From DIY

DEBATE

Traditional Art vs. Digital Art

There has long been a debate on which medium and method is best for art creation. Even at Frame USA, our artists have vastly differing opinions on whether digital art is as effective as traditional, or if traditional is as well-worth the time as digital. In the end though, we all respect one another’s opinions and talents in their own medium, but this debate has spanned internet-wide among artists since as early as the first years of deviantART’s existance.

 

DEBATE

So why talk about it if artists have generally concluded that art is art, no matter the medium? Well, there are also some distinct differences when it comes to the display of the art. (Not to mention, both sides will always have strong opinions one way or the other.) Let’s find out how this affects framing!

With traditional art, there are a far greater number of variables to consider before framing your work. If the art is on paper, you’ll have to consider the materials of the art and the paper quality while working on presentation. In digital art, the only real consideration is in how you’ll print or display your piece.

The flip side is in the actual creation of the art – many prefer the precision and “messiness” that traditional media allows, where digital art allows for the correction of mistakes and the ability to make multiple immediate prints whenever you want.

Which do you prefer, and why? Leave a comment below to voice your opinion!

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Custom Framing: Online vs. Retail

Being both an online picture frame company and retail store location, we’ve learned the ins and outs of the framing business. This is not to say that we know everything — far from it! However, we do know a good deal about the difference of the custom framing process. When we released Build A Frame, we changed how custom framing operated.

In our store, retail and online custom framing are of equally high importance. Both orders are assembled with utmost care, attention to detail and design sensibility. The main difference is price point, which is different with every framer out there. Our Build A Frame process and price in the store is the same as it is online. The main difference? Customers in the store can physically see the products in person.

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Have you had a great experience with either a retail or online custom framing experience? Let us know in the comments what made it unforgetable!

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Build A Frame – Custom Framing Options and More

As most of you know, Build A Frame is a great web application used to custom-build your frame without the expense of visiting a custom framer. (When you’re spending $150 online vs. spending $300-$400 at a retail framer — the only difference is price!)

Now at these great prices, how can you be sure of the quality? Luckily, we have that covered. Our framers are top-notch experts in the framing industry – extensively trained on joining frames, cutting precise meaurements, mat selections and fine-tuning the details exactly like you want them. These framers also work for our retail store at our warehouse in Cincinnati, OH – not only are they experts in the field, but they deal with custom orders and customers on a daily basis.

Whether you’re wanting to frame a piece of art you have at home, a Posterservice art print or upload your own image for us to print, we’ll customize your piece to be the perfect fit for you. Check out the Build A Frame feature here!

 

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Floater Frames: The Perfect Frame for Canvas Paintings

Floater frames are in high demand among painters and photographers who prefer canvas prints. Framing a canvas is a great alternative to simply hanging a standalone canvas: when framed, the art has  much more of a safe shell around it to protect from damage to the outer edges. It also improves the look of the art, with the frame acting as a focal point for the artist’s work.

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The above was a great piece done by our specialty framing and retail manager, Jennifer Miller. A skilled artist, painter and framer, she used a great color pallette to work with the frame. Along with the American Maple shown here, we also offer the floater frame series in black. Perfect for nearly any piece of canvas art!

If you have any questions as to the quality or value that a floater frame can bring to your art piece, consider emailing us at [email protected]. You can also fill out our custom quote form if you know you need some floater frames for selling or displaying your work. This week only, these floater frames are also on sale for 10% off!

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Raving Fans and Customer Comments

We take customer feedback very seriously here at Frame USA, whether that involves us replacing a faulty order, thanking a customer for their kind words about our services, or… drawing unicorns on a box?

That’s right–one of our more eccentric customers frequently asks for any number of random drawings on their packages, and our team has really had fun with this in the past (we can recall doodles of a dancing penguin and a mummy/pirate duo playing jump-rope).

This time, we had our customer service representative (and talented illustrator) Kelley Kombrinck create the box art for our customer. Needless to say, they were very impressed!

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A more detailed view of the illustration. All because of a comment left in the “notes” section of our checkout process!

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This time, the customer asked for an elephant to be drawn on the box. Again, Kelley delivered…

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You can find our latest  customer comments here, which is updated every 2-3 months.

Custom Framing and Displays at Wholesale Prices

When you need a custom frame job, we take it seriously — down to the very last detail.

Our customers at City Gear have used our products for quite a few of their stores. The urban apparel store recently requested a large custom order for frames that would be able to “comfortably” fit some of their jerseys and t-shirt brands. You can also see our frames in use on the upper walls, which were poster frames also bought from us!

The recent custom order was particularly interesting, however. Our team was tasked with finding an affordable option to frame their items (in this case, our In-Depth series), add custom D-ring attachments and provide special instructions on how to build exactly what they wanted in their stores. The result was so great, they shared their experience (and photographs) with us.

 

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A full view that showcases both our products and theirs:

 

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Need a large-scale custom framing job? Contact us: [email protected]. We can offer advice, volume discounts and alternative hanging methods to suit just about any method of display you need!

 

4 Great DIY Back to School Ideas, Tips and Products

Are you ready for back to school season? We scoured Pinterest for ways to save you time and money when sending your kids back to learn.

Whatever your feelings are about back to school season, the time is now upon us to begin thinking of ways to save before the kids head back. Whether you’re sending them off to Elementary, Middle, High School or College, the costs can add up to be more than you would expect. Most of the following are some ideas shared by The 36th Avenue which we found via Pinterest – be sure to check out their article on the subject!

1. Labels + Individually Bagged School Supplies

A crafty idea we found from Pinterest was individually bagged and labeled school supplies. Obviously over the long term, these labeled baggies will become less useful, but the idea behing them lies in organization and making sure that your student has all the supplies they need for their first day. From this article, we see that there are printable labels that make this process even easier! Simply keep a checklist onhand, label and bag the supplies, and run through the checklist. After that, everything can be tossed in the backback and your young one is ready to go!  DIY crafts


 

2. Educational / College Humor Posters

Whether you’re looking for some great humor or art posters for your student to take to college or educational posters for the classroom, Posterservice.com has a great selection for all different products at an unbeatable price. Imagery helps greatly in the educational process, and we have it all – posters on phonics, the solar system, periodic table, famous US history and geography. On the other side, we have artistic representations of all of the above. If you need accuracy, check out the educational section; and if you seek more of the art/humor section, be sure to check those categories as well!

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3. Framed Magnetic Calendar

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First and foremost, a calendar is always useful for planning out all those events at your child’s school. By making a creative, magnetic whiteboard calendar like we’ve shown here, you can be assured that all reminders and important forms remain in the same location. Even better if, as pictured, your magnets use actual numbers to keep track of the dates. This could make for a big time commitment up front, but think of all the time and stress you’ll save with everything organized in one place!


 

4. Certificate and Diploma Frames

Of course, at the end of all that schooling, it’s time to show off that diploma or degree! You can find all sorts of diploma and certificate frames at this link. All of these can be customized to your heart’s content as well!

 

What sorts of back to school items are you looking out for this year?

elegant picture frames

DIY Projects and Crafts for Picture Frames

This month, we check Pinterest for some great DIY projects for framing and “Around the House” decor.

Doing big projects yourself can save you and your family hundreds of dollars — particularly when it comes to home renovations and making your decor stand out. It doesn’t have to be expensive to look expensive, and really, that’s what crafting your own projects is all about. In this blog, we’ll show you some great ways to make an ordinary frame into something far more extraordinary. You can find these ideas and more by visiting our Pinterest page!


 

Use a picture frame shell to hang your keys

DIY picture frames

If Pinterest has taught us anything, it’s that frames aren’t just for framing pictures! Take this example, where a crafty DIY-er screwed some basic wall hooks into the interior of their frame. Search around online and you’ll find plenty of uses for frames besides hanging art: chalkboards, mirrors, hangers and more have been crafted from any standard frame.


 

Give your frames a new look with dipped corners

Picture Framing Projects

Need to spice up a frame, or add a better focal point for your image? Try (carefully) dipping the four corners of your frame into a can of paint! The result takes on the appearance of what is shown above. The tricky part is knowing how far to dip, but a good rule is to measure about 1-2 inches on each side, mark it with a pencil, and then proceed to dip. This is great for matching more than one color in a room, or spicing up your simple black picture frames you may have around the house.


 

Spray-paint an ornate frame for a more simple, subdued elegant picture frame

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While the burlap letter art within the frames are great, we’re more impressed by the paint job on the frames themselves. Some ornate, some simple–a decent spray paint job can entirely changle the look of a frame for the better. While we take pride in our premium wooden frames, we could definitely see series like the victorian and napoleon working very well in the style shown above.

 


 

As always, don’t be afraid to think outside the box (or frame)!

DIY framing projects
Framing is oftentimes most interesting when there is an experimental element added on. Take the image above for example: the separation of the branch is unified throughout the three frames. The aesthetic of the piece is phenomenal, and the crafter only used three frame shells and a branch!

Have something else unique that we haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment below and tell us about your projects!

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Framing and Hanging your Art

A deeper study into hanging and arranging framed art

A recent help guide by Affordable Art Fair in the UK helped spur us to make another post on arranging, framing and hanging your art. Of course, we’ve made several posts on hanging picture frames, but any additional resource is always appreciated when we speak with artists and gallery owners.

When should you frame your art?

Even though we sell picture frames at low prices here at Frame USA, we’ll be the first to admit that not every piece of wall art calls for a frame. In fact, many contemporary pieces are meant to display alone. These can always be spiced up with a Floater frame, but this does not make their existance 100% necessary.

Some times to consider a frame would be any time you do not have a canvas. Your display options are both more limited and wide open when using paper of some sort. Some artist will simply mat their artwork, others will simply buy a frame in the correct size for their piece. Custom framing is another option, but the concept remains the same — don’t let the framing overpower the artwork. As another precaution, don’t frame a piece of art for the sole purpose of matching a room. Art can be arranged in any which way, whereas a room can undergo many changes over time.

What’s the right height for hanging frames?

Ideally, you’ll want to aim for the average eye-level to get the best reaction. Art is meant to be viewed and appreciated, and won’t have quite the same effect unless it’s easily viewable. Try to keep the top of the frames aligned with other horizontal lines in your art space.

Where should I hang my picture frame?

Obviously if you’re at a gallery, you’re going to hang them in whatever way possible that is appealing to the viewer. In a more permanent interior setting, however, you’ll have to consider things like color and size. Don’t ever worry about matching colors exactly — it’s just not going to happen, and it can look rather tacky. Stick to using the art and frame to compliment the room, or allow it to become the centerpiece and stand out. You can also learn more about how to hang your frame correctly in our previous blog post on the matter, which goes over the geometry of the project a little more thoroughly.

 

What are some steps that you take in keeping your wall art up to par? Leave a comment below — we’d love to hear from you!

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Frame USA Donates Picture Frames to Charity

Community. Whether you’re a business, a family, a nonprofit or an individual, you are formed and molded by your local communities. At Frame USA, we feel that communities from all across the United States can benefit from a little help here and there; especially when they’re making positive differences in their area. We received this great message from Grace Church after we helped them by donating 30+ Unfinished picture frames:

 


 “Dear Dan [CEO, Frame USA],

I bet that by now you have forgotten about us here in Wisconsin, or at least thought that we forgot about you and were acting like the 9 out of 10 lepers who failed to return to thank Jesus after they were healed. On the contrary, we want you to know that we have never stopped thanking you for your kindness and generosity to Grace Church.

It has taken a long time…. to mobilize the missionaries to send in a new picture, to get the frames stained, to order the vinyl and then to get the authorized person to hang the frames on the wall. … The frames are in a really nice formation, and on two different walls as you leave the sanctuary. One side is for Global missionaries and the other for U.S. missionaries….”


Needless to say, we were glad to help such a great cause. Do you have any deserving causes that you’d like to see mentioned or considered for our Charity of the Month? Leave a comment below, or visit our Charity page to learn more.   picture frame charity *Note that these frames were sent as Unfinished frames, but wood-stained by the recipients. Just another way to add your own personal touch!