How to Sign Art Prints

Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images

Artists should take the important final step of signing their prints. Signing your print ensures that people will know that you made it and considered it finished. Signed prints also tend to be more valuable. Artists traditionally include the edition information along with their signature; this information tells a viewer the edition size (the total number of prints made) and the number of the particular print within that edition.

Wait for your print to dry completely, and then place it on a clean, flat surface.

Sign your full name in pencil on the print. You can choose where to sign the print, but artists traditionally sign just below the image. You can sign to the lower left, in the center or to the right.

Note the edition information in pencil. Artists traditionally write this information just below the image as well, on the side opposite the signature. For example, if you signed the print on the left below the image, write the edition information on the right. Write the number of the print within the edition, a slash, and then the edition size. For example, if the particular print you are signing was the fifth print of 10, write “5/10.” This indicates that the print is number five of 10 prints in the edition.

Indicate that the print is an artist’s proof or bon à tirer if applicable. These types of prints are not traditionally included within the edition size. An artist’s proof is a sample or work print made before you begin an edition. Indicate this by writing “A/P.” A bon à tirer (good to pull) is the master print to which you compare each print in an edition. Indicate this by writing “B.A.T.”