Create Your Own Certificate of Authenticity
What is a Certificate of Authenticity?
A Certificate of Authenticity, or COA, is an official document that proves your artwork (or art print) was created by you, is entirely original, and may not be reproduced. These terms are often found within the body of the certificate as well as your name, the date, origin of completion, the title of the artwork, the medium, size, how it is framed, and lastly, your hand written signature.
3 reasons why you should create a Certificate of Authenticity:
- The most important reason to have a COA accompany your artwork is to validate that the art is original and unique to YOU as the artist.
- A COA will reassure your client or collector that their investment on a commissioned piece of art by you (or an art print of yours) is valid, professional, and high quality.
- Your COA may help your artwork from being reproduced without your permission in the future.
What to include on a COA:
After a pile of research, I put together the templates below that give an example of the text you most commonly see on COA’s! Please note, you may type all of this personalized information into your certificate, however, it is important to sign your certificate with your own signature by hand.
How I Created My Own Certificate:
Its my belief that a professional looking COA is an important element to any custom art business. Your certificate of authenticity should reflect your studio brand and artwork. To create my own COA, I pulled inspiration from my black and white retro studio logo. It was important to me that this document was printed onto high quality paper, so I took time sourcing the perfectly weighted and textured paper that I envisioned. I also found beautiful black folders that compliment the paper I purchased for my COA. My certificates are printed on my home Epson printer.
Another element that I was sure to include on my certificates was a raised seal of my studio logo. I felt this simple touch would ramp up the upscale feel of the document. You can grab one of these custom logo embossers over at the Pickled Stamps Etsy Shop! I am so happy with the price, quality, and easy-to-use features of the hand held embosser I purchased from them.
My certificate for original artwork is a full 8″x10″ piece of paper that I place inside of the logo embossed black folder I mentioned above. I have a smaller 5″x7″ COA which comes with my shop’s limited edition prints. Ultimately, the design of your certificate of authenticity is completely up to you. Some artists even include a photo of the actual artwork onto the printed certificate itself. Generally, the body of any COA will look the same for all artists, but the design itself can be unique to your brand and the artwork you create!
Do you have a COA for your art business? Let me know the in comments!
If you enjoyed this post, you may like this post where I explain how to write your own artist’s statement and give an example of mine!