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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #1
imager993
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Default If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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

Last edited by imager993 : 23rd of February 2008 (Sat) at 20:21.
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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #2
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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)
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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #3
imager993
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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...
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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #4
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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.
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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #5
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stime187 View Post
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.
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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #6
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

I made up a better looking signature for the prints I sell - the problem now is remembering to do it just right

People generally seem to like it being signed better.
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Old 23rd of February 2008 (Sat)   #7
Stime187
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imager993 View Post
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?
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stime187 View Post
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.
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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?

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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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.
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #11
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by photoguy6405 View Post
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"

.
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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.
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #13
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

Since you arent using mats, I probably wouldn't sign it. If you were matting, I'd say you should.
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #14
imager993
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

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?
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Old 24th of February 2008 (Sun)   #15
Stime187
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Default Re: If you sell prints, do you sign them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by imager993 View Post
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?
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