Ultimate Guide To Labelling, Numbering & Signing Fine Art Prints

Signing, Labeling, & Numbering You're Fine Art Prints

When it comes to signing, labeling, and numbering fine art prints, there are several considerations to make. Including notations, variations, and print editions.

Artist should include his or her name, date of creation, and signature on the back of the print. A properly labeled fine art print can be more valuable to collectors.


Guide to labeling your prints

When you are ready to sell your prints, it is important to make sure that they are correctly labeled. This will help potential buyers to understand what they are looking at, and also ensure that you get the correct price for your work.

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There are a few things that you need to include on your label:

  • The title of the print
  • The artist's name
  • The date the print was made
  • The edition number (if applicable)
  • The size of the print
  • The price of the print

What about when it comes to signing your artwork?

There is no one correct way to sign your artwork. Some artists sign their name, while others use a monogram or initials.

You may also choose to include the date or title of the piece. Ultimately, it is up to you how you want to sign your work.

When an artist signs and numbers a series of prints, which are multiple reproductions of a single artwork, they help guarantee that each print is of an equal quality.

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The current norm is to sign the print in the front, at the base right corner beneath the artwork, with the edition number in the base left corner.

If your print extends to the edge of the paper and doesn't include a signature, you use the same standard on the verso, which is the back of the print.

This helps keep extortion at bay, and this is usually completed using a sharp pencil. An ink signature is much easier to print than a pencil one.

Artist's signature for labeling

As lithography and steel-faced metal plates became available, lettering also began to be used to produce tens of thousands of impressions without losing quality.

It is important to keep the signature of the artist on the fine art prints for authenticity and to ensure that they are a true reflection of the artist's style and aesthetic sense. If you sign your print in the front, there is no need to sign on the back.

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Artist's monogram

A monogram is a unique symbol created by combining the artist's name and initials.

Whether you use a monogram or initials is up to you - however, it is advisable to sign and date your prints before framing them.

Art notations

There are several different types of notations on fine art prints. Some artists use the "word edition" or "edition number" to distinguish between editions of prints and individual prints.

Common notations include "A/P" or "Artist's Personal Print," which designates the edition as owned by the artist. Other labels are used in countries that have varying standards.

Other common notations on fine art prints include "P." This refers to an unnumbered proof given to the artist before printing the edition.

The number of such proofs is usually determined by the number of printers that worked on a particular piece.

Variations in print editions

There are several ways in which you can tell a print edition is a variation, and this is especially true in the case of limited edition prints.

Variations in print editions can be marked by variations in color, surface, materials, and printing techniques.

Many artists sign their prints with the initials "EV" as a reference to the variation in their edition.

These prints are often more expensive than others in the series. In addition to the number of pieces in the edition, each variation is also labeled with a specific color palette and an edition number.

There are two main types of variations in print editions: open and closed

Open editions have no set limit on how many prints are produced and are therefore not as valuable as limited editions. However, this does not mean that open editions are worthless.

Ultimately, the quality, notoriety, and rarity of the artist & the print will determine its value. Artists also use different methods to distinguish between limited editions.

Closed editions contain a limited number of artist proofs, and some are called "prints" that have been altered after they were printed.

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Impression prints

There are two types of impression prints: lifetime impressions and posthumous impressions.

Lifetime impressions are those created during the artist's lifetime. These prints tend to be more valuable, as they may bear the artist's signature or handwriting.

Posthumous impressions may have a signed number on them. The process of numbering fine art prints is a relatively recent development, as the etching revival only began in the late nineteenth century.

Before that time, most prints were produced in limited editions because the printing methods did not allow for large runs.

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The market for prints was not large enough to warrant a high print edition number. Today, numbered prints are a desirable part of fine art. And the process of printing has changed considerably.

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Artists have become more selective with the number of copies they publish, so they can make more money with the same materials.

Printmakers began to limit the number of impressions by including the volume of the edition in the print's number. They also began to limit the number of plates in their works, with monotyping allowing only one or two impressions.

Limited editions, on the other hand, are usually signed by the artist in pencil and numbered to indicate the total number of editions.

labeling, numbering, and signing using etching

The technique of etching for fine art prints is an important step in the artist process. While numbering and signing fine art prints is not strictly necessary, it is the best practice for collectors and dealers of fine art prints.

While this method has its advantages, it can also be inefficient in some cases. For example, in the case of an open edition, numbering and labeling a reproduction is a futile task.

How To Tell An Etching From A Lithograph?

Etching for fine art prints is a relatively modern concept. It is a byproduct of the resurgence of etching in the late nineteenth century.

Before then, prints were printed in limited numbers and were not popular enough to warrant large runs. With limited print runs and a limited market, etchings were a good choice, since they helped increase collector value.

The process of etching for fine art prints has many advantages. Etching marks are distinctive and unique features.

These marks may be 1/1 editions or special editions. In addition to numbering, the artist also signs each print with an imp. -a word derived from the Latin word "impressit" - which denotes an edition of one.

Canvas print signing

Artists often do not sign their work on the front. Usually, the artist covers the words with carbon paper and signs the back. You can trace over the lettering with a ballpoint pen or small paintbrush.

If you leave a pencil mark, make sure to erase it. Signed works are highly valued. Besides ensuring authenticity, labeling a canvas with numbers and names also improves its value.

Another mark on a fine art print is "B.A.T.", which stands for Bon a Tirer or "Ready to Print." These are impressions made during the process of developing the image and are often worth more than regularly printed works. An artist may sell his or her P.P. prints, but it is not uncommon for them to be sold to collectors.

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Print formats

R.T.P stands for Ready To Print.

T/P stands for Trial Proof, these prints fetch significant sums if they come up for sale because they demonstrate a grasp of the artist's working methods.

MT or M.P (Monoprint or Monotype) is the technique of printing a single painted image from a silkscreen or nonporous surfaces, such as a sheet of glass, metal, or styrene.

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Imp. - Derived from "impressit," a Latin word that means "has printed." This can be written by an artist after their signature if they have printed their work.

E.V. (Edition Varied) This mark is sometimes used to identify editions produced in different colors or on different types of paper.


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1 comment

Can you tell me how a single Giclee Print of digitally created art should be labeled? Should it say ‘Monoprint’ or 1/1 on the lower left corner, below the print? Thank you.

Steven Coppin

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