Framing ideas and advice

If you were lucky enough to receive a print or some original artwork this Christmas, you may be thinking about having it framed and wondering where you should start. To help you out, I’ve put together some ideas and advice to make you feel a bit more clued up before walking into a framing shop.

A good framers will take the trouble to find out a bit about the artwork, it’s value to you, what your budget is, as well as your personal preferences when it comes to frames. They will also help you to decide if a ready-made frame will suffice, or whether you want to go down the custom-made route. But before you get to this, let’s go over a few framing basics:

The main things you need to consider are the size, profile and material of the frame and whether or not you intend to have a mount. The choice of material usually comes down to either wood or metal. If you favour a more contemporary look and you want the focus to be on the artwork rather than the frame, a thin-profile frame – either in wood or metal – will do the trick. The one I’ve used in the photo below is a matt black metal frame with a 1 cm square profile. You will also see frames with rounded and bevelled profiles.

Traditionally, prints have a card mount that sits between the artwork and the glass. This stops the artwork from touching the glass – which is never a good idea – and also hides the edges of the paper from view allowing you to be more flexible when it comes to framing. It can also be a chance to introduce a blast of colour, if you so wish.

A mount will allow you to put a small print into a larger frame by bridging the gap between the edge of the paper and the frame. This can make a small print really stand out and command attention rather than looking cramped in a tiny frame. The paper size of my giclée prints is 30 x 40cm which means you can use any standard, off-the-shelf 30 x 40cm frame, or go bigger with a mount if you want to make more impact on a large wall.

If your print has lots of paper around the artwork, you may want to have this on view and not covered up by a mount. This gives it a more contemporary – and minimalist – look which really suits certain artwork. White space around the artwork helps it to ‘breathe’ or, put another way, it gives the artwork some space around it before your eye meets the frame. I personally love lots of white space which is why I’ve allowed a generous border of paper around my prints. This gives you the flexibility to have them framed with, or without, a mount as I’ve shown. Mountless framing does bring with it a few more complications which I’m not going to go into here and it’s not suitable for all types of frames, but any framers will be able to talk you through it.

So there you have it – my brief introduction to choosing a frame! Whatever you choose, I hope you enjoy looking at your new piece of artwork for many years to come.

To see the full range of giclée prints, click here.

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