Signing Your Prints


There's a lot to think about! Below we share some of our thoughts on signing your work.


  • Prints can be signed either on the front or back.
  • Practice your signature on a scrap of the same paper.
  • Use a slip sheet to prevent oils from your hands smudging your print.
  • If signing on the back, be mindful of the location as signing too close to the edge of the paper may get cut off during the framing process, and don’t press too hard! An indentation in the surface from the pressure would be a serious bummer.
  • Signing on the front of the paper can either be done on image itself, or in the white space around the image.
  • When signing below the image, sign on the right hand side with the signature completely under the image.
  • Signing directly on the image is less common but we would recommend signing on the right hand side and in a lighter area of the image.
  • If you plan to frame your image with a mat, a paper reveal that is slightly larger than your signature is a great look.
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  • For matte papers without a gloss coating, we suggest signing in pencil. Pencil is classic, and our suggestion is always use pencil if the paper is suitable. Each paper is going to handle the pencil differently. Experiment with different pencils to find one that is a suitable balance of softness, density and durability.
  • For gloss, semi-gloss, resin-coated or baryta papers, we recommend a pigment liner. Good pigment liners should be pure pigment, indelible, and lightfast. We sell a great option from Hahnemuhle here at the shop.
  • You can also find pigment liners at art supply stores or online. There are loads of options in thickness, and intensity of the black ink. Try out a few to achieve your own look.
  • As always, practice your signature on a scrap of the same paper, and use a slip sheet to prevent oils from your hands smudging your print.


  • First! You don’t have to sign your print at all. A certificate of authenticity or a card describing the piece is a great addition when selling your work, and can be easily stored on the back of the frame.
  • Embossers and stamps are also a great way to add your personality into your piece when you don’t want to physically sign your print.
  • Titles and edition numbers (if applicable) can also be incorporated into your print.
  • We recommend edition numbers be placed in the paper border on the left side under your image.
  • Titles can be written in the paper border centred under the image.
  • Play around with the size and placement. Make it your own.
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