Skip to main content

As a professional artist or photographer, the significance of leaving a lasting impression on your creative endeavours cannot be overstated. Signing and numbering your art prints is a powerful way to establish your artistic identity, document your creative process, and authenticate your work. At Beyond Print, we understand the importance of showcasing your creative prowess, and offer an unparalleled digital art printing and framing service, boasting an easy-to-use online ordering system, premium fine art paper, and bespoke framing options to elevate your artistic vision. By embracing the nuances of signing and numbering, you not only enhance the overall aesthetic and value of your art but also create a lasting legacy that resonates with collectors and art enthusiasts alike. In this article, we will delve into the intricacies of how to sign and number your art prints, empowering you to make your mark in the world of art.

How To Sign Your Art Prints

The art of signing your prints is not merely an afterthought but an integral aspect of the creative process. A well-placed, legible signature enhances the value and credibility of your work. To ensure longevity, it is paramount to utilise archival quality materials, such as pigment-based inks or artist-grade pencils. Consider the size, placement, and style of your signature, keeping in mind the visual impact and consistency across your portfolio.

When signing, it is advisable to include the following details: your name, the print title, and the year. If you desire to add further depth to your signature, consider including a short statement or anecdote that encapsulates the essence of the work. For inspiration, take note of how renowned artists throughout history personalised their signatures, creating a unique and identifiable mark that became synonymous with their body of work.

In addition to selecting the right materials and style, consider the location of your signature. Traditionally, artists sign their prints in the lower right-hand corner, but there is no definitive rule that restricts you to this placement. Think about how your signature will interact with the composition of your piece and choose a location that complements the artwork, without distracting from its visual appeal.

Finally, it’s important to maintain consistency in your signature, as it helps build a cohesive body of work and reinforces your artistic brand. While your signature may evolve over time, it should always be recognisable and representative of your unique artistic identity.

How To Number Your Art Prints

Numbering your art prints serves multiple purposes, including establishing a sense of exclusivity, maintaining accountability, and providing a historical record of your artistic journey. The convention for numbering prints is to utilise the ‘edition number/total number of prints’ format. For instance, if you have a limited edition of 50 prints, the first print would be marked as 1/50, the second as 2/50, and so forth.

When numbering your prints, adhere to the following guidelines:

  1. Clearly indicate the edition size, as it is a critical factor in determining the value of your prints. Limited editions often command higher prices due to their scarcity, and collectors appreciate the assurance that they are acquiring a rare piece of art.
  2. Maintain consistency in your numbering system to establish a professional and cohesive portfolio. This means using the same format, font, and location on each print, regardless of the size or medium. Consistency not only makes your work more recognisable but also builds trust with collectors and art enthusiasts.
  3. Consider the possibility of artist’s proofs (APs) and printer’s proofs (PPs), which are typically marked separately from the main edition. Artist’s proofs are a small number of prints reserved for the artist’s personal use, while the printer’s proofs are retained by the printmaker. These proofs often hold additional value due to their rarity and historical significance.
  4. Choose the right location for numbering your prints. It is customary to place the edition number in the lower left-hand corner of the print, opposite the signature. However, you can opt for a different location if it better suits the composition of your artwork. Just ensure that the numbering is easily visible and doesn’t detract from the overall aesthetics of your piece.

By following these guidelines, you can create a cohesive and well-documented body of work that reflects your artistic vision and instils confidence in potential collectors. Numbering your art prints is a critical component of building a successful career in the art world and ensures that your work will be appreciated and valued for generations to come.

Signing and numbering your art prints are fundamental aspects of asserting your creative identity, and ensuring the authenticity and value of your work. As you embark on this journey, trust Beyond Print to bring your vision to life with our exceptional online ordering system, fine art paper, and bespoke framing options. As the renowned artist Henri Matisse once said: 

“Creativity takes courage.” 

So, take that courageous step and make your indelible mark on the world of art.