4 Reasons To Sign Your Artwork

Sinthussa Arudvisham investigates why an artist’s signature adds intrinsic value to an artwork, now more than ever.

While signatures are commonplace on paintings and illustrations, many people don’t associate this makers-mark with digital listings. Photographers and visual artists often share their work via different digital platforms, but how do they maintain ownership of their work once its online? In this article we’ll discuss why signatures are an integral part of an artwork’s authenticity, particularly now in today’s digital sphere. Read ahead to discover more. 

When Will You Marry?, Paul Gauguin

1. Solidify Your Identity

For any work or product to be recognised and valued, it should contain its creator’s name or identity. In the art world, this is represented by the artist’s signature.

Take the famous signatures above. How many do you recognise?

Case studies show that an artwork featuring its maker’s signature will fetch a higher price than one without. Take the case of Paul Gauguin’s Nafea Faa Ipoipo (When Will You Marry?), which famously sold for $300 million USD in 2015. A preliminary drawing for this piece was originally dismissed as belonging to Gauguin, due to the lack of his signature. The owners of the preliminary drawing were almost denied $300,000 USD, had it not been verified.

2. Charge a Higher Price

As evidenced above, it is proven that art enthusiasts and collectors show a greater appreciation for signed work.

A recognisable signature attributes any previous success to new work by the same artist. And alongside technique, scarcity, and condition, the presence of a signature is a key factor in solidifying the value of the new work.

Whether or not a piece includes its artist’s signature can often determine its final sale price. With a signature the piece can be verified; without it, its origin remains less certain. Earn more for your images by including your signature. Its presence on your artworks will assure collectors of its authenticity, and give you the confidence to charge a premium price.

3. Maintain Image Security

Social media has the potential to boost your notoriety and create a loyal fanbase. However, with online attention comes the risk of image theft.

It’s important, now more than ever, to protect your intellectual property online. When sharing your images to Instagram and Facebook, it is best practice to appropriately protect them with a signature and watermark. This ensures that when an image is shared beyond your profile, there is a way to trace it back to you – the original creator. This in turn provides collectors peace of mind when purchasing pieces from your collection. It should be your main objective to protect the scarcity of your collection and maintain the limited-edition nature of your 100 prints.

4. Guarantee Consistent Attribution

The consistent use of a unique and recognisable signature significantly impacts the success of an artist’s collection of work. So, while you can change the design of your signature, it’s wise to keep it the same.

For a smooth and legible signature, we recommend using a digital pen and tablet surface. You can then save the file in an SVG format and apply it to all of your future artworks.

How Pikcha Makes Signatures Easy

Pikcha has created an efficient way to sign your artwork. Every time you upload an image to Pikcha, you will be presented with our ‘edit signature’ feature. This feature allows you to either create your own signature using our signature pad or to upload an SVG file. This signature will be saved on file, so that the next time you upload, it can be reused or edited to create a new design.  This gives you the option to keep things consistent.

Our signature pad allows you to control the thickness, colour and placement of your signature on each image. Simply navigate the toggle buttons to edit its appearance and tailor your signature to the specifications of each image. You can also preview how the final signature will appear at any point during the uploading process.

A signature on an artwork plays a very important role in deciding the potential of its success, as well as protecting your IP. Therefore, it’s important to pay careful attention to the design and consistent usage of your signature on your artworks; not only on those that you sell, but all that you share. It will increase the value of your collections and pave the way for a successful future.

By Sinthussa Arudshivam

Sinthussa is a writer from Melbourne. She currently works as Pikcha's Finance Officer.