Printing + Framing Guide
Whether you are a seasoned collector or just have one or two pieces in your home, you will know that framing art, and framing it right, can add a stunning new dimension.
Everything from the type, size, and colour of the frame to the way it’s mounted can change the look and feel of a piece entirely, thus altering the mood of the room in which it is hung.
Here is a complete guide to framing it to ensure that you showcase your artwork perfectly.
Option 1: Shop small and find a local framer
My number 1 recommendation will always be to support a local small biz and utilize your local frame shop.
There are so many benefits to using a local framer, and one of the best things about using someone local is that you get to be a part of the process of making your new piece of art look stunning, and perfect for its environment. You can try different mat and frame combinations and seeing them in person really helps visualize the final product. Using a local framer also eliminates any confusion about getting the right dimensions.
Option 2: Online Framing Services
After receiving feedback from my customers, I feel very comfortable recommending three different online options.
My favorite choice. You can custom build your frame acid-free mat to exact dimensions with UV protective glass which will preserve your print. You can ship the artwork in and have them build it, or select the 'frame only' service in the design portal and they will ship everything to you and you can insert the frame yourself.
Only my second choice because they don't offer .5 inch frame sizes. Superb quality and so many customization options. Has a really cool option to add a brass name plate and a message on the back.
Most affordable option of the three, but does not offer as many 'convenience' options or artisan/quality woods. A great choice if you're looking for something simple and quality.
PLEASE NOTE: All KB prints come with a 1 inch border around the sized image featuring a date, signature and, if it is a limited edition print, a number.
Ex: If you order a 16x20 inch print, the image will be 16x20 inches, but the total print/paper size will be 18x22inches including the border which features KB signature, date, location and number (for limited edition prints).
These companies all offer full framing and matting service. You can ship the print to them, or you can use their custom design tools to order your frame. If you use these companies, make sure you carefully read the descriptions and sizing.
If you want to show the signature/date/number of your print, be sure to add 1 inch to your dimensions.
Ex: If I have a 16x20 print and I want to frame the piece displaying the signature, I would describe the piece as 17x21, or 18x22 to be on the safe side. Adding an extra inch will allow the mat to sit .5inches off the image, and adding two inches will allow the mat to sit off the print by an entire inch. I would highly suggest that you make an order note or comment saying that you want to display the signature, just to make sure that the framer does not trim the mat too small.
If I want to crop the signature off, I would describe the piece as 16x20 inches.
Option 3: DIY
A DIY option is going to be the most affordable, albeit a little more time consuming. Basically you would need to obtain a custom mat that can feature non-standard art sitting in a standard frame.
Here's what I would do to make sure that my unusual sized print fits inside an easy to find, standard sized frame:
First, I would customize my mat through a local frame shop or online with frameusa.com
Always remember the actual mat’s opening will be cut slightly smaller to ensure that the image that you are putting the mat around will not fall through the opening. So with that in mind I adjust the image size to reflect whether I want to just display the image, or if I want to display the signature.
This image below shows my attempts to mat a 16x16inch print with enough room for a signature. So I listed the image size as 17x17 to leave extra room for signature, then I adjusted the mat width until the outer dimensions showed 20x20, which is an easy to find frame.
Remember that the easiest frame sizes to find are 16x20, 20x20, 20x24, 25x25, 24x30 and 28x36.
I would recommend frames from west elm, target, various arts and crafts shops like Michaels or Joanns, and amazon. My favorite amazon frame is this Vossington frame, with sizes ranging from 4x6 to 30x40inches.
Remember that framing can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. You can trim borders and return mats or frames if it does not work in your space. The most important thing is finding the art that speaks to you, and if it takes a little time to figure out how you want to display it, that's okay!
I hope this guide was helpful at describing the different options you have. Please reach out to me if you have any questions!