How To Frame Art Prints

We get asked about this a lot, so we've put together this brief guide which will give you an idea of what to keep in mind when framing art prints...

How to Frame Art Prints

We use the popular 'A' paper sizes for our artwork... A5, A4, A3 and A2 (called ISO format) so there's lots of choice available when it comes to framing.

This metric paper format is largely used across Europe. Whereas, in the USA, they tend to use imperial sizes for paper (measured in inches).

  • A5 Paper size - 148 x 210 mm
  • A4 Paper size - 210 x 297 mm
  • A3 Paper size - 297 x 420 mm
  • A2 Paper size - 420 x 594 mm
  • A paper sizes

    Where Confusion Sometimes Arises

    There are two sizes to consider when framing art prints (that include a 'mount') and this is where it can sometimes get a little confusing. But don't worry, it's really quite easy to understand once you know the differences :

    • There's the 'outer frame size', which is usually made of wood, metal or plastic. This outer size can vary and can be measured in metric or imperial sizes (centimetres or inches)

    • Then there's the inner 'picture size', which is the most important measurement. With our prints, this has to be exactly for the metric ‘A’ paper sizes (not in imperial inches). This makes sure that the opening will fit the size of the print correctly (even on all edges). The opening is usually a window hole cut out of a piece of card, called a 'mount'.

    picture vs frame size

    Different Frame Styles

    Two popular styles of framing are frames that include a 'mount' (a thicker card border around the edge of the artwork) and 'Poster' style frames where the print goes right up to the edge of the outer frame...

    frame styles

    Why use a mount?

    You certainly don't have to, poster frames are very popular. Our prints actually include a small white border so that they can work in both styles.

    Mounts can generally extend the life of prints as they raise any glass or perspex off the surface of the artwork.

    Why would that matter? Well, sometimes with poster frames in certain moisture rich environments, condensation can form between the glass/perspex and the surface of the artwork causing it to stick over time. This is pretty rare however.
     

    nursery-animal-prints

    What to search for when looking for frames

    We use the popular 'A' paper sizes for our artwork and there's lots of choice for framing in both local home stores and online. When searching for your perfect frame, some popular online searches might be:

    • 'Frame for an A5 picture'
    • 'Picture frame for an A4 print'
    • 'White frame for A3 image'
    • 'Frames for A2 art prints' 

    What not to search for when looking for frames

    Our 'A' size art prints are measured in metric sizes. If you use a frame that has an picture opening measured in imperial inches, then the opening 'window' won't match the edges of the print... and this will result in a very odd, unbalanced looking display where there are gaps on some edges or part of the print will be 'chopped off' from view.


    framed prints

    Where to buy art print frames?

    We don't have any links with framing companies, so can't point you in the direction of an exact supplier. But, now you know what to look for, you can find many examples of frames in popular high street home stores and especially online with a quick Google search, or in places like eBay and Amazon.

    There are also online services that can make custom frames based on your personal choices of sizes, colours, materials etc, though these services tend to be a little more expensive than pre-made, 'off the shelf' frame options.

    Conclusion...

    Framing certainly presents a 'cost vs convenience' dilemma when buying from artists online, but the substantial savings that can be made (by framing at the customer end) far outweigh the convenience aspect of an order. Once you know what to look for, framing any artwork yourself is pretty straight-forward and rewarding.

    Of course, if you have any questions at all, please don't ever hesitate to get in touch, we're always here and happy to help.