Oh, framing. I get asked very frequently how I would recommend framing my art, and the answer isn’t as cut and dry as I would like it to be. Why? There are usually two main goals when it comes to framing: either a focus on high quality, art preserving materials, or a focus on inexpensive and fast.
The framing materials you choose really do matter for the life of the print. If you use a professional framing service, like Framebridge, you are going to end up with a piece that is carefully contained in an acid-free, UV resistant environment. Sometimes that doesn’t matter, but if a piece is really, really special to you, I would highly consider spending the extra money to go this route.
On the other hand, not everyone can afford that, and not everyone needs that for everything that they’re framing. There are ways to spend less and still offer protection for your art or special photos, so let’s dive into that!
PROS: I love these frames. They are clean and simple, and don’t take away from the focus, which is the art. They come in a wide variety of sizes and colors, including natural wood (shown here), walnut, white and black.
CONS: The styrene that the frame comes with is not UV resistant, but you can simply and affordable swap it out for this sheet, and you’ll be good to go.
PROS: They’re simple, durable, and really pretty. They come in gold silver, and mat black, which is oh so beautiful.
CONS: They’re not as user friendly to put together. The process of framing involves a screw driver and little screws, and a bit of a learning curve that doesn’t take long to get the hang of. These also come with a sheet of styrene to cover your art that isn’t UV resistant, but you can swap that out for this, which will offer you UV protection.
PROS: I usually buy the ______ frames, which resemble the Blick wood frames. They’re affordable and convenient depending on where you live.
CONS: I’ve had many many of these frames, and they just do not hold up well. The frames bend and bow over time, or they split at the corners completely. This hasn’t happened to all of my _____ frames, but it’s happened to a lot of them. The sizing can also be strange depending on which size you buy, so be careful about that.
PROS: Affordable. Super convenient. Lots of variety. I’ve used several of their frames for my product photography, and haven’t had any issues with their construction
CONS: They don’t offer much, if anything, for framing above 16x20 inches. I also can’t speak to the type of glass they use, but considering they are so affordable, I would assume that there isn’t any sort of UV protection happening.
TO MAT OR NOT TO MAT