Signing prints, titles, and mattes

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by BetterSense, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    I've noticed that people like to sign their prints, and people like to buy signed prints. It seems to add value. But I tend to think that the signature is distracting if it occurs right on the border of the image. Does anyone ever sign down in the corner of the matte? Of course then the print itself is not signed, but you could sign the back.

    Also, if you title prints, how do you display the title? Titling doesn't seem to be super-popular, but then I have a skewed persective, because all you ever see on the internet is digital images themselves, and rarely images of finished prints. All the prints I've seen at galleries or homes tend to be signed on the border, and if titled, they are titled external to the frame by the gallery/displayor.

    One further question. Mattes are popular, and mattes are fine. But does anyone ever print a smaller image into the center of some paper and leave large matte-sized white border around it? A good way to waste paper perhaps, and the print touches the glass that way.
     
  2. markbarendt

    markbarendt Subscriber

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    The signature doesn't add much on the matte, especially if it gets re framed.

    The matte adds physical depth that a white border can't.
     
  3. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    I sign the inner mat of a double-matted mount at the lower right corner of the "reveal." I hinge mount behind a window and also sign the actual print on the back. I make a computer printed card with my name, contact details, and the title, and sometimes even a brief comment about the picture. I apply that to the back with double-sided tape. I also put the title on the back of the print (and the date). If I wanted it visible on the front, I would write it on the inner mat at the lower left. I've done that occasionally, but not lately.

    Based on limited experience with using those glass "clip frames" years ago, I would not want to have the glass contact my prints. YMMV

    And I am nobody, so my methods do not carry any particular significance! :D

    DaveT
     
  4. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    i have a series that is printed so the image is surrounded by a huge amount of wide border, all part of the paper itself. They are framed using interspacing so the print it's self does not touch the glass.

    prints and touching glass is not a good thing as after awhile they stick together.

    i don't title prints, altho sometimes they do have a working name.

    when i sell something i sign the print under the print in pencil, it will depend on the manner in which i have matted it; sometimes i sign verso; again depends on the print and the way it is displayed.
     
  5. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I mount my photographs to 2 ply mountboard of the same brand and color as the 4 ply mat, cutting the mat 1/4" wider at each side and the top and 1/2" wider than the bottom of the print. This adds a subtle depth to the finished and framed photograph that is less than double matting, and does not sacrifice any of the image area to a window mat. I sign and title the photograph on the revealed mountboard, using light pencil strokes so as not to draw attention away from the photograph. I almost always title my pictures, unless a name does not seem readily apparent. If I have to work too hard to find a name, I think that the picture just does not need one, and leave it untitled.
     
  6. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    when i mat/frame things they are window mattted
    ( as ann said the emulsion will warm and swell and stick
    to the glass like glue if the print is just against glass )
    with 4 ply or 8ply board ... i sigh/date the lower right corner
    in pencil and sign the back of the print.
    i haven't figured out how to sign photo-books i make yet
    things i make that are "plak mounted" i sign the back of the mount ( in pencil ) ..
     
  7. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    I also window mat with a 1/2 inch border. I sign in pencil the lower right corner, edition number in the lower left corner. I also stamp the back with copyright info which has spaces for the title of the print and number of prints in the edition.

    Jerry
     
  8. wayne naughton

    wayne naughton Member

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    signing the matte doesn't mean much from the collector's point of view.....and please, no titles...save that for your book or a separate label if you're exhibiting. Signature and edn. no. is more than enough IMO.

    wayne
     
  9. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    Although signing the mat is ok for visibility, it is not a permanent part of the artwork and may be replaced so you also want to sign the print somewhere such as the back or perhaps a paper border covered by the mat.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  10. wayne naughton

    wayne naughton Member

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    I wonder if anyone embosses their prints anymore? I know it's terribly oldfashioned but then i'm rather partial to brass plates as well...grin. Looks great with traditional landscapes and such. You know-'Monarch of the glen'.....that sort of thing.

    wayne
     
  11. nsurit

    nsurit Subscriber

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    Although my answer is just that, "my answer", it may work for you and it may not. I always use 8 ply mat, which makes a great presentation. I leave a 1/2 inch border between the image and the window in the mat. Sign and date in the lower right part of this border. I generally title my images and this, in my opinion, is an important part of the image. Little time is spent agonizing over the title. The title is placed in the lower left part of the border. A hinge mount is used to attach the print to the back board although I sometimes use archival corners. Borders on the mat are generally the same width on the top and sides and with a larger border on the bottom. Seldom do I center my image on the mat. I like large borders and will use 16X20 mats for my 6 1/2 inch sqaure images or 6 1/2 X 8 1/2 inch images. Bill Barber
     
  12. geoferrell

    geoferrell Member

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    I'm used to not signing prints, but have seen signatures on the bottom right hand side of the print of other artists. Is there a method to imprint the signature on the print instead of the mat?
     
  13. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    I prefer to sign and mat the way AA taught it. Use a relatively hard pencil to make sure the signature is faint and doesn't compete with the image. However, I don't give a title to a print, because a print has to evoke emotions, and giving a title to the print kind of ruins the free creation of such emotions with the observer.

    I hope the signing and matting comes across well enough in the attachments.
     

    Attached Files:

  14. BetterSense

    BetterSense Member

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    Perhaps that was my hangup. I never use pencil, practically at all. To me, signature=fountain pen. I suppose a faint grey signature would be quite different.
     
  15. Van Camper

    Van Camper Member

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    Why would you want to sign the "back" of a print? If someone wants to buy an original Ansel, pays big money for it, he wants everyone to see Ansels signature. You can't expect that person to take the frame apart, and raise the print up so someone can take a sneak peak. Why even sign then if it will never be visible. Were not all famous, but the idea of the signature is if we do become important, that signature will have value, especially to collectors.
     
  16. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    My suggestion for signing the back of the print is not for everyone. It is for the case where the photographer does not want his signature visible in the frame, or where although the signature is visible, it is on the mat which is NOT a permanent part of the artwork.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  17. Jerry Basierbe

    Jerry Basierbe Member

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    Looks good Ralph. That's the way I do mine also.

    Jerry
     
  18. RalphLambrecht

    RalphLambrecht Subscriber

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    Since I learned it in Michigan, we might have learned it at the same place!