We've created this guide to help you understand how sizes work in the framing world, and to clearly explain the options at your disposal. Framing online can at first be a little bit tricky to get your head around, especially if you've never done it before. We get many questions relating to size of artwork/size of frames for example: 'I have X size picture, what frame size do I need?' . The answer to that question depends on one or two things, as we'll explain below.
To help us help you, which of the following statements is most relevant to you?
1. 'I already have a print/piece of artwork (or I am about to purchase one), and I am looking to see if there are any frame sizes that will fit.'
The first question is whether you'd like a mount (i.e. border) around the picture inside the frame? Or just a frame?
A mount is simply the purpose-made card border that you often see in framed artwork and photography that surrounds artwork inside frames, and can add an attractive visual impact (this is of course subjective). Here’s a little example:
In the first image, we can see the Nightshade (one of our mount colour options) border surrounding the picture. This provides more 'breathing space' around the image, and sets the image away from the frame. Your mount (if you order one) will arrive inside the frame, and will have a cut out/aperture inside to fit your picture size - the cut out that we will send to you will be ever so slightly smaller (3mm) on each side (left, right, top and bottom) to make it easier for you to align the image with the cut out. If you haven't printed your picture yet, try out our dedicated custom print and frame page.
In the second image, the picture is framed with no mount border i.e. the image has gone directly into the frame. Generally this is a more popular choice when framing larger posters in contrast with smaller artwork, but again this is completely subjective and down to your personal preference.
If (as shown in the example image above) you have two prints both of which are the same size, and you would like one of them mounted inside a frame, and one of them straight into a frame with no mount then the overall size of the frames will be different.
The frame with your print and the mount around it will be larger in size overall. This is because you must consider the size of the print + the mount border all away around your print + the frame itself. This would provide a larger external (or wall space) measurement than simply 'your print + the width of the frame around your print'.
We offer both frames that are available in ready made sizes as well as the ability to create your own custom size frames and mounts, so which is the best option? Let's take a look at the following scenarios:
In this scenario you'll need to find out whether you have a standard sized picture or not. If your picture is a standard size, you can buy a ready made frame to fit your picture perfectly.
If your picture is an uncommon or non-standard size then don't worry, all you have to do is visit our custom frames page, type in the size of your picture and ensure you select 'no mount, thanks'. Our custom frames are expertly manufactured in wood and available in a huge range of colours and styles.
The easiest way to frame your artwork with a mount included is to head over to our dedicated page. You now have the ability to play around with the different frames styles and colours on offer, as well as the different colours of mounts available. The framing tool also allows you to to adjust the size of the borders of the mount around your picture, allowing you to create some incredibly striking effects.
Make sure you keep an eye on the external size of the custom frame (wall space - viewable in the summary section at the bottom of the custom frames page) as the bigger border sizes around the picture you choose, the larger the outside of the frame will be.
This is essentially the 'third option' but still a very popular one with our customers. It can also be a little bit tricky to get your head around for the first time.
First, head over to our dedicated page for creating custom mounts to fit Nielsen ready made frames. Then in Step 1 'About your picture' you'll need to input the size of your picture (you can do this in either mm / cm or inches).
After choosing the colour and style of your mount, you will then reach Step 3 'Which Nielsen frame would you like?'. Here, our website has automatically set the outside dimension (i.e. frame size) of your mount to be the same as a ready made Nielsen frame size (these sizes refer to the picture size the frames are made to accommodate). It then provides a list of all the ready made Nielsen frames that are available for you to fit you current mount into. Remember: the external size of the mount will equate to the standard size Nielsen frame your custom mount will go into.
As you can see, if you increase the frame size, the borders around your picture will increase and vice versa. You can then choose a frame of your liking from the available list, and add both the frame and mount (and backing mount if you wish) to your basket all in one go.
If you're still not sure which frame style to go with, take a look at this quick overview below. Generally speaking, Nielsen aluminium ready made frames are ideal if you'd like a very minimalist (i.e. very narrow frame profile) visual effect, as the fact that they're manufactured in aluminium rather than wood allows more sturdiness in larger (e.g. A1 and above) artwork sizes. Custom frames are ideal for non-standard artwork sizes, and for situations when you would like wider or bolder frame styles with more flamboyant visual impact. Give us a call on 0161 449 0044 if you'd like to talk to us for more advice.
The easiest way to frame artwork online. Simply type in the size of your artwork then choose your frame style and mount (if you’d like one). Our custom frames are manufactured in wood, and are finished in a wide range of styles, including very simply modern black finishes, natural wood (including oak) styles and many more. All custom frames arrive with glazing and wall fittings allowing you to get the frame up on the wall as soon as it arrives. Take me to custom frames.
A very popular brand of ready made frames (in standard sizes). These frames generally have very narrow widths which provide a very crisp, contemporary look.
If you don’t want a mount around your artwork, take a look at our full list of ready made Nielsen frame sizes.
If you do want a mount around your artwork, inside a Nielsen standard sized frame then you have to remember that there is less flexibility than with custom frames. We’ve actually created a page which allows you to do this all in one go to make things a bit easier.
Please also bear in mind…
Frame rebate/lip: the glass/glazing, mount and picture all sit onto a lip or ‘rebate’ inside the frame itself (this has to be the case, otherwise your artwork would simply fall through the front of the frame). This is typically about 5mm. This means that with any frame you will always lose about 5mm on each side of the picture (or mount, which goes around the outside of your picture).
Mount aperture reduction (overlap): When ordering a frame with a mount please remember that we will reduce the aperture (i.e. cut out) inside the mount by 3mm on each side (therefore 6mm from the overall width and 6mm from the overall height). This makes it much easier to align your artwork with the aperture; if the aperture was exactly the same size as your artwork then it’d be pretty much impossible to line up. For example:
-Input picture size: 200 x 300mm
-Actual aperture (i.e. cut out where your artwork will be visible) that you will receive: 194 x 294 mm.
2. 'I want to replace an old frame with a new one'
Simply turn the frame around so that you can see the back of the frame. Remove any tape that has been used to seal up the back of the frame then open it up. To find the correct frame size to order, simply measure the size of the glass inside the frame or alternatively the backboard (they will be the same size). This is the size of frame you will need to order (when we say ‘frame size’ we always refer to the internal size as measured from the back of the frame).
Feel free to call us on 0161 449 0044 or send us an email to email@example.com where our friendly UK-based team are are on hand to answer any questions you have.
3. 'I'm trying to fill a certain area of wall space, and I'm trying to work out which frames/sizes will fit in this area'
‘How do I calculate how much wall space each frame will take up?’
Take a note of the picture size that the frame in question is made to hold (this is always the internal size of the frame, when looking at the frame from the back, and is equivalent to the total size of the piece of glass/acrylic inside) as well as the frame profile width (which can be seen in the product page information). For example:
* This wall space figure is actually roughly 5mm less on each side of the frame, because frames have to overlap the picture slightly on every side within the frame (otherwise, the glass, artwork and anything else would just fall out of the front!). This means you always have slightly more room to work with in your display area.
The situation with custom frames/wall space taken up is exactly the same as ready made frames, except that as they’re custom made, you can fine tune the size of the frame precisely. Our custom frames page also informs you of the external/wall space taken up by your frame on the page summary before you order:
4. 'I already have framed artwork on the wall, and I need another frame to match the style I already have'
Note down the colour of the frame you have (and note down whether it is matt or glossy). Measure the profile width of the frame you already have (see diagram here) - measure the depth i.e. the dimension from the front of the frame to the wall. Once you’ve done this, you’re more than welcome to send us a photograph of the frame to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try and find one that matches. Our 'offline' selection of frames is much larger than our current online selection.
The links below in each size conversion list take you straight to the frame size product or category page, allowing you to find the right frame in an instant.
We've added the table and diagram below to help you visualise the proportions involved with 'A' paper/picture sizes. Underneath the diagram, we've also included a list which converts 'A' sizes into MM (millimetres) CM (centimetres) and Inches. Where possible, we've linked directly from the sizes below to the products available in those sizes.
|'A' Size||Millimetres (mm)||Centimetres (cm)||Inches|
|A0||841 x 1189 mm||84.1 x 118.9 cm||33.1" x 46.8"|
|A1||594 x 841 mm||9.4 x 84.1 cm||23.4" x 33.1"|
|A2||420 x 594 mm||42.0 x 59.4 cm||16.5" x 23.4"|
|A3||297 x 420 mm||29.7 x 42.0 cm||11.7" x 16.5"|
|A4||210 x 297 mm||21.0 x 29.7 cm||8.3" x 11.7"|
|A5||148 x 210 mm||14.8 x 21.0 cm||5.8" x 8.3"|
|A6||105 x 148 mm||10.5 x 14.8 cm||4.1" x 5.8"|
|A7||74 x 105 mm||7.4 x 10.5 cm||2.9" x 4.1"|
|A8||52 x 74 mm||5.2 x 7.4 cm||2.0" x 2.9"|
|A9||37 x 52 mm||3.7 x 5.2 cm||1.5" x 2.0"|
Here we've included a list of common standard metric size print or picture sizes, along with the conversions to MM and Imperial dimensions.
|Centimetres (cm)||Millimetres (mm)||Inches|
|10 x 15 cm||100 x 150 mm||4.13" x 5.91"|
|13 x 18 cm||130 x 180 mm||5.12" x 7.09"|
|15 x 20 cm||150 x 200 mm||5.91" x 7.87"|
|16 x 16 cm||160 x 160 mm||6.3" x 6.3"|
|18 x 24 cm||180 x 240 mm||7.09" x 9.45"|
|20 x 20 cm||200 x 200 mm||7.87" x 7.87"|
|20 x 25 cm||200 x 250 mm||7.87" x 9.84"|
|24 x 30 cm||240 x 300 mm||9.45" x 11.81"|
|25 x 30 cm||250 x 300 mm||9.84" x 11.81"|
|28 x 35 cm||280 x 350 mm||11.02" x 13.78"|
|30 x 30 cm||300 x 300 mm||11.81" x 11.81"|
|30 x 40 cm||300 x 400 mm||11.81" x 15.75"|
|35 x 100 cm||350 x 1000 mm||13.78" x 39.37"|
|40 x 40 cm||400 x 400 mm||15.75" x 15.75"|
|40 x 50 cm||400 x 500 mm||15.75" x 19.69"|
|40 x 60 cm||400 x 600 mm||15.75" x 23.62"|
|45 x 60 cm||450 x 600 mm||17.72" x 23.62"|
|50 x 50 cm||500 x 500 mm||19.69" x 19.69"|
|50 x 60 cm||500 x 600 mm||19.69" x 23.62"|
|50 x 70 cm||500 x 700 mm||19.69" x 27.56"|
|50 x 100 cm||500 x 1000 mm||19.69" x 39.37"|
|60 x 80 cm||600 x 800 mm||23.62" x 31.5"|
|61 x 91.5 cm||610 x 915 mm||24.02" x 36.02"|
|70 x 70 cm||700 x 700 mm||27.56" x 27.56"|
|70 x 100 cm||700 x 1000 mm||27.56" x 39.37"|
Paper size in MM: 500 x 600 mm
Paper size in Inches: 19.69 x 23.62 inches
Here we've included a list of common standard imperial size print or picture sizes, along with the conversions to MM/Metric dimensions.
|Inches||Centimetres (cm)||Milimmetres (mm)|
|4 x 4 inch||10.16 x 15.24 cm||101.6 x 101.6 mm|
|4 x 6 inch||10.16 x 15.24 cm||101.6 x 152.4 mm|
|5 x 5 inch||12.7 x 12.7 cm||127 x 127 mm|
|5 x 7 inch||12.7 x 17.78 cm||127 x 177.8 mm|
|6 x 6 inch||15.24 x 15.24 cm||152.4 x 152.4 mm|
|6 x 8 inch||15.24 x 20.32 cm||152.4 x 203.2 mm|
|8 x 8 inch||20.32 x 20.32 cm||203.2 x 203.2 mm|
|8 x 10 inch||20.32 x 25.4 cm||203.2 x 254 mm|
|10 x 10 inch||25.4 x 25.4 cm||254 x 254 mm|
|10 x 12 inch||5.4 x 30.48 cm||254 x 304.8 mm|
|11 x 14 inch||27.94 x 35.56 cm||279.4 x 355.6 mm|
|12 x 12 inch||30.48 x 30.48 cm||304.8 x 304.8 mm|
|12 x 16 inch||30.48 x 40.64 cm||304.8 x 406.4 mm|
|14 x 14 inch||35.56 x 35.56 cm||355.6 x 355.6 mm|
|16 x 16 inch||40.64 x 40.64 cm||406.4 x 406.4 mm|
|16 x 20 inch||40.64 x 50.8 cm||406.4 x 508 mm|
|16 x 24 inch||40.64 x 60.96 cm||406.4 x 609.6 mm|
|18 x 24 inch||45.72 x 60.96 cm||457.2 x 609.6 mm|
|20 x 20 inch||50.8 x 50.8 cm||508 x 508 mm|
|20 x 24 inch||50.8 x 60.96 cm||508 x 609.6 mm|
|20 x 28 inch||50.8 x 71.12 cm||508 x 711.2 mm|
|20 x 30 inch||50.8 x 76.2 cm||508 x 762 mm|
|24 x 32 inch||60.96 x 81.28 cm||609.6 x 812.8 mm|
|24 x 36 inch||60.96 x 91.44 cm||609.6 x 914.4 mm|
|24 x 40 inch||60.96 x 101.6 cm||609.6 x 1016 mm|
|27 x 40 inch||68.58 x 101.6 cm||685.8 x 1016 mm|
|28 x 28 inch||71.12 x 71.12 cm||711.2 x 711.2 mm|
|28 x 40 inch||71.12 x 101.6 cm||711.2 x 1016 mm|
|30 x 40 inch||76.2 x 101.6 cm||762 x 1016 mm|
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