Do you sign your prints?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by max_ebb, Jan 1, 2007.

  1. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    What is the norm for mounted matted framed prints (for gallery presentation)? Do you sign the print? I used to sell work at art shows (many years ago). I didn't sign my prints then, and I noticed that most other photographers at the shows didn't either (although there were some that did).

    I'm going to be submitting work to some galleries, and I'm wondering what the standard is as far as signing framed photographs.
     
  2. thebanana

    thebanana Member

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    I have no idea if a standard exists, and I've only sold a couple of prints commercially, but I signed and dated them (year only) nonetheless. I'd be interested in hearing how folks who sell tons of prints deal with this issue.
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I'm in the same float as banana: I've only sold a couple of prints. But when I have an image that I have taken from visualization in the camera through to a matted and framed print, I'm proud of it and want my name associated with it. So I sign the mount board directly below the print.
     
  4. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I prefer just to sign and title in pencil on the back of the print with the date of the neg and the date of the print, but people seem to want a signature on the front, so lately I sign on the matte as well unless I feel confident enough that the purchaser shares my preference for a clean presentation.
     
  5. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

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    I sign and put the date and tittle (if any) on the back of the print in pencil. Sometimes i sign the Matt but not always.
     
  6. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    You guys sign the backs of prints that you dry mount or do you not use dry mounting?
     
  7. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I prefer to hinge mount.
     
  8. Gatsby1923

    Gatsby1923 Member

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    I hinge mount also... if I dry mounted I'd sign the back of the mount.
     
  9. jstraw

    jstraw Member

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    sorry for the hijack....

    Do you hinge-mounters leave a white border or trim it all off? Do you have the window mat not overlap the print at all, overlap the print but only onto the white print border or overlap the image area?
     
  10. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    I print with a border of at least 1/2" and slightly overlap the image area.
     
  11. naturephoto1

    naturephoto1 Subscriber

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    Printing off of the Chromira machine from my color transparencies, Bill Nordstrom (Laser Light Photographics) prepares my photos on oversized paper generally with one inch borders. I normally sign, number, and title my work on the mat boards for Art Shows. If someone, or a Gallery wants it signed in a different location I will accomodate them. I normally hinge mount my photos, however, Laser Light Photographics offers a cold dry mount method which I offer as an alternative.

    Rich
     
  12. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    I sign the front

    I sign on the mat on the front -- just under the lower right corner of the photo. I use a #3 pencil, very lightly pressed. The signature is small -- it can almost be over-looked.

    I hinge-mount my carbon and pt/pd prints. The back of the print is also signed and the title, date, copyright, and edition info placed there. This info is also put on the back of the matboard. If something should happen to the mat board, all the info (and signature) is there if it needs to be re-washed and/or re-matted.

    Vaughn
     
  13. Ole

    Ole Moderator Staff Member

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    If I sign at all, it's on the front, in the white border.

    Every other type of art print is signed in this way; why should photography be different?
     
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  15. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser

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    i sign the back and i sign the window mat on one side, and the date on the other. all3 are done in pencil --- the print is signed, just in case the mat needs to be changed-out and i am MIA ...

    -john
     
  16. Nicole

    Nicole Member

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    Here, some galleries like to display work with the matboard signed and titled by the artist and a name/title plate is displayed under or next to the framed print together with a price.

    Check with the gallery first how they manage their exhibitions.

    For your own private work, there is no standard, do what suits your style.

    I personally sign the front matboard and use a stamp on the back with further details.

    Kind regards, Nicole
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 2, 2007
  17. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council

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    I put the title on the mat, on the left below the window. The edition number gets centered on the mat below the window, and my signature goes on the right. The print itself gets signed, dated, edition #, and copyright info on the reverse. All in pencil.
     
  18. tim rudman

    tim rudman Member

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    I sign in pencil only. If the print is matt/semi-matt and accepts pencil I generally sign on the print border below the image.
    If the print is a gloss surface (will not accept pencil) and hinge or corner (my preference) mounted I sign and detail on the back of the print.
    In any case I sign the front of the window matt below the image.

    If it is dry mounted I sign on the front of the back board below the print and behind the window matt, as I sign on the front of the window matt - so the print or dry mounted print+board alaways bears a signature independantly to the window matt (which could become separated).

    Many who dry mount trim the print paper to the edge of the image and leave a border of back board visible inside the window matt and sign here. I prefer the border to be of the image-bearing paper, hence my approach above. It's a matter of personal preference, that's all.

    Personally I don't like the idea of signing gloss prints with ink, nor rubbing off a patch of emulsion coating on the border, so that it will accept pencil, although I know this is popular with some gloss paper users.
    Tim
     
  19. Dorothy Blum Cooper

    Dorothy Blum Cooper Member

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    Sign and date in pencil along the white border of the print.
     
  20. wfe

    wfe Member

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    I sign all of my prints that will be exhibited and or sold but not in pencil. My experience indicates that pencil fades over time. I do think that signing or not signing is a personal choice however in speaking with viewers and buyers of my work it means more to them signed.

    Cheers,
    Bill
     
  21. MikeSeb

    MikeSeb Member

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    Hinge mat. Faint pencil signature on print itself, lower right front. That way the buyer can mat around it (to show signature) or over it (to conceal.) Either way my name is on it. Sequence number at lower left front.
     
  22. Jim Jones

    Jim Jones Subscriber

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    I trim the white border away, dry mount, sign inconspicuously with graphite pencil beneath the lower right of the print, and mat to expose the signature. Framed photos have the title and my address on a label on the foam-core backing. Mounted and matted, but unframed, photos include the label to be used as the buyer choses.
     
  23. max_ebb

    max_ebb Member

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    Thanks for all the responses.

    I print borderless and dry mount my prints. I generally over mat (covering the edges of the print), but I kind of like the looks of a floating mat (having some of the mount board showing). The thing with the floating mat is that I've never seen it done with large prints (I have mostly 20x24's and a few 11x14's) I think the 11x14's would look good with floating mats, but I'm not sure about the 20x24's. Anybody use floating mats with prints as large as 20x24? Is it fairly common?
     
  24. Vaughn

    Vaughn Member

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    A little smaller than 20x24...

    I mount my 16x20 silver gelatin prints that way (floating) on 24x28 mats...I have a half inch of the back mat showing on the top and sides and 3/4 inch of the back mat showing on the bottom. I sign just below the lower right corner of the photo, on the front of the back mat.

    I think it is a very clean presentation (cool or neutral tone photopaper, 4-ply bright white mat, silver frame..Nielson profile #11).
     
  25. Jim Noel

    Jim Noel Member

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    A huge percentage of the prints I sell are hand coated. All printing and exposure information is in pencil along the bottom edge. This includes the date, negative number, process, coating information, exposure time and UV source, developer and toner, if any. This info is put there as I make the print as a way to assist the printing of additional copies.

    When a print sells, I sign it in pencil to the far right bottom. Often the buyer will request I sign the mat also, which I do also in pencil at the lower right corner of the image.

    I don't believe in numbering prints although I do keep a record of the number of copies I sell of a particular image. My belief is that edition numbering is just a way to make more money off later buyers.
     
  26. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    The Polish painter (also a photographer, novelist, dramatist, and essayist), S. I. Witkiewicz used to write the combination of drugs he was using on each of his portraits along with his signature.