Making your mark

Discussion in 'UK Photography' started by G V, Jul 10, 2003.

  1. G V

    G V Guest


    I'm a little confused about something, and I suspect it's the
    terminology that's causing me the confusion. (Mat/mount/etc!)

    I'm going to mount some prints as limited editions and sign/number
    them. Am I right in thinking that the accepted convention is to sign
    and number below the print, but inside the mount? (IE. On the print,
    in the white border surrounding the actual picture.)

    Furthermore, what's considered the best thing to sign with in this

    G V, Jul 10, 2003
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  2. I recommend you read Levey, Irish & Kazdan, "Photography: Composition
    Color Display" (Amphoto, 1979) if you can find a copy. [A number of
    copies are for sale on and] It has an
    excellent 50 page chapter on the fundamentals of display, including the
    proper use of the terminology.

    In particular:

    mount: any stiff material to which a print is affixed to
    keep it flat.
    Full-mount: the mount and print are of the same size.
    Mat-mounted: the print is smaller than the mount.
    border: the non-image margin surrounding a picture.
    mat: an add-on border.
    Overmat: a mat placed on top of the print.

    And there are more.

    As to materials for signing, the authors recommend a black pencil [most
    pencils are gray, not black] or black ink. They mention that if you
    write on the print itself you will dent or emboss the emulsion. Their
    recommendation is to place the signature on the front of the mount, near
    the print.

    I recall once reading about a famous print - either Stieglitz or Adams,
    and he had signed the mat. As the years went by, the mat aged badly,
    but the museum hesitated to do away with the mat because it had a
    valuable signature.

    Francis A. Miniter
    Francis A. Miniter, Jul 12, 2003
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