The Four Corners of Framing
Everything you need to know about custom framing
When it comes to picture framing the process can be quite daunting. Before you can even consider the actual framing of your favorite artwork, photo or memorabilia item you first need to choose a framer you can trust. Once you've done that, you have a plethora of options of frames, mat boards and even glass (that's right... not all glass is made equal).
So let's take a quick look at the core components of any picture framing job, so you better understand what you need to decide on:Frame:
This is usually the hardest part in custom framing. With so many options available there are 3 important aspects to consider:
- What complements the art work/photograph etc.
Some frames can completely clash with an artwork or photograph, you’ll notice in all good framing stores we have what we call corner samples of all the frames. This allows us to sit the frame up against the artwork or photograph to see how it will complement or clash with the piece. A lot of frame samples may look great on the board and you will notice the colour or finish can change once up against other colours or textures.
- Where is it going i.e. Home décor and furnishings, or is it a gift?
Considering the surrounds your piece will go into is important, if you have a very modern house and frame up a Van Gogh in a large gold ornate frame it may look terrible. Also if the item is for a gift the KISS rule is key! (Keep It Simple Stupid) Because there’s a good chance your style, and preferences are not going to be the same as someone else’s.
- Your personal preference.
Of course this is important, after all you have to live with it and love it, and it’s your money that’s paying for it. So you have to be happy with the choices you make, but do keep in mind as framers we do this for a living and can offer you some great advice.
A mat board is a cardboard border that surrounds your image. This is an option and you do not have to add this. You can also do double or triple or more matting.
All the mat boards we use are acid and lignin free, they are designed to stand the test of time, resisting the effects of acid degradation and they remain bright in colour.
There are three main choices the standard mats are a fantastic choice for most prints, posters and photographs. They are treated to make them acid and lignin free to protect your artwork and will not fade over time, they also come in a huge range of colours. These are a great value and most used option.
We also have a range of conservation mats that have been chemically treated to remove any imperfections that may impede the longevity of your mat and artwork. These are more expensive but not by much.
Lastly we have a range of museum quality mats these are 100% cotton they are naturally acid free each board adheres to the Fine Art Trade Guild, and the Professional Picture Framers Association specifications. These are the most expensive option.
This is probably the easiest option and most likely your framer will advise which is best.
Mount also referred to as foam core board is what will sit behind the piece in the frame. All the foam core we use is acid free to prevent it from affecting the piece.
There are two options here normal foam core and adhesive foam core. The first is the most used. But if an image is wavy sticking it down will give a better result. Of course keep in mind sticking anything down is usually permanent and is not advised for valuable or irreplaceable pieces.
Lastly we have the glass. There are a few options here to consider, lets take a look:
- Clear Float Glass: This is the most basic option standard glass is a very cost effective option, it is highly reflective but if not in a high lit area can be fantastic.
- Non-Reflective or Non Glare Glass: This is glass with a special non reflective coating that diffuses light and stops high reflection on the glass. Because of this coasting it must be close to the image as the further away it gets what you see will become blurry. Non glare glass can in some cases slightly dull our brighter colours.
- UV Glass: This is a conservation framing option which is great to protect your piece, it prevents fading. This option comes in clear and non glare. It has 99% UV protection and will prevent fading in things like photos, signatures, art prints etc.
- Museum Glass: This is the highest grade and most costly option. It has 99% UV protection, reflection free viewing with amazing clarity, enhanced colours, brightness and contrast levels.
So that’s is you’re now all set to go. You can confidently walk into your framer with this knowledge. With the assistance of your framer you can’t go wrong. Happy framing!