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Main Photography Discussion
Photo safe ink pen
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Jan 7, 2012 20:45:46   #
Hi everyone!

My niece has asked for a signed copy of one of my prints. What type of pen or marker should I use for signing the front visible area of the photo that will not cause discoloration?
Jan 7, 2012 20:54:30   #
Sharpie permanent.
Jan 7, 2012 20:55:38   #
My choice would be "Sharpie", either Fine, or Extra-Fine!
That's what I'm going to use when I'm Famous!
Jan 7, 2012 22:34:59   #
I mount mine in a mat, and sign the mat.
Jan 7, 2012 23:21:36   #
MT Shooter
I use a Sharpie in SILVER, looks really nice!!
Jan 8, 2012 06:29:21   #
Saw Art Wolf (on TV) sign a print with a pencil in the white space surrounding the print. The pencil surprised me.
Jan 8, 2012 07:05:49   #
Traditonal silver/analog prints are always signed with pencil. It has to do with archival properties.

It is harder with glossy inkjet papers to use a pencial altho rag papers will do well with the pencil.

A Staedter pen is consider archival for inkjet prints
Jan 8, 2012 08:21:24   #
I've used the Sharpie "Rub-a-dub" laundry pen for some time now without ill effects, Use them on CD's too since applying a piece of label on a CD may imbalance it during rotation. The ink is permanent and waterproof.
Jan 8, 2012 09:31:45   #
Go to an art supply store and ask for a photo pen that is acid free. I'm not sure a sharpie is acid free. Signing the mat is fine, unless they decide to remat the picture. I use a faber pen that is acid free and sign it in the lower right hand corner, if possible, at a size that is not distracting to the print.
Jan 8, 2012 09:41:21   #
I appreciate all of the help and suggestions. I'll check out the local office supply store and art supply store this week and see what they have. I had thought about signing a mat, but I will have ship the print to her rolled up in a tube.

Thanks again to all that took the time to reply!
Jan 8, 2012 09:48:09   #
Sign a white paper, photograph it, remove the background and assign the signature to a brush in PS. No archival problems and you can put it wherever you want in whatever color suits the picture. I imagine the procedure can be adapted to other editing programs.
Jan 8, 2012 13:07:41   #
photoninja1 wrote:
Sign a white paper, photograph it, remove the background and assign the signature to a brush in PS. No archival problems and you can put it wherever you want in whatever color suits the picture. I imagine the procedure can be adapted to other editing programs.

Great idea. Thanks. Will it also do it in Elements 10?
Jan 8, 2012 21:49:10   #
The local art supply store in my area recommended a calligraphy pen which is non toxic. It's what I use to sign my photos and canvas prints. I have also used an archival pen purchased from Light Impressions.
Jan 8, 2012 23:03:25   #
I asked a local art store the same question. They turned me onto a Staedtler permanent Lumacolor. It comes in many different tip sizes and it will write on any surface including glass drying almost instantly.
Jan 8, 2012 23:17:45   #
Some bad advice is being given here on using sharpies. Those giving this advice, please let us know where you researched this advice, to be sure you were not giving wrong info to some poor unsuspectiing sole, despite you good intentions of course.

NEVER use a sharpie on a CD, a Sharpie has acid in the ink and it will eventually eat through the very thin layer on the top of a CD or DVD and that will destroy your data of the image file embedded into the undersurface of the CD/DVD.

There are proper acid free pens designed specifically for writing on a CD or DVD and only these should be used to write on such a thing, if you really care about the info you have engraved on there. It may take many months, it make take a year, or longer, but, the ink of a Sharpie or other marker type pen, WILL eat through the top surface eventually and destroy your image files where it has touched it.

There are special pens for archival writing on photographs and CD/DVD discs and only these should be used, in order not to damage the print or files engraved. A true pro at a good art shop will know what to use, don't just ask any employee at any craft or art shop, because working there does not make them an expert in all fields of what that shop sells.

Please be sure you know what you are saying when offering advice to others on these forums, because I'm sure you have the best intentions when offering advice, just be sure you are also offering correct advice.

This was not meant to belittle anyone offering any advice here, just a heads up on what to think about before offering advice. If it is just something you do, rather than something you know for a fact is a safe practise to do, make sure you state that when answering. Please don't take what I've said the wrong way.
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