If you’re into the art scene, you’ve probably heard of Certificates of Authenticity, and with a new wave of conscious consumerism, people are more likely to support local artists than ever before. Whether you’re a photographer, illustrator or designer, stop signing your printed artwork digitally and use a Certificate of Authenticity instead. It’s a win-win situation that will benefit both you and your buyer.

What is a Certificate of Authenticity and what does it include?

A Certificate of Authenticity is a piece of paper accompanying an artwork that testifies that it is genuine and legitimate. It should include the name of the artist, the title of the artwork, the medium of work, the edition number and year of reproduction, its dimensions along with the artist’s signature. Ideally, the certificate of authenticity should include a high-resolution copy of the work.

What are the different types of artwork editions?

Original: A unique piece or set of artworks created by an artist.
Special edition: Artwork that is only available for a certain period of time, for example, a centenary celebration.
Limited edition: An artwork of which there are a limited number of identical copies or a series of artworks with an edition.

Photo of a Certificate of Authenticity
Photo of Marco Pierre White taken by Marcel van Aswegen

How does a Certificate of Authenticity benefit the artist and buyer?

The number of editions of an artwork plays an important factor when considering its value. A Certificate of Authenticity allows the artist to verify its quality to increase the value of their work and control production. It’s a professional way to protect your work from being replicated or mass-produced. Additionally, if you’re looking to exhibit your work in art galleries you’re going to need to show the certified prints to the curators. Just as the value of the art increases for the artist, so it increases for the collector. Buying an original, authenticated piece recognises its quality and increases its resale value.

In short, a Certificate of Authenticity is a control measure that guarantees an artwork’s originality, which essential for selling it.

Art of Print can advise you during your final steps of your photographic journey by taking you through a selection of Ilford Galerie Prestige photographic papers, different framing methods and your very own Certificate of Authenticity.

Certificate of Authenticity for photograph