Framing Guidance

I sell loose, unframed art. On this page, I provide some framing insights and guidance. Pro tip - use your favorite framer's address as the shipping address at checkout. Use our contact form to send questions.

Framing for art can be as different as the images they augment, as compelling as the spaces that hold them, and as outspoken or understated as their owners. Your space and taste have a unique character, so I recommend you create a unique element that’s right for you. The frame is a bridge between your art and the space in which you live or work.

Simple or fancy? My preference is for framing that supports rather than competes with the image. I tend to keep it simple and frame all (well most) of my images in minimalist black or brown wood frames with off-white window mats. I have used weathered "barn board" style moulding and quarter-sawn oak with success. In others' homes, I’ve seen my work framed in a variety of ways - from natural maple to sleek metal styles - where each style complemented both the images and the spaces in which they were displayed.

Cut a generous mat. I recommend ample window mat borders, typically but not exclusively off-white that coordinates with the paper. The window mat separates an image from its surroundings and lets it stand on its own. Window mats that are too narrow give the impression that an image is wearing a suit that’s too tight. I have successfully paired darker mats for moody prints. Create an engaging, balanced effect by keeping mat borders unequal to width of the frame.

Protect with archival materials. Protect your investment by using archival grade, acid-free mounting and framing materials. I prefer the hinge mounting method for most works on paper. Hinge mounting lets artwork move with changes in humidity, and it is relatively easy to undo if needed. Reversible methods are best, so that removal or replacement, if necessary, of the matting and framing is easy. The framing is replaceable, the art is irreplaceable.

Remove reflections with high quality, low reflectance glass. I recommend good anti-glare museum glass or plexiglass because it reduces distracting reflections. If you choose UV retardant glass or plexiglass, ask the framer which is clearest. Common glass has a subtle but noticeable green cast.

Display in ample, high-quality light. Pigmented prints show their depth and richness when well lit. I prefer indirect daylight and/or full-spectrum lighting (e.g Solux lights or other sources with good Color Rating Index, CRI, values) to richly render all colors equally. Displaying your art in great light will truly make them shine.

When framing in wood frames, professional framers seal the back. Paper and Tyvek are breathable backing materials. Sealing this way protects from dust,  insects, and airborne contaminants.

I’m here to help! Use the contact form to send questions. 

 Sitting room with chair, table, rug, shelving, and framed art on wall.