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...
Framing Art Prints
We use the popular 'A' paper sizes for our artwork... A5, A4 and A3 (called ISO format) so there's lots of choice available when it comes to framing.
This metric paper format is largely used in the UK and across Europe. Whereas, in the USA, they tend to use imperial sizes for paper (measured in inches).
What kind of frames are available?
There are two main popular styles of framing that you can easily find online or in local home stores :
- Poster frames - where the art print fits right up the the eges of the outer frame.
- Mounted frames - where the art print sits inside a cut-out 'window', usually made from a piece of card (often called a 'mount' or 'matt').
Let's take a closer look at each style...
1. Poster Frames
A very popular and somewhat more modern choice. Poster style frames are much easier to use (than mounted frames) as the single frame size simply matches the paper size exactly. Got an A4 print? Just look for an A4 poster frame and it will drop right in.
* Our prints often include a small white border, which gives a much more pleasing transition from the edge of poster style frames. A kind of 'built-in' mounted effect.
2. Mounted Frames
A more traditional style of framing. 'Mounts' can generally extend the life of prints as their purpose is to raise any glass or perspex off the surface of the artwork.
Why would that matter? Well, sometimes (in certain moisture rich environments) condensation can form between the glass/perspex and the surface of the artwork, causing possible damage over time (usually many years).
So how do I choose the right size?
There are two sizes to consider when framing mounted art prints 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 cut-out 'window' will fit the size of the print paper correctly (even on all edges).
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'
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 a picture opening measured in imperial inches, then the 'window' won't match the edges of the print (known as the 'correct aspect ratio'). 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.
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.
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.