Picking up from the blog before last, here are some additional questions I have asked myself relative to the framing and matting of prints. Again, I have provided my choices, but in the end it is up to your taste, cost structure, etc.
- Color of the mat? This is a very debatable topic – color vs simple off white mats. I have chosen the off white to neutral color mat materials for all my images. I think it is easy to look unprofessional when you start mixing different color mats.
- Double mats? Double mats look nice, but add more cost. I have chosen to go with a faux double mat look. I saw this at an Ansel Adams print showing and I liked the look. To create this faux look you make your print area smaller then the mat opening (say 1/4” on each edge). The white print area around the print combined with the mat gives it that double mat look. The tradeoff is that it is a bit more tedious to line up the print as you mount it in the mat.
- Mat thickness? When you start looking at mat material you will find there are multiple thicknesses to choose from – 4,6 and 8 ply being the most common. Here I base the decision on the size of the print, whether it is a Special Edition or Limited Edition and sale price. For the larger, high end prints I use 6 or 8 ply mat. For the smaller Special Edition prints I use 4 ply. I can tell you that 8 ply looks really nice. One reason to use thicker mats for larger prints is that it keeps the print surface from ever touching the glass (it might stick).
- Frame material? There are several choices for frame material: metal, wood, none, etc. So far I have chosen to go with wood frames. Metal is typically cheaper, but I personally prefer the look of wood. You can also choose to go with something like canvas wrapped prints (something that happens to be in right now).
- Frame color? Black is a classic – especially for black and white images. For my color images, I prefer a warm medium to dark wood tone.
- Dust seal? You may first be asking yourself what is a dust seal. It is the brown paper backing you see on professional framed artwork. I choose to do this for my Limited Edition high end framed prints. Generally this requires that you use wood frames – you glue the paper (when it is damp) to the frame itself.
- Frame hanger? Again here there are several choices. A wire attached to the frame with D-ring hangers is the high end choice. If you are going to hang in a gallery – this is the preferred choice.
I am sure you may have yet more questions. If you do, feel free to ask them on this blog.
Blog image: A sunrise shot of a frost laden orchard near my home.