Monday, May 11, 2009

To Sign or Not to Sign?

I read an interesting post by Katherine Tyrrell about signing a work of art. Instead of a signature she uses small initials in a box on the front of the piece; very small and as unobtrusive as possible. Her preference would be for no signature at all - and she believe that's the way all the pieces that are "keepers" are 'signed'. She prints and signs her name on the reverse of the work and dates it. This means that it can always be identified as hers and overcomes the reservations about the use of initials.

She gives a checklist of things to think about before signing:

1. Make sure you sign your art - that makes it your art and not art that somebody else can claim as their own. If copyright is important to you, you really need to sign your work
2. Have a legible signature - if you want to be known by your name and not as "that artist with the funny scrawl".
3. Keep your signature consistent - that way people know it's you and not somebody trying to be you!
4. Don't overpower your art with your signature - artists with enormous egos seem to have enormous signatures but do remember that the purchaser is buying the art and not your ego.
5. Do you want a multi-purpose signature? - seriously, in these days of identity theft, think about whether you really want to use the same signature as the one you use to sign contracts, bank cheques and hotel chits?
6. Think twice if you sign with your initials - on the basis of how many other people share the same initials as you! Do your initials actually indicate that you and you alone are the artist?
7. Use a monogram or create an icon which means it's your work - in the past a number of artists signed using a monogram or icon. This means that anybody who knows you use a particular symbol knows it's your work. To anybody else it's completely meaningless!

What are your thoughts about signing art?

No comments:

Post a Comment