How to sign artist proof prints

Written by bill brown
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How to sign artist proof prints
Sign your artist proof with "AP" instead of a number. ("woodblock print"- Japanese street fashion image by Tamara Kulikova from

There are conventions for signing fine art prints. This is because the value of a print will change depending on how many are made. For this reason, prints are numbered in the order they are made, and each print shows where it came in the run (called an edition) along with the total number in edition (for example 12/50 means the 12th print in an edition of 50). Artist's proofs are made for the artist, are usually done at the early stages of an edition to figure out practical issues and are often kept by the artist. They are signed differently and don't count in the total edition number.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Pencil

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  1. 1

    Sign your name in pencil on the lower right side of the print, just under the printed edge, and place the date of its creation next to it.

  2. 2

    Write "Artist's Proof" or "AP" on the lower left side of the print on the same level as your signature.

  3. 3

    Write the title of the print, if there is one, on the lower side of the print in the centre on the same level as your signature. It is customary to enclose the title in quotes.

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