Signing your Fine Prints : LUSENET : Black_and_White_Photography : One Thread

I am curious how others sign their prints. I use a pencil to sign my name and year on the overmat below the print. There is nothing on the print itself designating who ir responsible for it. Just curious. Regards!-Fred

-- Anonymous, January 28, 1997


Fred, I believe the accepted method of signing mounted prints is to sign the board on which the print is dry mounted in pencil just below the print near the right edge of the print. Then when you mount the overmat make it slightly larger about 3/8" on the top and sides and about 1/2" on the bottom. This leaves room for the signature below the print to be seen.

-- Anonymous, January 28, 1997

signing fine prints

Several years ago I read Susan's Sontag's "ON PHOTOGRAPHY", and in there somewhere it says to the effect that unlike paintings, photos should not be signed!

-- Anonymous, February 20, 1997

Dittos to Dell Ellezy. My signing is done with a 6H to 9H drawing pencil. The mark is light and delicate and does not draw attention to itself. Can be bought at any drawing store. The year is signed to the left side, the name to the right. Nothing else appears on the front. Back lower middle-Subject matter, year of negative, year of print, copyright notice, my name, address, phone and now e/mail. Mike LeBlanc, 318-433-1818

-- Anonymous, January 28, 1997

I agree that the signature should not draw attention away from the print. I also sign below the lower right edge with a light pencil. I am a little surprised to hear of people drymounting their fine prints. I used to drymount all my work many years ago. I stopped in the late 70's. I currently tape (using artist masking or acid free tape) the print from the back to the rear, acid free side of the overmat.That's why I sign the overmatt. I guess I was wondering if anyone actually wrote on the print itself with a fine technical drawing pen (Rapidograph) or permanent fine felt etc.Regards!-Fred

-- Anonymous, January 29, 1997

Fred, WOW am I out of the loop or what. Now everyone knows how long I have been inactive in photography. My understanding has always been the best archival technique is dry mounting on 100% rag board. I always used Strathmore 100% rag board on which to mount the print and also for the overmat. Was I wrong? Thanks, Dell

-- Anonymous, January 29, 1997

signing prints

-- Anonymous, February 21, 1997

signing prints

-- Anonymous, February 21, 1997

I friend just bought three A. Adams prints. They were trimmed flush to the printed image with all white removed, dry mounted on rag board then an overmatt of the same board cut a bit larger was put over top leaving room for a signature etc. The prints then have a slighlty elevated look when presented this way. BUT when others are hanging their prints with an over matt are you leaving the white of the photo paper or are you cutting the mat to the print edge???

-- Anonymous, April 03, 1997

Dell, I don't think you are out of the loop. It may very well be me that's out of the loop. It's probably, like so many things, a matter of who you talk to and who you read. It could also have to do with whether you print on fiber or RC. Yes, I know a number of people who print on RC, as I often do. We could start another thread on that if you like. What move me away from dry mounting, was the ease of removing the print from the mounting without it. It seemed to me that it's much more likely for a board to get damaged or contaminated, than the print. I liked the idea of being able to easily switch it to a new mount. It would be interesting to hear what the "establishment" is recommending. For instance, what do the major art museums call for in prints currently added to their collections? This may have been another reason I stopped drymounting, not that my prints are in any museums. I just wanted to follow the current preferred practices. Regards!-Fred

-- Anonymous, January 29, 1997

It might have been Adams who said "does God sign the sky?" Whomever it was the message is clear. Maybe I'm just too arrogant but I will only sign my name to the back of a print in light pencil, dry mounted or not. I figure that if someone 30-40 even 50 years from now views my work as valuable they will take the time to look at the back and it will never distract from the original image..

-- Anonymous, January 30, 1997

I agree with Patrick - "on the print - on the back" I use a fine tip, perm. black ink, Pilot type pen and use the following standard about 1/8" up from the bottom edge of the print: The and date, the print date my name printed, my signature. e.g. "Neg. 17-14, 9/1968, Printed 1/21/97, Sam Tumminello, Sam..(signature) The print date refers back to my darkroom log for the printing technique. I use RC paper.

-- anonymously answered, January 31, 1997

I too just sign the back of the print using a fine-art pencil. Along with my name I date and list the name of the print. My handwriting is not the best and I always thought it distracted from the print when signed on the front. Once in a while I will have someone ask to sign the front of the mat and thus will do so upon request. I still like the back of the print for signing. Just my thoughts. GR

-- Anonymous, February 05, 1997

There is not any "standard" for signing a print. Back, front, pencil,pen,etc. But the print itself should be signed. Signing Mat adds no value to the image and if anything gets in the way of the image it has to be a signature on the overmat. I mean whats the point. The most often used method I have seen is :

TITLE, DATE (when image was taken) SIGNATURE

-- Anonymous, February 15, 1997

print signings

Worse yet is when a nuseum takes your print some years down the road and throws away the matto save space. then your signature is gone too.

-- Anonymous, March 10, 1997

Signing prints

Most galleries and museums prefer work to NOT be dry mounted for the reasons mentioned previously. The most common method for signing is usually on the back with date, copyright, etc. If you use pen, it should be archival (Light Impressions sells these) and outside the image area, to protect against bleed-through ruining the print. Pencil is safer and seems to last forever.

-- Anonymous, March 12, 1997

I used to sign the overmat but I now print with a 1/4" border on top and both sides and 3/8" at the bottom. I use a fine permanent marker to title the print on the left bottom and sign the right bottom. My prints are "hung" with tape from the top (backside) of the overmat in the same manner as any other fine print. I never drymount anymore. I do use archival mats and backing and consider that to be the only "rule" worth following.

-- Anonymous, March 27, 1997

Thanks to James Bullard for March 27th posting. I just mounted a series of prints using the hanging method and they look great. I used Kodak's Elite fine art paper flattened in a dry mount press.

-- Anonymous, April 06, 1997

I sign the overmat in pencil with my last name. Period. No first name, no date, no edition number--and most of all, no *title*. Interesting to note that Brett Weston actually cut out a little hole in the mat for his signature. I think it looks ghastly.

-- Anonymous, May 24, 1997

for the record, I sign the under the print,on the right side,on the mount board that the print is mounted on,as far as the discussion of why mount the print on the board goes I do it for several reasons-- 1- to help keep reflections from distracting the viewer(flat surface = fewer reflections) 2-unmounted prints have two sides that can be attacked by print damaging organisms--mounted prints only have one. 3- I think that unmounted prints look absolutely horrible.

as far as what gallerys prefer--I do not create my art to satisfy art gallerys nor to enhance my images dollar value down the line. My goal is to present my work in the cleanest and least distracting way possible.

-- Anonymous, February 09, 1998

Just out of interest, in England a signature without a first name is only valid for Peers of the Realm!

-- Anonymous, February 12, 1998

I sign pencil lower right. Name and date printed. Lower left title. Both on the white boarder. No, I didn't make the landscape but I did make the photograph. If I look at prints or art work in art galleries I do look for the name but I will not take the frame off of the wall and then take it apart to find the name on the back. Image is not dry mounted. Cheers.


-- Anonymous, May 29, 1998

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