Difference Between Signed & Unsigned Fine Art Prints

Fine art prints can be an affordable way to decorate a home and some prints can be important pieces of art to be collected.

The Traditional Signature

Whether the artist has signed the print or not can make a difference in its value. If you are interested in purchasing fine art prints, here are a few important points to note about signatures.

When an artist signs a print, he usually does so on the bottom right-hand side of the print. Since a print is created in "editions" of a certain number of prints, the number of the print and the edition size are noted on the left-hand side.

Significance

An artist will sign the print when it is completed to her satisfaction. The signature shows that the artist actually did the work and that she approves it.

Effects on Value

A signed fine art print is more valuable than an unsigned one. A signed print is generally genuine; an unsigned print may be a copy, which isn't worth much.

Unsigned Fine Art Prints

Some artists don't sign their work or simply forget to sign one. Just ensure that the work is legitimate. If it's known that an artist never signed the prints, there is no difference between prints. If they signed some and not others, then a signed print would be more valuable.

Fine Art or Just a Print?

Fine art prints are limited editions, created by the artists. They are not to be confused with reproduction prints sold in vast quantities such as what you might buy in a discount store. In addition, any print edition that numbers in the thousands is not a fine art limited edition.

About the Author

Rosanne Knorr is an award-winning writer, editor and author since 1980. She has written feature articles for countless publications and has authored 13 books including "The Grown-Up's Guide to Running Away from Home." She ghostwrites books on financial and lifestyle topics. She has taught creative writing and speaks on writing and travel topics. Knorr holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.