Create Your Own Certificate of Authenticity + Free Templates!
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 template below that gives 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. Please feel free to copy and paste what you see below and edit according to your unique needs, or download the two generic original art and print templates I created for you to edit and use.
Free Downloadable Templates:
I created a full page Certificate of Authenticity template for original artwork that you can download and edit to your needs here! I also created a 5″x8″ generic COA for art prints, which you can download here and edit to your needs!
Certificate of Authenticity Template:
This certificate of authenticity certifies that this artwork is one of a kind, authentic, original artwork created by the artist, [Enter Artist’s Name]. All copyright and reproduction rights are reserved by the artist. The artist, [Enter Artist’s Name], may use the artwork for portfolio and marketing purposes. The artist can be contacted by the following email: [Enter Artist’s Email] or website: [Enter Artist’s Website].
Name of Artist: _________________________________
Date Completed: _________________________________
Origin of Creation: _________________________________
Title of Artwork: _________________________________
Numbered (If Applicable): _________________________________
Frame (If Applicable): _________________________________
The hand signed signature and raised seal on this certificate authorizes the artwork listed above to be an original piece of artwork created by the artist, [Enter Artist’s Name].
Artist Signature: ____________________________Date Signed: ______________________________
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 will be offered with numbered prints in 2022. It is in the exact same format as the free template above, however, I replaced the word “artwork” with “print” in the appropriate areas. You can make your COA whatever size works best for you. It can be horizontal or vertical, colorful or minimalistic! Some artists even include a photo of the actual artwork onto the printed certificate itself.
Ultimately, the design of your certificate of authenticity is completely up to you. Generally, the body of any COA will look the same for all artists, but the design itself can be unique to your brand and 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!