:57:29 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Come to think of it: why not keep a database yourself where which photo is residing. Ask owners to contact you. Store it in an online database. Make part of the info available to respective buyers. In other words: the more transparant you try to make the "limited edition" prints, the more credible it is...[/font]
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Oscar Rysdyk
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opgr
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« Reply #15 on: June 30, 2004, 09:24:59 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']And I guess you also do not want the customer to come back to you in ten years for buying another print? You also do not want them to spread the word about the great service offered so you get lots of reveral customers in ten years time? As a matter of fact, you don't want other customers, period.

Read carefully: I wrote *part* of the info. Obviously you don't want to expose private or sensitive info, but something like location, as in city, state, country, could show a sense of transparancy. You keep an initial record. If a customer cares as much about your prints as you do (or should), then they can *optionally* keep their info up-to-date.

It's all meant as an extra service, for which you can justify a different price. If you charge USD5.00 for a print then:
a) it probably wasn't fine art to begin with,
 it makes no sense to offer extra services, limit prints, or have the customer come back for a reprint

Mind you, there are certain items for which a track record is common practice or known like diamonds, certain grand pianos, paintings etc...[/font]
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Oscar Rysdyk
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Scott_H
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« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2004, 06:31:18 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']The people at the frame shop keep telling me I should sign the print.  They reason frame and mat is their work, and the print is mine.  Plus if someone takes the photo out of the frame the signature will travel with it.[/font]
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gryffyn
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« Reply #17 on: September 07, 2004, 10:17:34 AM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']Signing and limited editions are marketing moves, intended to increase "perceived" value on the part of the buyer.

If you do a limited edition and don't compromise that ever (ie. don't ever print #51 of an edition of 50) then there might actually be some real value there too, if your work becomes popular enough (one day, before the lottery proceeds run out).

I see no difference (assuming an honest seller/photographer that sticks to their limits) than a fine art printer only doing x number of Bateman prints.  A printer can easily print 100 or 500 or 5000 in a run, so the limited edition is arbitrary there as well.  In fact, a printer can probably do this more easily (eg. less time/effort/overhead) than with a good inkjet in the hands of the actual artist.  So why not?

I donated some framed, matted fine-art prints in various sizes (5x7, 8x12 and one 13x19) to Bear Creek Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary (www.bearcreeksanctuary.com) for their Golf Day fundraiser silent auction.  Since I wanted to have the highest perceived values possible, to ensure that the bids would be as lucrative as possible for the Sanctuary (it's a good cause), I provided offical certificates of authenticity, estimated retail prices and also signed/numbered the largest print as a limited edition (which I will not exceed of course).

The prints attracted very healthy winning bids, in part because people must have liked the images, but also I believe because of all the "extras" that helped market the perceived value to the auction bidders.

I spent a lot of years in sales (a long time ago in my career), and one thing you learn is that "perception" is "reality" in marketing and sales.

Just my 2 cents (in a limited edition: 1 of 10 ;-)  ) worth.[/font]
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.....Andrzej
collum
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« Reply #18 on: September 25, 2004, 02:46:27 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
Quote from: leonvick,Aug. 10 2004,15:02
Quote from: gmitchel,June 29 2004,18:01
Quote from: JackR,June 01 2004,22:18
I also provide the buyer with a lifetime replacement guarantee against fading.
Whose lifetime?

And why date it adjacent to the signature, as opposed to elsewhere, if at all? Is the value of the art dependent on when it was done?
value from a purely artistic perspective, and in relation to that specific print,  the date is irrelevent.

 Given a collection of work from an artist, that date can show an evolution of an artistic style (if you've seen the Adams Moonrise exhibit, which shows maybe 20 of the same image, and how he's re-visualized it over time).

If you're selling prints, then that date can alter the monetary value of that print ('vintage' prints tend to bring more than recent ones ).


i usuallaly mat with a 1/2 in. border around the print. i try to make my signature as unintrusive as possible to the image. For prints on watercolor type paper (platinum, inkjet), i sign in pencil on the print, bottom right,  so it shows in the border. I date it in the bottom left.

for glossy prints, i'll sign in pencil on the mat, but then sign in a black pigment marker on the print, with date, but so it doesn't show through the mat.

as far as signing on the image itself, there's nothing to prevent anyone from doing that if they're selling their own images. it would probably be a deal stopper if trying to sell images through galleries though

          jim[/font]
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leonvick
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« Reply #19 on: August 10, 2004, 01:49:35 PM »
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[font color=\'#000000\']
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My biggest problem is that my signature and hand writing are absolutely horrible.  I mean down right ugly.  Any suggestions?  Practice?

Practice, practice, practice!  [/font]
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Leon
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