by ʇolɐǝz ǝɥʇ qoq

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I'm looking at producing some larger fine art pieces printed on metal (there are a few pro vendors which do this). If I wanted to sign these pieces (on the front, in the corner), does anyone know of a type of pen that could be used which won't damage the art and will hold up over time?

share|improve this question
Seems like just the sort of question that one of the pro vendors would be able to answer definitively... Then you can post an answer here for the rest of us. :-) – Jay Lance Photography Jul 3 '11 at 19:16
this feels like a dupe... trying to find when it was asked before – cabbey Jul 3 '11 at 20:27
Couldn't you also sign the image digitally before you print it? This seems like the most permanent solution. – Evan Krall Jul 3 '11 at 21:27
@Evan Krall - OOOOooo good point – rfusca Jul 3 '11 at 21:37
@Jay I have questions into two vendors, if I get responses I will post them. – ahockley Jul 3 '11 at 22:18

We debated this on digital grin once, and came to two conclusions:

  1. Pilot Acid Free Paint Pen
  2. Bic Markit

share|improve this answer
+1 The gist of the discussion on dgrin is that it should be acid free and dry quickly, so anything that meets that should be fine. – rfusca Jul 3 '11 at 21:02

Answer received from a customer service supervisor at Bay Photo, one of the leading vendors which does metal prints:

...we have tested many types of markers and pens on our metal prints. We have found that the Bic Mark-it works the best. It is permanent and does not rub off.

share|improve this answer

A standard 'Sharpie' permanent marker contains acid, but..

Sharpie lists on their website a few ones that are 'acid free' and for 'archival quality', those should be fine.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.