Forums > Photography Talk > Affix a Logo to PRINTS?

Photographer

Excelsior Images

Posts: 9

New York, New York, US

It is common to see a photographer's logo on their photographs all throughout the web. It makes sense. It makes even the casual observer aware that so-and-so included their company name, if for nothing else but self advertisement. My question is do we affix our company logo to PRINT photographs, i.e. ones that will hang on a wall or sit on someones desk, or do we leave those copies logo-free so the final wedding portraits, senior portraits, and baby portraits are crisp and clean (of logos)? When providing a DVD of photos to a client after a gig, do the digital copies all have a logo? Or is there a set with the logo and a set without? What is the accepted practice?

Sep 12 13 07:34 pm Link

Photographer

Michael Broughton

Posts: 2244

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

tacky.

Sep 12 13 08:40 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27373

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

You watermark your digital images so that if (re:when) people steal them or fail to credit you, your work is not completely lost (until someone crops your watermark out)

Prints go in albums and on walls and in frames, nobody needs to see your watermark on that. It's tacky as hell.

Sep 12 13 08:44 pm Link

Photographer

Capitol City Boudoir

Posts: 756

Sacramento, California, US

Laura UnBound wrote:
You watermark your digital images so that if (re:when) people steal them or fail to credit you, your work is not completely lost (until someone crops your watermark out)

Prints go in albums and on walls and in frames, nobody needs to see your watermark on that. It's tacky as hell.

Sorry, I disagree.  A wall portrait is art.  Whether it's a photographic print on resin paper, a giclee print on canvas or a hand-painted oil, it's still art.  It's a unique, one of a kind artistic creation.  As such, it should be signed by the artist.

Sep 12 13 08:57 pm Link

Photographer

Zack Zoll

Posts: 2643

Glens Falls, New York, US

Capitol City Boudoir wrote:

Sorry, I disagree.  A wall portrait is art.  Whether it's a photographic print on resin paper, a giclee print on canvas or a hand-painted oil, it's still art.  It's a unique, one of a kind artistic creation.  As such, it should be signed by the artist.

Then sign it.  Don't put your logo and a copyright symbol on the print.

Sep 12 13 09:02 pm Link

Model

Laura UnBound

Posts: 27373

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Capitol City Boudoir wrote:

Sorry, I disagree.  A wall portrait is art.  Whether it's a photographic print on resin paper, a giclee print on canvas or a hand-painted oil, it's still art.  It's a unique, one of a kind artistic creation.  As such, it should be signed by the artist.

Nobody said you can't sign it.

A lot of times the signature winds up covered by the frame/matting, or people sign date and number the backs.
Even the biggest signature through the damn middle of a picture is better than most people's cartoonish watermarks/logos

Sep 12 13 09:06 pm Link

Photographer

Solas

Posts: 9537

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Capitol City Boudoir wrote:
Sorry, I disagree.  A wall portrait is art.  Whether it's a photographic print on resin paper, a giclee print on canvas or a hand-painted oil, it's still art.  It's a unique, one of a kind artistic creation.  As such, it should be signed by the artist.

Not in the case of retail photography, no.

If you're selling a print for art, yes i can see how that is accepted. If I pay someone to do portraits or wedding photos, and I get some scribbly messy signature on it...I'm getting it sent back and asking for a refund.

Sep 12 13 09:09 pm Link

Photographer

Ali Choudhry Photo

Posts: 176

Brisbane, Queensland, Australia

Pretty much what Karl said. If it's retail, then don't sign it. The customer should have paid enough for it. tongue

If it's something more artistic, then I usually sign the back.

Sep 15 13 04:06 pm Link

Photographer

Photoarray

Posts: 235

Crown Point, Indiana, US

If the picture (or print) was purchased I would not display a logo or website name on the image.  My prints do have my website name back printed on all images.


If I donate or if a picture is being displayed for promotional use (and your name or logo isn't displayed anywhere else) then I would put a watermark on the image.

Sep 15 13 06:13 pm Link

Photographer

Laura Bello

Posts: 1626

Rochester, New York, US

I don't even like watermarks on my digital pictures.  I feel like it distracts from the photo and can take away from whatever emotion or scene that's being created and just make it look kinda cheap.  I would say if you really want your stamp on the image, personally sign it.  Really thought I have 4 rather large prints of my photos hanging in my house (cause I'm lame) and none of them have anything on there.

Sep 15 13 06:19 pm Link

Photographer

PS201

Posts: 188

Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom

My prints have written on the back, in pencil: title,  print number, release date and signature.

Edit: I don't sign commissioned work, I would if I was asked, it has never happened yet.

Sep 15 13 06:21 pm Link

Photographer

Marc Damon

Posts: 6562

Biloxi, Mississippi, US

To watermark or not to watermark? That is the question that has been asked many many times in these forums.

Does Olan Mills still put a gold logo on all their portrait prints?
Just curious because I haven't actually seen an OM print lately.

I generally watermark small, low-res images intended for web use because then until someone crops it out, my name travels. It's not so much about protecting copyright as having the potential for people see my name. I also generally edit the EXIF data for all online photos to include my info. I know it's easy to strip it but it's just another layer for people to find me. If you're worried about online theft of your photos, consider a service such as www.digimarc.com.

Hi-res digital photos intended for printing are never watermarked. Prints are never watermarked regardless of size. The two exceptions may be a one-off print hung in a gallery or a limited run that is signed and numbered.

Sep 15 13 06:35 pm Link

Model

Isis22

Posts: 2577

Muncie, Indiana, US

If you want put something on the back only.

Sep 15 13 06:37 pm Link

Photographer

Jeff Fiore

Posts: 9224

Pelham, New York, US

Capitol City Boudoir wrote:

Sorry, I disagree.  A wall portrait is art.  Whether it's a photographic print on resin paper, a giclee print on canvas or a hand-painted oil, it's still art.  It's a unique, one of a kind artistic creation.  As such, it should be signed by the artist.

I sign and date the back of the print, not the front. some clients request that i sign and date the matte. I don't have a logo on the print itself.

Sep 15 13 06:47 pm Link

Photographer

Darryl Varner

Posts: 725

San Jacinto, California, US

On a few occasions, I've been asked to include my logo on the front of a print. I thought it was a bit odd, but did as requested. Otherwise, I never add anything to the front. I don't know how widespread this is today, but in the past it was an accepted business practice for a photographer or studio to include full contact info on the back of prints. Generally, this was rubber-stamped so it wouldn't create an "embossed" impression on the face of the print.
With regard to signing/dating a matte; personally I wouldn't do it. Once the matte's released, who knows what it will eventually frame?

Sep 15 13 06:55 pm Link

Photographer

Christopher Hartman

Posts: 54149

Buena Park, California, US

Gotham Images wrote:
It is common to see a photographer's logo on their photographs all throughout the web. It makes sense. It makes even the casual observer aware that so-and-so included their company name, if for nothing else but self advertisement. My question is do we affix our company logo to PRINT photographs, i.e. ones that will hang on a wall or sit on someones desk, or do we leave those copies logo-free so the final wedding portraits, senior portraits, and baby portraits are crisp and clean (of logos)? When providing a DVD of photos to a client after a gig, do the digital copies all have a logo? Or is there a set with the logo and a set without? What is the accepted practice?

I've seen MANY final portrait prints (not proofs, not freebies) with a studio name embossed in the corner of a photo.  It seems kind of lame, but if a painter can sign their name in the corner, why not a photographer/studio?

Sep 16 13 07:30 am Link

Photographer

Kent Art Photography

Posts: 2929

Ashford, England, United Kingdom

Prints I give away always have a label on the back with contact information.

Prints I sell also have a label on the back with more details about the pic and more discreet contact info, and I sign the front if I'm asked.  Usually, I don't get asked.  I might sign under the mount, in pencil, if I feel like it.

Sep 16 13 07:38 am Link

Photographer

fussgangerfoto

Posts: 149

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, US

I sign the back of my digital images. wink

Watermarks are for protecting your images when posted to public sites (MM, Flickr, etc.). Put them in the corner and they'll be cropped out. Some sites like 500px and 1x.com try to prohibit watermarking since the photos are technically available for sale and who in their right mind would buy a fine art print with a watermark?

Print images? Sign the back or get MOO.com to print you up some nice stickers so in 10 years (if the couple is still married) and they want a reprint, they can try to find you or recommend you to a friend. It would be extremely tacky to put a watermark on photo you give to a customer.

In the old days, the studio would deliver the print in a cardboard matte that had the studio name tastefully stenciled on the matte.

Sep 16 13 05:26 pm Link

Photographer

Zack Zoll

Posts: 2643

Glens Falls, New York, US

Christopher Hartman wrote:

I've seen MANY final portrait prints (not proofs, not freebies) with a studio name embossed in the corner of a photo.  It seems kind of lame, but if a painter can sign their name in the corner, why not a photographer/studio?

I think the difference is that as a painter, you're already applying paint - the signature is part of the painting.  As a photographer, the signature is something separate that you add to the existing image.

I can't say I'm all that into really obvious signatures on paintings either, unless it's a design-y, modern art-type painting.  Seeing a big "R" on a Rembrandt would be just as tacky to me as a watermark.

Sep 16 13 05:28 pm Link

guide forum

Photographer

studio36uk

Posts: 21907

Tavai, Sigave, Wallis and Futuna

You guys are a f***ing hoot!

Studio36

Sep 16 13 06:10 pm Link

Photographer

907Benjamin

Posts: 1712

Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, US

i wouldn't do it. web only it's ok to throw your name or something on it, but a print should only be a print.  at least that's my take.

Sep 16 13 06:22 pm Link

Photographer

Art Silva

Posts: 9459

Santa Barbara, California, US

On prints? No!

maybe an unobtrusive rubber stamp or signature on the back side for future reference if the print changes hands, the artist will be identified.

Sep 16 13 06:23 pm Link