ARTtrust is an artwork authentication and certification system that takes advantage of the ultra-secure nature of the BubbleSeal to allow artists to register each of their works as a unique item. Much like a serial number/hologram, it provides a method to certify and authenticate a work. Unlike many security features that require specialist knowledge to authenticate a work, ARTtrust's system allows anyone to verify the work online.
The core of ARTtrust is the BubbleTag. Produced by the ProofTag Company, each BubbleTag is composed of a translucent polymer in which as set of air bubbles is randomly self-generated.
This "bubble constellation" is the core of the identity of the pigment print. Each ARTtrust Online branded BubbleTag has a unique personal number with a data matrix code and is recorded on a database before leaving the ProofTag Company. Once affixed to any surface, the tag cannot be removed without visually altering its metallic film layer. The BubbleTag has been adopted by various industries and administrations when there is need for a proof of authenticity or when the risk of forgery or counterfeit is significant: high-value wines, watches, beauty products, gaming, customs and other governmental entities.
The pigment print is identified by using a "tag set". Each pigment print carries a primary ARTtrust tag affixed by the photographers/artist himself or herself or by his external service provider/lab. A second ARTtrust tag is placed on a certificate of authenticity (or other documentation) that goes along with the pigment print, and a third ARTtrust tag goes on a copy of the certificate or document retained by the photographer/artist for his personal files. The three ARTtrust tags, constituting the tag set, are synchronised in the database before leaving the Prooftag Company. Each ARTtrust tag has a different colour (gold for print, silver for certificate, blue for file) and its code starts with a different letter (P for print, C for certificate, F for file).
The artist must register an account on the ARTtrust website. All artwork will be associated with that account as each artwork is certified.
Each artwork requires an ARTtrust tag set consisting of 3 BubbleSeal tags. These self-adhesive tags must each be placed on:
Using the artist's account, the ARTtrust tags are registered into the system and are then associated with that account.
Delegated 3rd party users (such as a laboratory or gallery) may enter ARTtrust tags on the artist's behalf but the artist ultimately has to confirm activation of the tags. This ensures the artist remains the only authorised certifier of their work.
The artwork, now certified and associated with the artist, is able to be authenticated online by any user.
The user has to visit the website www.arttrustonline.com via an internet connected PC or mobile phone. Once the ARTtrust tag number, found on the artwork or certificate of authenticity, is entered on the website the constellation "fingerprint" of the genuine BubbleSeal is displayed for comparison with the tag the user has on the artwork. With the BubbleSeals matched, the user will be confident that the work is authentic and certified to the artist.
Tags have a neutral pH glue to stick to the media. Once placed, it cannot be removed or tampered with, without definitive destruction (the upper layer, containing information, tears off, and a checkerboard pattern is visible). This glue sticks immediately and dries slowly, providing extremely long permanence on the media. BubbleTag has been endorsed by many public authorities in the world and recognised for its security on official documents.
There is no technical way to reproduce this three-dimensional code as it is impossible to generate empty spaces with shapes, sizes and positions identically inside the material.
Other traditional security devices are produced massively and therefore can be reproduced massively. Only technologies that forbin their own manufacturers to reproduce identical products offer the security of an efficient protection against forgery or counterfeit.
The website's primary function is to enable registered photographers and artists (or their delegates under their sole responsibility) to activate the ARTtrust tag, which enables traceability. The website also displays an image of each ARTtrust tag that can be consulted for visual verification. Finally, the site hosts photographers and artists and pigment print information presented in a gallery format for communication and promotion.
Even if ARTtrust Online is no longer available, the physical certificates and artwork are linked via images on the BubbleTags (as shown in image slideshow above), so they may still be authenticated - just without the convenience of an internet accessible database.
The combination of the BubbleTag technology, the photographer or artist's membership, and the information about the printer provides the most secure and easy-to-use solution in the world for individual print identification and authentication.
With the ARTtrust Online system, each print has its unique identity captured and available for instant visual verification via the Internet.
With no limitation on the substrate or paper type, ARTtrust Online offers photographers and artists a much wider range of creative possibilities.
Information about a specific print's expected longevity is critical for art buyers, and ARTtrust Online builts this security into the system. For example, it will be clear to buyers and galleries that pigment prints offer much better longevity than C-prints.
The tagged document retained by photographers/artists helps them transmit their authorship to later owners of their rights.
The ARTtrust Online system helps galleries and other art sellers to increase the confidence of their clients and grow their sales. It makes it far easier for auction houses to trace authenticity when a pigment print has several consecutive owners.
Enabled print service providers will reinforce the confidence of their clients and be part of a network of protection and excellence.
|label size||BubbleTag (constellation) size|
|ARTTRUST||53mm x 12mm||12mm x 12mm|