Once you’ve hung artwork for an exhibition, how are you going to pass on the details of the works to visitors? There are several different options for labeling your work in this setting, though each should let visitors know:

  • The artist’s name
  • The title of the work
  • The medium of the work
  • The size of the work
  • The price of the work (if applicable)

Here is an example:

Vincent van Gogh
The Starry Night, 1889
Oil on canvas
73.7 cm × 92.1 cm (29 in × 36¼ in)

Below are some options for professionally labeling your artworks in an exhibition setting.


Often galleries and museums will use vinyl to display an artist’s name and / or the title of the show near the entryway. Next time you visit an institution, have a look.  Custom-cut vinyl lettering is easily removable and will not damage walls. You can see an example of what vinyl-lettering on a wall looks like here and here.

Since vinyl lettering can be cut very small, you can adhere the information for each piece directly beside each artwork.

Using a font that is 12pts or less would generally suit this purpose. You can talk to vinyl cutters to discuss options for sizing, colours, and fonts. A couple of vinyl cutters in Vancouver include:

Allegra Press

Disc Imaging

Signmaster Signs


Making a map of the gallery is a good option if you want to keep the walls around your work entirely clear of other information or distractions. Using a floor plan of the gallery, number your works and provide a corresponding list.

Adhesive labels

If you do not want to go to the expense of having custom vinyl cut for labels, you can use traditional printer labels to display your information. Some people stick these directly onto the wall, but unless the wall is perfectly flat and smooth, this usually looks a bit unprofessional. You can instead stick your labels onto mat board or foamcore, then using a ruler and ex-acto knife cut the edges away so that the label is flush with the mount.


There is now a new post on The Practical Art World that explores Artist Labels in depth, including examples. Check out Examples of Artwork Labels!


55 thoughts on “How To Label Artwork in an Exhibition

    • Omair,
      I’m not totally sure… mine is this way by default. It might be an option you can choose when composing a post: when you are editing or writing a post, there should be a menu on the side that lists post formats. Mine defaults to “standard.” Hope that helps. Otherwise, you can try emailing the folks at WordPress. They are very helpful!

  1. Clear Shipping Labels work well. Avery supplies a template. Use a word program.
    and print it. When you stick it on the wall just the words show up. Cheap but professional looking

  2. Would one include the brand of paper used in the tag? For example, would one say “Watercolor on Watercolor Paper” or “Watercolor on Strathmore Paper” or something else? Thanks!

  3. We have a lot of art, and everyone want to know details, and I can never remember all of the names, details, etc. I don’t want to put something permanent on the walls. Does anyone have a suggestion?

  4. How would you label a piece which is a series of 4 works all of the same size? Would it be e.g. “27×27 cm x 4” or the total surface area of the series on the wall?

  5. What does the measurement include? The drawing itself (for example) or does it also include the matte around it?

    • Usually it would be just the size of the artwork itself, not the mat or frame. You can list both the artwork size and the outer frame size if you wish… that way if someone knows their wall size, it’s easy to determine if the work will fit.

  6. Thank you for this information! I am labelling art for art homework but was confused as to how to do it.

    But I have a question: how should you label it if you’re labelling it in a single line? Should all the information be separated by commas?

    Thank you!

  7. If I have a piece that is acrylic on paper that I have used gesso on, should I specify that?

    Thank you for this helpful article!

  8. Many times when I have entered a small gallery, at the entrance there is an 8.5 x 11″ or 8.5 x 14″ piece of paper with thumbnails and brief descriptions of the artist’s work on display.
    Is there a descriptive word or term for that page of thumbnails?

  9. I have found using black foamcore cut to a 45 degree angle and then just printing the labels and spray mounting them works really well. (Makes the label appear to be floating.) Also using a light spray adhesive makes the labels reusable. Make the labels a standard size and pull off the old paper and put the new ones on.

  10. This post has been so helpful. I have two follow u questions – 1. what average size do you recommend for a single wall plaque? 2. should the wall plaque be in a specific location and a specific distance from the painting?

  11. Hi! I work at an art gallery and we will be having an exhibit this coming Thursday (It will be Friday on your place since I’m in the other art of the world) and was wondering if I can do the labels by using Word? We’re planning to put a thumbnail photo of each artwork in their corresponding label and I find it kinda difficult to do it via Word. Hope you get what I mean and this question isn’t that confusing at all. Haha Thanks!

    • I’ve been getting my labels printed directly on 8-ply beveled matboard from gallerytags.com . They look much more professional than labels or business cards.

  12. I got invited for a local art show and they say to provide info cards for my artwork. What does that mean? An info about my works or infor about me, like a business card? Am confused. Also this will be my first time, so am at loss and nervous. Please help!

  13. I’m all very new at this, so have several questions:
    – For a collaborative artwork, do you just list the artists alphabetically? Write ‘Collaborative work:’ and then list the names? Are there any conventions around this?
    – For a triptych, do you write ‘Triptych’ after the title? Or not include that anywhere?
    – When providing dimensions of a triptych, do you write the total dimensions of the panels when squished together? Or the dimensions including desired spacing (if you even have a desire about spacing!)? Or the dimensions of just one panel followed by ‘triptych’? I want it to make sense but have no idea what is normally done. Thanks in advance. Claire

    • Hi Claire,

      There are no straight rules for listing names in a collaborative art project, but alphabetical (by last name) might be a fair way to do it. For example, “Jane Doe and John Smith”.

      Many people indicate that a work is a triptych, so that viewers recognize it as one piece. You could put it in brackets after the title, for example, “Sunset” (triptych)

      The total dimensions of a triptych depend on your preference. Does it have to be installed exactly the same each time? Then I would put the total dimensions, for example, “90 x 20”. If there are three parts that can be hung in different ways, you could put “30 x 20 (each panel)” or something similar.


  14. I’ve been getting my artwork information printed directly on beveled 8-ply matboard at gallerytags.com . Looks real professional with no sticker edges or cutting required. They’re not the cheapest option, but their definitely the nicest looking labels I’ve seen.

  15. Hi, I use 1/8 ” balsa wood strips in the handcrafted picture frames that I make. These frames are rather nice and apealing to the eye in that the designes that are crafted with a single edge razor blade is awesome.I would like to have a lable that I could include all of the information. Example Handcrafted by name date, month and year when constructed. Where can I purchase these labels? I want the type that Artists use with a glue on back.


    • Robert,
      What size label are you looking for? That amount of info could fit on a 2.5×4″ label easily. gallerytags.com can make you custom sizes also. They will take your info and print it directly on 8-ply matboard up to 12″x24″. Very professional looking. Give them a try.

  16. This is very helpful. Would you do anything differently if labeling the back of a printed copy that will be handed out (vs. art displayed on wall)? Bonus question: on back of artwork, would you place information at top, bottom, in a corner? Thank you for sharing your knowledge. I want to get this just right.

    • Hello,
      As far as I know, the information would be the same regardless of where it is posted (although, if you are including price, you probably don’t want that on the work.) As for placing the information on the back of the work, I’ve seen it on any four corners, but I don’t think there is a “right” place. Cheers!

  17. What if the piece is part of a series?
    Is this correct:

    From the series: Los siete enanos, Champion

    From the series: Los siete enanos, Fly Little Bird

    What do you think about punctuation?

  18. Hello!
    How does one label a 4 part series displayed together. The work has one title, but each piece is then labeled No. 1, 2, 3 and 4. Is that relevant info to place on the label? Where would it go and how would it be worded?

  19. Hi the size of the art work is it measured from frame boarder to frame boarder or from the paintings work prior framing?
    Also, what is the correct procedure to acknowledge the art work in the stile of another artist work?

    • Hi Renato – usually the size of a work does not include the frame, unless the frame is part of the artwork. There is no correct procedure for acknowledging the style of another artist in your own work – use your best judgement!

  20. Pingback: Preparing for assessment | sue's painting

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