Truth be told, labeling your artwork can be very difficult, especially if you are a novice artist. Not to mention, you have to struggle with not knowing whether you are naming your pieces the correct way or not.
But do you ever ask yourself, once you have created your artwork without labeling it, how will visitors view and appreciate your work? And if they want to buy your art, how will they know the price or even how to get in touch with you without contacting the art gallery?
So, you see, it’s very important to title your artwork. And in this post, we will discuss everything that there is to know about how to label artwork so that you never have to create untitled art pieces ever again.
The Basics for Exhibition Labels Next to Your Art
Not sure about the basics and what to write on your painting labels? Well, in this section, we will be looking at the basics for exhibition labels that you must include next to your art. This way, the next time you want to title an art piece, it won’t be such a hassle.
A good art exhibition should open with a statement either by you or the custodian of the art gallery. But what exactly is the artist statement all about, and is it even necessary? In simple words, it’s a summary of what you would say as an artist if you were given a chance to explain your work in person. It is usually placed at the entry of the gallery.
The statement is meant to help visitors understand your paintings better and connect with them. You can also view it as a way of marketing your pieces. However, you must keep it as short as possible when writing an artist statement. Just one paragraph or two will do.
Each of your works will most likely have unique qualities and vary slightly. That is why it makes sense for each artwork to have an individual label next to it.
Also, how you place the labels is equally important. For instance, you could choose to position them on the bottom edge, probably one meter from the floor level or on the right side of your paintings.
Equally important information that you should never leave out on all of your artwork paintings is your name. You see, including your name in the labels can help deter theft and even help get your name out there as an artist.
However, if it’s a one-person show, you don’t need to make your name outstanding on the labels. Instead, you could make the title more prominent by including it before your name. But if the exhibition will have different artists showcasing their art, then your name must come before anything else.
On the other hand, you should consider having your name on each label if the exhibition is not a one-room show.
Title of the Art
A title is yet another thing that must appear in your labels. It is meant to help viewers understand your work about what was going on in your mind while creating your paintings. Even better, a good title can help your artwork tell its story to the viewers. So, never name your artwork “untitled,” no matter how hard you find it to come up with a suitable title.
But how do you title your work? Well, there is no standard artwork title format. Nevertheless, if you would like to get an idea of how to create a great title, it might help to check out different famous painting titles.
Medium Type of the Paintings
The medium of your artwork is simply the material with which your work is made or the tools you might have used. You can choose to use a particular medium because you feel it might help the viewers interpret your paintings in a specific way. Or because it affects the color or texture of your artwork. Whatever the case, you must never write something like “mixed media” because it does not tell the viewers anything.
Instead, you should list your medium type as simply as possible. For instance, you could say marble, oil paint on linen, crayon on paper, tempera paints, or acrylic paints based on what you used to create your work. On the other hand, you might want to include more details in your medium, such as gel medium, sand, grass on found canvas.
The measurement of your paintings is another information that you must include in your artwork labels. When referring to the size of your artwork, you only measure the outer part of the paper, canvas, or any other material where your work is based.
This means that you should not include the size of the frame unless it’s a fundamental part of the art piece. So, what is the correct format to use when listing the size? Well, you started with its height and followed by width. And where the depth is applicable, it should come third. For example, 60 x 50 x 5 inches.
Date of the Art Piece
For every piece of artwork you create, it is advisable to include the date, which is the exact year you completed your work (for example, 1999). It is designed to help minimize any guesswork from the audience when your paintings were finalized.
However, if it might have taken you a few years to finish the painting, you can write (something like 2010-2014). And if you feel uneasy about dating your work, then you can include the date unobtrusively on edge or even on the back of the painting.
Artwork Price or the Credit Listing
If you plan to sell your art pieces, you must include their price at the bottom of your label. But if you aren’t selling your work for reasons only known to you, you can always leave out this information.
On the other hand, sometimes you might use loaned paintings to hold an exhibition. In this case, you are required to credit the lender.
How To Label Artwork?
Overall, there is no single standard artwork label format. However, you will find that most labels tend to include the same elements. So, below are simple steps on how to go about labeling your paintings.
At the top of the label, you should write your name or business name if you’ve got one. As for your name, you could use your real one or a pet name if you don’t love your formal one. Just be sure not to identify yourself with a common name if you want people to find you easily and remember you. Also, make sure your name is in bold.
After listing your name, your title artwork is the next information to include just below. You can choose to italicize the title or bold it to ensure it stands out. In some cases, like when holding a solo exhibition, you are allowed to write the title of your paintings before your name.
Next, you should write the date of when you completed your work. However, you don’t write the exact dates like 01/12/1980; rather, you only include the year. For example, 2000 or 2005-2007.
Just below the date, you should list the type of medium you used to create each of your paintings, plus the size of the art piece. For example, you could say, “acrylic on canvas,” “oil on canvas,” or “thread, and pencil on rag paper.”
When it comes to size, you list the measurements of your artwork, starting with the height and width. And where appropriate, you can also include the depth.
If your paintings are for sale, you must also indicate their sale price on the label just after your art piece’s type of medium and size.
Lastly, you should include your contact details, such as your website if you have one, email address, social media handles, and telephone number. However, the section is optional, but you will find that most artists don’t skip it.
With that said, now let’s look at some visual artwork title examples to help you understand better how to label your paintings.
|Joanna Oliver Lost in Vegas, 2010 Oil on canvas, 30 x 22 inch $5,000 www.oliverart.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Instagram/ Twitter/ Facebook: @oliverart Tel: (555) 678-2381|
If it’s a one-person exhibition, your artwork label may look like this:
|Lost in Vegas, 2010 Joanna Oliver Oil on canvas, 30 x 22 inch $5,000|
But if your artwork is not for sale, then you can create something like this:
|Joanna Oliver Lost in Vegas 2010 Oil on canvas, 30 x 22 inch|
Size of Wall Labels for your Art
More often than not, the size of your labels will vary depending on various factors, such as the size of your painting and the font you use. Also, the number of visitors expected to attend the exhibition may affect the size of your labels.
Basically, for small paintings, you should use a small label. But for big works, large labels will be okay for reading. And when it comes to the font, you can use any size as long as it is easy to read. However, you should not use a font size below 14 points which is the minimum font size for art exhibition labels.
Additionally, if the art gallery you will be showcasing your work is expected to receive big crowds, your labels should also be big in size. This way, the viewers will read what is on the label with ease from farther away.
Art Exhibition Label Installation
Once you have created your art exhibition label, how do you install it? Well, to start with, you should print the label on high-quality vinyl or laminated cards. Next, you should get a white foam board and glue your label onto it, which you will then mount next to your artwork.
Additionally, you should put them on the right side of your painting while installing the labels. But for large artwork, you could place the label on the floor or the wall close to your work. More importantly, you must make sure to hang all of your labels parallel to the floor and at the same height.
Art Label Cheat Sheet
There is no denying how important it is to label your artwork. So, below are some tips and tricks to help you create a good label, along with creative art titles.
- Try as much as possible to be consistent with your format for name, date, size, medium, and price.
- Ensure your name is clear and distinct by bolding it so that viewers can see it.
- Clearly state the price of all your artworks if they are for sale.
- Install all your labels at the same height for a uniform and professional look. This way, the audience will not need to bend or even adjust their posture just to read your different art labels.
- If possible, your labels should be the same color as that of the walls.
- Make sure that your labels don’t dominate over the artwork they are placed along.
- Print your labels on high-quality papers or cards and ensure they are cut nicely to avoid crooked edges that might distract the viewers.
- If the background is white in color, your labels should be written in black. Creating that contrast will make them easy to read.
A good labeled piece of art does more than providing the audience with information about your work. It can also help answer viewers’ unspoken questions about your work while provoking different emotions.
So, knowing how to label artwork, what information to include in the label, the right format to use, and how to properly install your art exhibition labels is very important. And it does not matter whether you plan to sell your work or not.