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Writing, Illustrating & Publishing => Illustrating => Topic started by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 17, 2015, 08:00 PM

Title: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 17, 2015, 08:00 PM
So, I've searched the internet a bit and from what I've seen, most of people prefer the front for artwork and prints. However, there are a few who recommend the back.

For promotional prints/posters/cards for books would you sway more towards the front or back?  Or maybe signing the front and adding website info on the back?

Trying to get a consensus more specific to what I've been doing lately.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Artemesia on August 17, 2015, 11:50 PM
Here's a blog post about signing prints: http://makingamark.blogspot.ca/2011/10/how-to-sign-art-print.html?m=1

For what it's worth, my parents have a couple of limited Robert Bateman prints, and they are signed and numbered in pencil on the bottom right corner on the front.

:art
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Wendy Martin on August 18, 2015, 05:36 AM
You don't say if these are limited edition prints or mass produced.

Conventionally, an archival, limited edition print is signed and numbered on the front in the lower right hand corner under the image itself. This is so, when framed, the signature and edition number is visible, because this adds value to a limited edition piece.

For stuff that is mass produced like bookmarks or postcards, is not museum quality papers nor a high end reproduction of original art, sign wherever you please. I usually ask a customer if they have a preference.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 18, 2015, 05:56 AM
Interesting blog post Artemesia. I hadn't thought about signing in pencil and this print is actually of a piece drawn in pencil, no painting or computer work, strictly pencil work. Signing in pencil makes sense. I wonder if that would work for a full color print.

Wendy, they are limited edition in that they are not mass produced. They are on ultra premium presentation paper matte printed on my Epson Stylus Pro. (Inks are archival). I prefer making the prints myself as I know what to expect from the printer and if it get's off I can adjust it. Originally, the quantity of the first request was smaller, but I've received a request for more. So numbering them is a guess because there could potentially be more at some point. I like the idea of asking the client where they'd like the signature. Good thoughts.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Rachel on August 18, 2015, 08:28 AM
If it helps, every time I've purchased a print in person and had it signed, the artist always signed on the front. It didn't even occur to me some might sign on the back. But for small promo cards or things like that, I think it would depend on the size, and either side would probably work.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 18, 2015, 09:11 AM
Rachel, that's good to know. I've always signed pieces on the front,small-ish to the lower right corner. But since I've checked into it online, I've found some posts advocating for signing on the back saying the signature can take away from a piece unless it's part of the design. However, hiding it from view seems to defeat the purpose of a signed print/work to me. I've found surprises on the back of some of the family artwork I've inherited. But it's usually some notation about the work.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Artemesia on August 18, 2015, 11:44 AM
There is a difference between hand-pulled prints (like lithograph prints made by a print maker), and digital reproductions. I think the term is giclee, or even just digital copy . You can still make a limited edition, but it's important to distinguish what type of print it is.

(Myself and other local illustrators have been looking into this as we have put in a proposal for a show in Vancouver. This information was found by a member of our group and is new to me. So thanks Nancy!)

Here's a bit more info: http://m.artbusiness.com/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.artbusiness.com%2Faprtprm.html&utm_referrer=#2956
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: boygirlparty on August 18, 2015, 12:09 PM
Personally, I sign on the back unless it's a limited edition and will be numbered.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 18, 2015, 12:33 PM
 So many considerations. I actually depleted two of my black inks and they're small and run around $60.00 each. The printer has nine cartridges/colors and adjusts for watercolor paper, switching inks. I've not been enable to match the quality of my printer with sources I've used in the past, but it's always been for small quantities. I've had issues in the past when using other sources with additional prints not matching the quality of other prints they've done, etc. Being able to ensure the quality, color and saturation is a great benefit to having a good professional printer at home. And one-offs can be quite costly when I don't do it myself. But, I may need to reconsider should I need larger quantities.

Interesting about touching up the prints with paint, or in this case pencil and having specific guidelines of the percentage designating what it can be called. My father bought a Thomas Kinkade that had been touched up with paint, but not by him, and that was made clear, but it was still priced significantly higher than a regular print on canvas.

The pricing for this will be more for the prints, inks and time and less profitable than doing a show and selling several works. However, it's good to know how to classify the prints, though the lines can be a bit blurry.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 18, 2015, 12:36 PM
Susie, I've read that some prefer to sign the back. Do you do this on promotionals as well as originals?
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: boygirlparty on August 18, 2015, 12:40 PM
I don't make promotional prints (?), just those for sale as fine art.

In reference to your earlier post - signing the back of a print can serve as authentication, showing the print came from the artist's studio. It's not part of the design, but it's part of the artifact.

Yes, I sign original art on the front, but sign prints on the back. Sometimes I'll include further information on the back of original art like the title of the painting.
Often, when creating a reproduction (giclée) print of my artwork, it will include the initials from my painting printed on the front because it was part of the painting, so my signature does appear on the front, but is actually hand signed by me on the back.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 18, 2015, 01:46 PM
That's another good way to do things.  :thanx
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 18, 2015, 06:39 PM
Thought I'd follow up here after taking Wendy's suggestion of finding out from the client what the preference is and they requested that I sign the front.


Artie, because of that article, I decided to highlight a small portion of each print in pencil. Thank you for sharing and I hope you and the other artists find  a way to reproduce the art that works for all.

Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Wendy Martin on August 19, 2015, 05:26 AM
Originally, the quantity of the first request was smaller, but I've received a request for more. So numbering them is a guess because there could potentially be more at some point.

A limited edition print is just that. There is only one printing, of a limited quantity, say, 200. Each print is numbered as one of that print run. Usually 25 of 200 if it's the 25th piece of the run, or 143 of 200 if it's that 143rd, etc. Once the edition has been sold, no more are printed, ever. An edition can be anywhere from 50 or 1,000 but is usually in a few 100s quantity depending on the popularity of the artist and the original image. The paper used is also archival, usually 100% cotton rag. Gicleés can be limited edition if they fall into the above stipulations.

Before digital processes, once the print run was done, the printing plates were destroyed, ensuring the limited quantity. Some digital artists destroy their electronic files to accommodate this practice.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 19, 2015, 06:21 AM
That's great information Wendy. In numbering a second run, I'm wondering if the total should be added to the first or if the second batch is specified.  i.e.: Limited edition print 2 #4 of 50.

 I'll need to try cotton rag papers for prints.  The one I use is designed specifically for my printer. I've tried some other qualities of paper, but none have picked up the details to this level and kept the saturation to the right degree. (Although it makes you specify what type of paper you are using-switching over to watercolor keeps the ink from running when you paint over it, etc).
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Wendy Martin on August 20, 2015, 05:50 AM
Here is the paper I use: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00CEEW40O?psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o00_s00

A true limited edition only has one run.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 20, 2015, 08:29 AM
That's great Wendy. The cost of the paper is within cents of what I use and the dimensions are exactly the same. I'll have to give it a go as it's time to order more after this print run.

Good to know about the limited edition numbers. In total, both runs come in below 100, but with that definition, it's a second run, and not a limited edition print, just signed and minimally enhanced in pencil by the artist.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Wendy Martin on August 21, 2015, 06:39 AM
If you are enhancing the image so that the enhancement is obvious, it goes into a different territory entirely. Somewhere between a print and an original. LOL Confused yet?
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Cynthia Kremsner on August 21, 2015, 07:49 AM
Wendy, for you, knowing all this: :bow    and for me:  :eh2   Lol.

I think maybe there can be a subtitle on this thread "and categorizing what type of print a print is."

This is all very good to know.
Title: Re: Signed prints. Front or Back?
Post by: Mercedes Ortiz on September 01, 2015, 02:52 PM
Thank you all for sharing your knowledge! You're amazing! Hugs!