If you make 8x10 b&w contact prints how do you sign the print... since the boarder edge is black? Or do you just sign the matt. -Rob
If selling or giving the print to someone, I sign the revers side with soft-lead pencil, and then the matte in accordance with their preferences.
one of those gold markers - then right across the bottom right corner of the print - can't miss it that way ;-)
You'd be amazed how small the demand is for pictures of trees... - Fred Astaire to Audrey Hepburn
I can recognize my prints without a signature.
If you prefer to sign your prints, one solution would be to edge the negative with red lithographer's tape. The resulting white border might actually look quite smart. I believe this tape is still available from B&H online.
Leave a little extra space (say, 1/4") at the bottom when you make your overmat and then sign the mat on the lower right, just under the print. Use the pre-cut overmat to position the print on the mat when you dry mount it. In my opinion, no print is finished until it it mounted and matted. You should sign it in pencil.
It's pretty rare to see a signature on the border of the print. The signatures that you typically see are actually on the mat board between the bottom edge of the print and the edge of the overmat. Just make the window in the overmat a little larger than the size of the print. I cut windows so that about 1/4 inch of the mat board will show between the edge of the print and the overmat at the top and both sides and 3/8 inch will show at the bottom. But different people do it differently.
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you do criticize them you'll be
a mile away and you'll have their shoes.
I usually sign the mount. I don't let prints get away from me without being mounted. I dry mount, because I believe that it adds stability and archival qualities to the print - and also so there's no way in hell that my signature (under the print, on the mount) is going to get separated from my print.
On the reverse of the mount, I list a small alount of pertinent information - negative id, date, print number (to cross reference to my more detailed print log) and any special notes.
If you really want to sign on the print itself, get some sort of felt-point pen (that won't cut the emulsion) and use white or metallic ink. This is generally hoe I mark my proofs or discarded work prints - one of those big metallic silver markers on the surface of the print.
You could always try making a mask for contact printing, with your signature in reverse, in black, so it holds back the light, leaving a white signature.
This would also be a good way to align your paper and neg together on the glass.
You could use a piece of acetate or make it from a sheet of film.