At a public painting demonstration last year I was asked how much thought do I put into the placement of my signature? It was a good question. The answer: more than you might think.
At first glace it would appear to be a throw-away consideration: we’ve been signing our names since elementary school; so what’s the big deal? However, I frequently wince at the sight of an over-wrought and poorly placed artist’s signature. Awkward looking signatures are often a microcosm of the art itself: an idea not fully considered and presented effectively, a somewhat confused statement, from start to finish. Given time to study and practice, structural kinks can be worked out, but the signature remains an important often overlooked or under-addressed consideration.
Being a skilled visual communicator can be a passion, but unless viewers of your art recognize our authorship by name our art is a hobby, not a profession. My name is my ‘brand’ and as such it hails the viewer’s attention to my unique communication skills and point of view. An artist’s signature should announce a confident and consistent style and avoid becoming a ‘flashing marquee’ of conspicuous size, color, and placement.
Neither hide your name, nor trumpet it above the composition it takes credit for. In other words, be wise and find a balance. The artist’s signature shouldn’t compete with the artwork; it should complete it.