As an artist, how you present your work can be as important as the art itself. One common mistake some artists make is signing their artwork on the mat rather than on the piece itself. Here’s why you should avoid this practice.

Devalues the Artwork

Signing the mat rather than the artwork can devalue your piece. Collectors and buyers often view the mat as a temporary element, something that can be changed or replaced over time. When your signature is on the mat, it can easily be separated from your artwork, causing potential confusion about authenticity and authorship.

Lack of Permanence

Mats are not meant to last forever. Over time, they can become damaged, discolored, or even need replacing due to changes in framing trends or conservation needs. If your signature is on the mat, it could be lost when the mat is replaced, effectively removing your mark from your artwork.


Art collectors, curators, and galleries prefer to see the artist’s signature directly on the artwork. This clear identification helps in verifying the authenticity and origin of the piece, which is crucial for maintaining its value and history.

Better Alternative: Signing the Back of Your Artwork

If you’re hesitant to sign the front of your artwork, consider signing the back instead. This practice maintains the clean look of the front while ensuring your signature remains a permanent part of the piece. Signing the back also provides space to include additional information like the title, date, and medium, which can be valuable for future reference.

By signing directly on your artwork or on the back, you ensure your signature remains an integral and permanent part of your creation, preserving its authenticity and value for years to come.

For more tips on framing and presenting your artwork, visit our blog at Framing Artistry