PDA

View Full Version : If you sell prints, do you sign them?


imager993
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 20:19
I have a show coming up with 25 prints between 24x36 and 36x48. These prints will be hung for three months at a very nice restaurant that gets lots of wealthy customers. A good thing is that the restaurant does not take any piece of the sale, they only want nice artwork on their walls.

I just took a large chunk of the prints to the framers and realized that I did not sign them. Now, I have a really, well, unrefined signature and it is very inconsistent, so I am hesitant to take a pen to a piece of paper that cost me $85. Odds are that I will mess one of them up no matter how much practice. I can still go back on Monday and sign them if I need.

Do you think that having a signature on a print will help people value it more and be more likely to purchase it? I will be gluing a little informational panel to the back of the board with the print, artist, and contact information. I am not a "known name" of any sorts, but am wondering if adding a signature will elevate the print from decorative art to fine art.

Thanks everybody!

Aaron

totalphoto
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 20:41
You could sign the print, sign the matte, make a letter of authenticity and sign that, If it were me, my DNA would be somewhere...
I do not want to know what your framing bill was!!!!
Good luck, can we view them? (pictures of the prints)

imager993
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 20:49
I was actually able to get away with framing everything except for the largest prints (the 36x48s) with pre-made frames from the local chain frame store. I print my photos with a 2" white matte around the photo on the paper, so I don't have to pay for matting. I worked out a deal with another framer to do the ten 36x48s for $140 each. Still cost a load, but hopefully I can at least make my costs back - if not more... :)

Stime187
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 21:02
I sign the matte below the bottom right corner of the print. Title of the image goes below the print's bottom left corner, same size as my signature.

And wow, pretty awesome deal that you're getting a chance to display 25 shots at that size.

Well, I just went back and read your whole post, so never mind my advice above. Honestly, I think printing a 2-inch "matte" around the shot will distract from the value/sale WAY more than worrying about a signature.

imager993
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 22:41
Well, I just went back and read your whole post, so never mind my advice above. Honestly, I think printing a 2-inch "matte" around the shot will distract from the value/sale WAY more than worrying about a signature.

Well, not a "matte" per say, but I float the image on the white paper. I used to work at A&I in Hollywood doing digital printing (it is where I got these printed) and most of the museum fine art prints we did were floated in white paper. I think it looks great and don't see how it can take away from the value of the print.

Jim G
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 22:49
I made up a better looking signature for the prints I sell - the problem now is remembering to do it just right :p

People generally seem to like it being signed better.

Stime187
23rd of February 2008 (Sat), 23:19
Well, not a "matte" per say, but I float the image on the white paper. I used to work at A&I in Hollywood doing digital printing (it is where I got these printed) and most of the museum fine art prints we did were floated in white paper. I think it looks great and don't see how it can take away from the value of the print.

Interesting. The way I had it pictured in my head, you were essentially printing a 2-inch wide border on the shots that you added in Photoshop or something.

What exactly does "floating" mean?

HuskyKMA
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 03:00
Interesting. The way I had it pictured in my head, you were essentially printing a 2-inch wide border on the shots that you added in Photoshop or something.

What exactly does "floating" mean?

Well, say the image is printed on 25x36 inch paper. On that paper, the image is centered taking up 21x32 inches, providing a 2 inch border all around the image.

Box Brownie
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 06:42
Interesting thread for two reasons.

Firstly the aspect of 'floating' the image on white paper that is the same size as the frame instead of "matting" it with a bevel cut mount.

Secondly, the question of signature (and title?) ~ others I recall reading said why sign if you are unknown because as I understood the argument a signed image owned is in many cases a status symbol purchase??? And what does it 'give' the buyer to have an unknown artists work on display in the "status symbol" department? A title of course (?) is a aesthetic issue i.e. does it add to the image in some manner.

Overall, I have been looking at getting prints done for sale (methods yet to be attempted/tried) and so far have only considered printing them with a border and digitally titled & signed/copyright noticed in the border but as I was going to matt mount them this would become hidden. My thinking was if the owner takes it out of the frame for copying it will be obvious to any lab that such copying is illegal.

Based on the comments above I am wondering about using the floating method and titling where appropriate but for protection purposes indelibely stamping the back of the print.

I suppose the upshot is is the image more likely to sell is 'floating' or matt mounted & will any such sales potential be negatively impacted by a signature?

:)

photoguy6405
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 09:52
It wouldn't matter to me if the photographer were Ansel Adams... if I were buying I'd prefer it be left unsigned. Now, a plaque on the matting with a title and/or name I'd be fine with... just nothing on the print itself.

danpass
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 10:08
It wouldn't matter to me if the photographer were Ansel Adams... if I were buying I'd prefer it be left unsigned. Now, a plaque on the matting with a title and/or name I'd be fine with... just nothing on the print itself.


I agree











and as a sidenote ... signing ones work is just another way to become "known" ;)

.

Stime187
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 10:50
I always sign the matte of any shot I sell in light pencil in the usual signing area of a matte, I also, usually put the title in the opposite place of my signature. People know my shots by name so I consider that to be part of my business, I want to perpetuate that.

As for signing the print, I'd never touch the actual print.

slappy sam
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 15:19
Since you arent using mats, I probably wouldn't sign it. If you were matting, I'd say you should.

imager993
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 22:41
Thanks for the great feedback everybody. I think that I will be going with a separate piece of paper attached to the back of the frame in a plastic sleeve that has information and my signature. The print will remain untouched (as I don't want to run the risk of messing up a signature and having to order a new print) and the new owner can keep the card with the print if they decide to reframe it at some point in the future.

And yes, floating it on the paper means basically you have white around the image on the paper. Stime187, how do you see this as taking away from the value of the print?

Stime187
24th of February 2008 (Sun), 23:26
Stime187, how do you see this as taking away from the value of the print?

Didn't you already ask me that and I already replied above?

sapearl
25th of February 2008 (Mon), 10:22
Hi Aaron - a big congrats on the restaurant venue. Those can be great opportunites.

By sister is an artist and is currently involved in a situation like the one you describe and when my father was alive (also a professional artist) he would participate in similar opportunities.

I'm coming a little late to the party but I'm a firm believer in signing your work. After all it is YOUR work, it's something that will be a public venue, hopefully people will appreciate it for yours, and you WANT them to know who created it. I feel that a bona-fide signature always will "elevate" the work. If you have the image made as a salon style print with the white border, there is space to sign your work in pencil. In this way there is no doubt as to who the artist was, years from now, unless of course it is erased. Usually that does not happen though. It makes no difference that right now you are not a known name. At some time in the future you could very well be.

The other alternative is to sign the mat, which I have done - on the lower right hand corner. You can then title the picture at bottom center or bottom left.

Aaron, had you considered doing the matting and framing yourself? There is no question that most pro framers will do an absolutely superb job of matting and framing your work - but you pay a high premium for this expertise. Often you can purchase a "prosumer" mat cutter (eg - Logan Simplex 750) for the cost of one or two jobs. You might be interested in a thread I started just yesterday about the Logan 750:

http://photography-on-the.net/forum/showthread.php?t=459308

....I just took a large chunk of the prints to the framers and realized that I did not sign them. Now, I have a really, well, unrefined signature and it is very inconsistent, so I am hesitant to take a pen to a piece of paper that cost me $85. Odds are that I will mess one of them up no matter how much practice. I can still go back on Monday and sign them if I need.

Do you think that having a signature on a print will help people value it more and be more likely to purchase it? I will be gluing a little informational panel to the back of the board with the print, artist, and contact information. I am not a "known name" of any sorts, but am wondering if adding a signature will elevate the print from decorative art to fine art.

Thanks everybody!

Aaron

sapearl
25th of February 2008 (Mon), 10:32
I would completely agree with you about setting the print off with a "white surround" like what you've described.

That price of $140/print is pretty decent but it still adds up. What sort of frames are using - had you considered anything like the Nielson metal products that you can assemble yourself in pretty much any size? Once I'd cut the mats for my last exhibit my wife and I sat down at the work table and actually assembled the frames together.:D

Well, not a "matte" per say, but I float the image on the white paper. I used to work at A&I in Hollywood doing digital printing (it is where I got these printed) and most of the museum fine art prints we did were floated in white paper. I think it looks great and don't see how it can take away from the value of the print.

gooble
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 12:16
Does anyone sign, date and title the back of the print?

If you just sign the matt and the matt and picture become seperated nobody would know where the picture came from.

Seems like a stamp with your name and studio on it would be useful to stamp and then sign and date under that. Then I guess you'd have to worry about the ink bleeding through the image. What kind of ink/pen would you use on the back as not to damage the print?

sapearl
25th of July 2008 (Fri), 13:09
Yes - excellent idea gooble. I will usually include a business card inside the frame (out of sight) or visibly attached to the back of the mat.

Lately I have been entering a number of framed pieces to shows and a business card is always present in addition to the show's entry form and other identifying info. And I do stamp the backs of my photos.

Does anyone sign, date and title the back of the print?

If you just sign the matt and the matt and picture become seperated nobody would know where the picture came from.

Seems like a stamp with your name and studio on it would be useful to stamp and then sign and date under that. Then I guess you'd have to worry about the ink bleeding through the image. What kind of ink/pen would you use on the back as not to damage the print?

black_z
10th of September 2008 (Wed), 17:17
Didn't you already ask me that and I already replied above?


I didn't see your reply of the problem you have with the white surrounding the print.

slappy sam
10th of September 2008 (Wed), 18:22
Does anyone sign, date and title the back of the print?

If you just sign the matt and the matt and picture become seperated nobody would know where the picture came from.

Seems like a stamp with your name and studio on it would be useful to stamp and then sign and date under that. Then I guess you'd have to worry about the ink bleeding through the image. What kind of ink/pen would you use on the back as not to damage the print?

Yeah, what pen would you use for this? I want to do it but don't know what to use.