Why should you sign your originals?
Your signature is an important part of your original artwork. Applying your signature signifies that the artwork is complete and ready for sale. Your signature is a reflection of you. Is your signature recognizable?
That final touch of your signature on your artwork also claims ownership and copyright of it. No signature means you’ve either not finished it and are happy for others to use it how they wish.
Where should you sign your originals?
You can sign them anywhere you like but one place you should not sign is right near the edge of the image.
Reproducing as much art as we do, we often see work that has the signature so close to the edge that some of it often gets cropped out in the reproduction. This means that you will probably lose it all together when the original is framed – not good! Leave room for it to breath.
Signatures that are too small can be hard to find or read, too large and they can take away from the artwork. Remember that a small signature on a large artwork will get even smaller on a reproduction that is reduced in size. I recommend that you place your signature at least 3-5cm in from each edge.
See the example to the right of a signature placed very close to the edge of a 60 x 76cm canvas. Even on the original a frame will overlap the signature.
As the artwork is reduced in size, the signature becomes smaller and closer to the edge, disappearing completely under a frame at 32 x 40cm.
What about my reproductions, where should I sign them?
Canvas Reproductions – you can sign on the back of the canvas using either a pencil or permanent marker (test the marker first that it doesn’t show through). Put your signature, the edition number and even the title of the piece. Some artists will sign on the front using acrylic paint.
Paper Reproductions – typically artists will sign in pencil on the bottom border of the print, usually just the signature and the edition number. You may want to write the title of the artwork on the border also or you can ask us to print it on for you. Alternatively you may choose to sign on the image itself. If you want to do this but are worried about the original and a second signature looking a bit too much, we can digitally remove the original signature for you.
Typically only limited edition reproductions need to be signed and numbered however, you may choose to sign even your open edition works.
Sign and you won't be forgotten!
Finally – Remember, you have no idea where your art will end up once it passes out of your hands. You certainly won’t be around for ever to vouch for it. Today’s owners of your work may not be the same in the decades to come. Regardless of where your art ends up or who eventually owns it, the chances of it, and you, being remembered rely on a clear decipherable signature.Sometimes it’s difficult to read the name on an artwork and that doesn’t help you any if you want people to recognise your name. Signing your artwork is not like signing a cheque or legal document – it is one more facet of your artistic creativity that helps people recognise your work among others. Remember that there are more people out there in the world that have no clue who you are than those that do – sign your name so people can read it. If you have a signature that is a bit difficult to decipher then be sure to put your name clearly on the back of the artwork so anybody can quickly see who produced the work.