Artists: Add Your Signature to Your Emails

About a month ago, I started adding my signature to my emails. It looks like this:

Picture_1_4

I have had so many people ask me how it’s done that I thought I’d let everyone in on the “secret.” I don’t know that it’s the best way, but here’s what I did:

  • I signed my name on a white sheet of paper. (I actually did this for the inside pages of the ArtBizCoach.com site–like that in the upper left of the art marketing classes page.)
  • I scanned it.
  • I made it into a JPG image using Adobe Photoshop Elements (you can do this with any program). I’m sure I had to resize it to fit nicely with the rest of my signature block.
  • I went into the signature file of my mail program (I use Apple Mail) and added it to the top. It really was that easy.

Of course, you can do the same thing with an image of your work, but keep it small!

A couple notes of caution:

1. For purposes of security and to prevent making it easy for identity thieves, do NOT use your official signature. I use my first name only, which I never use on official documents. I only use my initials in my official signature, which is quite uniquely my own style.

2. Not everyone will be able to see your signature. Many people have it set so they can read email in plain text only. For those people, your signature file will come as an attachment (it is a picture after all). For them, you need to make sure the rest of your signature block contains the necessary info. If someone sends me an email in plain text, I always delete my signature image before sending it back to them. It’s just a courtesy.

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7 comments to Artists: Add Your Signature to Your Emails

  • It’s funny, but for me seeing a written signature on an email makes it feel more like a form letter than one with plain text. Why? Because you know it cannot be done on the spur of the moment. Whereas when someone signs their email with their first name instead of their full name, I know we have switched from “formal” to “personal”. Also I find them frustrating because many email programs do show embedded images as attachments. You think you are receiving something important (as attachments often are), but then realize, no, it’s just a signature.

  • Point well taken. It seems to be fascinating for so many people that I’m going to keep it for a while. But I do understand that it could be an annoyance. Thanks for providing an alternate opinion.

  • There’s so much unauthorized borrowing that goes on throughout the internet I would be very cautious about using any part of my handwritten signature, especially on your blog or website…. It’s too easy to copy and an expert could probably forge the rest from the bit you’ve given them, if they were so inclined. I really hate to be paranoid but I’ve had several images taken off my sites and used by others without permission or attribution lately so I’m very aware of the comfort level the anonymity of the web seems to offer. It seems to let some people do things they might not otherwise do….and for those who are willing to take advantage, well, it’s really an open book….I understand that signing your emails may seem innocuous, but once they are on the web, they are really a sort of public piece if you think about it…they remind us all the time our emails are not private. And all that said, it seems like a cool idea.

  • Wow! Thanks for the thoughts about using a different signature than your “official signature”. I would have never thought about it. Sad how we have to think of everything to protect ourselves these days.

  • This looked so nice I decided to try it, and then sent ‘test’ emails to several people. The responses were so varied that I’ve decided to remove the image. On one PC using Mozilla Thunderbird the image appears in an ‘attachment’ bar as an image. On another PC using Outlook it just shows an attachment in the information bar. On another PC (software unknown) it shows up as gobbledy-gook AND as an image below the email. On a web-based browser it appears as gobbledy-gook. And when I mistakenly emailed a stranger about something else with the new signature they were concerned that they couldn’t open the image attached (thinking it was relevent to the item we were discussing). This makes me think an image attachment as general practice is more trouble than it’s worth. Too bad, it’s a lovely idea!

  • Thanks, Alyson, for helping me realize that I had a potential problem on my blog! I had uploaded a photo of a cyanotype print that I’d made. I cropped the image in order to include some of the surrounding white paper, including the pencil writing below the image which contained the print number (1/1 since it was a monoprint) along with the title and my signature. Written in pencil, it was very much like the one I use when signing checks! You helped me realize that cropping that out would be smart. (I did it right away!) I am also planning to sign my artwork in a different way than writing official signature just to be safe. Identity theft is not something I want to deal with! Thanks, again!

  • Thanks, Alyson, for helping me realize that I had a potential problem on my blog! I had uploaded a photo of a cyanotype print that I’d made. I cropped the image in order to include some of the surrounding white paper, including the pencil writing below the image which contained the print number (1/1 since it was a monoprint) along with the title and my signature. Written in pencil, it was very much like the one I use when signing checks! You helped me realize that cropping that out would be smart. (I did it right away!) I am also planning to sign my artwork in a different way than writing official signature just to be safe. Identity theft is not something I want to deal with! Thanks, again!