Monday, April 2, 2018

Artists - How to Sign Your Artwork

As part of our new year's resolution to broaden our topics, today we will be sharing our tips for signing your art. Although it may seem very simple, signing your name can actually be an art in of itself (no pun intended). Just like any brushstroke, your signature is an integral and important part of your piece, and requires careful consideration and thought. Before you sign-off with your initials, keep these tips in consideration:

  • Sign your artwork, legibly and clearly
  • You can sign it anywhere (back, front, sides, corners, etc), but
  • Keep it consistent from piece to piece
  • Sign with the same medium as your artwork
  • Date it (on the back)

Having a unique, recognizable, and consistent signature helps market and preserve your brand, while preventing thefts or third-party replications in the future. Providing as much information about your piece on the back also allows historians and collectors to better track and place your artwork in context of history and value.

For example, 17th century Dutch artist Judith Leyster always signed with her initials (JL) with a star attached. It was a play on words (Leister meant 'lead star' in Dutch), and also acted as a watermark in certain paintings - for in some of her works, a star-shaped mark can often be found in the north part of the painting.

In addition to signing consistently, consider creating a certificate of authenticity to go with your work. Unique methods of identifications provide extra touch to the artwork buying experience and legitimacy. You can also use an embossing stamp on the certificate or print itself.

Finally, make sure you use proper materials to sign your originals or prints. For original artworks, try to sign with the same material as the artwork, as this would help deter counterfeits. For prints, stick to pencil or ink, either on the back or the bottom corners in the margins. This will help keep the focus on the art itself, while looking clean and professional.

And that's it! We hope this has been a helpful article for all our artists out there. If you have any tips you'd like to share, please let us know in the comments below!


KeenArt Media is an online fine art printing and framing company, specializing in canvas, archival and photographic prints and reproductions. We are proud to serve and support artists from all over Canada. 

KeenArt Media Ltd. Toll Free: 1-888-533-6278 (KeenART) 
Working Hours: Pacific Standard Time
8:30 AM to 5:00 PM Monday to Thursday
8:30 AM to 4:00 PM Friday

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