As with most custom services, picture framing gives the customer a variety of options.
Mouldings, mats, glazing and other elements affect the final appearance of the picture as as well as the price. There are mouldings made of wood or metal, mouldings that are thin or wide, simple or ornate, not to mention a variety of textures and colors. Also, mats differ in color, texture, width and pattern. Glass comes in regular, non-glare, conservation and anti-glare just to name a few.
Some choices affect how the picture will look, such as style, color, texture and proportion. Other choices affect the well being of the art, such as the use of acid free mats and conservation glass. Although the art itself usually dictates the style and color of the framing, there are many elements in the frame design that determine whether the final product is an average looking picture or one that makes a great impression. Some of the elements are:
Each different mat you place around the art has the power to change its appearance, making things pop or fade.
Remain true to the tones and values in the art.
Neutral mat colors prevent the completed frame design from looking dated in the years to come.
Allow the center of interest in the art to stand out on its own in the frame design rather than competing with it.
For richer color, consider a suede, linen or silk mat.
Mat Texture or Pattern
Suede, linen, silk and leather mats add an interesting visual element to the frame.
Choose a pattern or color range that is most appropriate or flattering to the art.
Keep patterns or textures small enough in size so that they don't overwhelm the art.
Select patterns or textures that relate to the subject and era of the item being framed.
Make sure the pattern or texture selected coordinates with the moulding as well as the art.
Mat Border Proportions
Remember that the larger the piece, the wider the mat borders generally need to be.
Use wider mat borders on art with a large center of interest than you would use on art with a smaller focal point.
Be sure the mat borders relate proportionally to the selected frame.
Mat borders can be even on all sides; they can be bottom weighted (with the bottom being larger than the top and sides); or they can be elongated (with the top and bottom larger than the sides).
Use the subject and the era of the item being framed to guide you to the best moulding style.
Don't feel obligated to always use the predictable choice. With the popularity of eclectic decorating, mixing styles is widely accepted.
Look for profile shapes that reflect shapes in the art.
Look for ornamentation on frames that is similar to a pattern in the art.
Choose a moulding color that coordinates well with the art it surrounds without competing for attention with the art.
Select moulding finishes that relate to the era of the item being framed to create a look of period authenticity.
Use a moulding the same color as the area in the art that is the center of interest. This helps tie the moulding to the most vivid part of the art.
Know that gold, silver and some wood tones are used so much that they are often considered neutral.
Relate the width of the mouding to the overall size of the piece being framed.
Make sure the scale of the moulding looks like it is enough to support the perceived visual weight of the item being framed.
Realize that art containing large shapes often calls for wider frames than art of the same size with very small details.
As always, choose framing that enhances the art, not framing that matches the room, but keep in mind that the scale of the frame should help keep the art in balance with the room.
A fillet is a wood inlay placed on the inside opening of the mat which generally matches the frame.
Use a fillet to add a sense of quality, depth and timelessness to the design that mats alone can't provide.
Coordinate fillets to the frame to tie the entire design together.
Remember, whether you're framing a new piece of art or reframing an older one, pay attention to the details. You want the result to draw attention to the art and make it the centerpiece of the room rather than just a picture that fills wall space.
Content copyright 2009. Fastframe of Greenville. All rights reserved.