Monday, January 17, 2011

Matting and Framing II


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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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).
  4. 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).
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.