Never framed anything before? No need to panic.
Scenario: You’ve just bought/been given/inherited/obtained in some unusual way either one, or a set of, pictures, prints or photographs. The question now is: what on earth to do next? If you’re either looking at getting something framed, or have at least been considering it, then the following collection of words may well come in handy.
We’ve written this because like a lot of things in life, things that you’re unfamiliar with can at first look pretty daunting. Even if it’s something as ‘simple’ as getting a picture framed, or baking the perfect apple pie (‘how hard can it be?!’) it always helps to get a little bit of friendly advice from the people who know what they’re doing.
The question 'How can I frame my pictures' at the top is at first glance, a very simple one. There is however a little bit more to it than you’d think. Let’s now take a look at the various options you have when deciding how to make your artwork look even more incredible than it already does.
Ready made picture frames
These are a great starting point if the picture/s you have are ‘standard sizes’ (for example ‘A3’, or ‘50x70cm’, rather than ‘37.5 x 55cm’). This means that you may well save yourself a little bit of time when choosing a frame, as there are no ‘custom options’ to choose here. Check out our size guide if you'd like a more detailed explanation of how this works.
We’ve found that photographers and artists love this simplicity; it comes in handy when creating a large exhibition collection where both speed and uniformity of presentational style are essential.
Ready made frames aren’t just for professionals though, by any means. In fact, the people at Nielsen frames do a great job working with both artists and professional interior designers to keep on top of all the current trends. This means the selection of frames you have at your disposal is always cutting edge, and fits in with a wide range of environments and artistic styles, whether it's for an exhibition, your dining room or even a trade re-sale.
The artwork speaks for itself
When taking a look at Nielsen frames, one of the things you’ll notice if that the majority available are made from ‘aluminium’. At a first glance, you might think “Aluminium?!” but actually there are a few advantages of this opposed to the more traditional wood frames. Aluminium is a fantastically strong material, meaning that in larger sizes (say 60x80cm +) the frames ‘feel’ sturdier than their wooden counterparts.
The second main plus point of aluminium ready made frames is that the slim, smart profile usually found with these frames adds a professional touch to your pictures, yet doesn’t ‘dominate’ by any means and lets your artwork do the talking; the perfect balance really.
Adding arwork and displaying is also made super-easy through Nielsen's world-renowned manufacturing standards
Top tip: Ready made frames are made to fit the size of your art precisely, and are displayed in this way. For example a ready made ‘A4 Nielsen frame’ is made to fit A4 sized pictures. You’d be surprised how often we get asked questions along the lines of “I have an A4 sized picture, do I need an A4 frame or a larger sized one to make it fit?”. We just thought we'd clear that up here.
If you’re after something more ‘old fashioned’ in design, then you also have plenty of options. The most archetypal traditionally styled frames are our selection of Swept frames (see below).
These frames are perfect for imperial (inch) sized pictures and artwork, and when the user is looking to fit the artwork into a traditional environment, or even create a sense of bold juxtaposition in a modern room or interior (many hairdressers and barber shops use this style of frame for their mirrors, even though the interiors of these places are usually uber-modern). The can also look fantastic when set against bare bricks; a much more diverse kind of frame than you’d initially think!
If you like the idea of a more old-fashioned colour tone, but without the antique patterns visible in Swept frames, we’d point you towards something like the scratched bronze frames or scratched gold frames. Both of these host simple, flat profiles but have an interesting scratched shiny surface which attracts light and draws your attention to the framed artwork. Another plus point is that they’re available in custom sizes so there’s practically no limit with what you can frame in them!
If your artwork is a non-standard size then custom picture frames are definitely the way to go, because otherwise you won’t find a frame for it! Whatever you do, don’t be put off by your preconceptions about custom framing being expensive and complicated. This seems to be ‘common knowledge’ that has managed to proliferate over the years for some reason.
When we say 'gold frames' we don't actually mean it...
We’ve taken the fundamentals of offline traditional picture framing, simplified them and put them online to make things as simple as possible for you. Our custom online framing tool lets you input the precise size of your artwork, and gives a healthy choice of popular (and unusual!) frames to choose from. We also offer customisable frames in specific ranges, such as our custom oak picture frames dedicated page.
The best way to do this is to lay out your picture on a flat surface, ideally with something to weigh down the corners (see image below). Then, grab a tape measure and measure the width and height of the artwork. Whether you’re metric-minded or old-school (imperial) it doesn’t matter, you can input the dimensions in our framing tool in either cm or inches.
A mount is the ‘official’ name for the border you tend to see typically around lots of framed artwork. This one’s down to personal preference, but a lot of people find that giving your artwork ‘breathing space’ between the picture and the frame itself allows the image to stand out more. This is usually done with photographic prints, and not usually done with items such as film posters. It is however completely up to you!
The framing tool on our site also lets you have a play around with the border dimensions, if you choose a mount (it selects this by default). We’ve also made it much easier for you by making the mount tool automatically calculate even spacing between dimensions, meaning you don’t have to do any mental maths!
A little snippet from the page itself
This option is completely...optional. A backing board (or sometimes called a ‘backing mount’) is a piece of mount board the same external size of your picture which sits between your picture and the back of the frame (i.e. where the hanging hooks are attached). This tends to provide a bit more ‘cushioning’ for your artwork.
Professional picture framers always include ‘some kind’ of backing board, and typically it will only cost you a few extra pounds to the overall cost of your custom frame.
Note: All of our custom frames arrive with either sawtooth hangings or cord hanging, so you can display your artwork as soon as your frame arrives.
As with ready made picture frames, ready made photo frames are absolutely ideal if you’re looking for a quick and stylish solution for a collection of printed photographs. The ready made multi photo frames we offer are made by several premium suppliers, such as Hampton frames and Nielsen. These photo frames cater for all the common print sizes, such as 10x15cm.
All you have to do is simply open the back of the frames, and tape your pictures over the back of each cut-out. The frames arrive ready to display right away.
If you’re looking for a nice little frame for one photo to sit on a table or desktop, we also have you covered. Take a look here for our selection!
Hampton have a fantastic range of desktop photo frames - great as gifts!
We hope you’ve found this post useful, especially if you previously had no idea about the different options available when framing online. We’ve tried to keep things simple, but it’s a challenge when there’s so much to talk about! If you ever have any more queries about the incredible things we can do with your artwork, give us a call on 0161 449 0044.
Thanks for reading!
Here's a 5% discount voucher just for you on your first order with Best4Frames
Just carry on shopping and we'll automatically apply it during checkout.