When buying artwork, collectors want it to be signed by the artist.
This is one of the reasons all of my limited edition archival photographs are signed. My signature appears on the front, on the bottom, in the white border that is present on all sides of the image. This method of limited edition art signed by the artist is traditional, rooted on my background in limited edition lithographs and etchings. This way, the signature will be displayed when framed.
Limited editions have traditionally been signed by the artist, and for good reason.
The artist’s signature attests to the faithful production of the artwork, including the image and the paper. The artist’s signature also means you are buying an original impression from the edition, part of their artistic vision, and not a mass-marketed reproduction.
Some of the language used to market limited editions can be confusing.
The phrases, “signed” and “certificate of authenticity,” don’t tell you everything you want to know. Learn if the artwork is signed by the artist. I have seen limited edition art marketed within the following categories:
- Signed by the artist on the front (as mine are)
- Signed by the artist on the back (a matter of preference)
- Artwork not signed, sold with a certificate signed by the artist*
- Artwork not signed, sold with a certificate signed by the printer*
*Denotes situations where the artist may not have seen the artwork you are buying. A separate document signed by the artist often indicates a separate print-shop operation, with no direct artist involvement.
Ultimately, it’s up to the collector to decide how a direct signature from the artist affects how they feel about the artwork. Do you prefer limited edition art signed by the artist?
All my limited edition archival photographs are painstakingly inspected before I signed them! I also include a certificate of authenticity. I work in-person with a local master art printer for consistent quality.