Tagged art framing

Entryway Pictures

Choosing the Right Frame for the Job

Artist Evelyn Henson Gives Readers a Quick Framing 101

Choosing the right frame for your business can be a lot of hard work. Having the right frame for the job takes both intuition and some pretty basic knowledge of what makes a good complete work of framed art.

This weekend, we discovered an article written by Evelyn Henson that went into some good details about what to buy, where to buy and what kinds of frames go best in any given situation. Join us while we summarize this article (while also adding our own advice as framers!)

Below we will list these tips from Evelyn Henson’s blog, but add our own 2 cents as professional framers!

 

One of the highlights we spotted was to be sure that you’re personally in love with the frame. Before you even think about the artwork, think about how you’ll feel months and even years down the line with that frame on your wall. Once you’ve found a few that fit that criteria, you’ll want to try and see what matches best with your particular artwork. You can also work backwards if you’ve found a great frame, but have no art. Websites like Posterservice.com offer a wide variety of art prints that are more than reasonably priced.

Another question the artist posed was the source of frame material. Knowing whether you’re looking for wood, metal or plastic will save you time and money in the long run. As a general rule:

  • Plastic frames are best used for posters or a more thin printed material.
  • Wood frames are usually some of the best in the market. While Henson was of the opinion that white is the best color, this can be problematic if the frame has defective joins or scratches. We prefer black picture frames, and based on the thousands of orders we see for them, we have to agree with the majority! Black is a very standard, very impressive color for most artwork.
  • Metal picture frames typically go well with modern art pieces and minimalist concepts.

We hope this little tidbit of information has helped you with your framing purchase. Have a great day, and let us know in the comments what your favorite type of frames are!

picture frame collage

Frame Collage meets Mobile Photography in new Kickstarter Campaign

A frame collage (Or “Gallery Wall”) is a HUGE recent trend in interior design. A recent Kickstarter campaign shows that, in framing, sometimes less is more.

We’ve talked a lot about frame collages in the past, and the great statement they can make when assembled in a tasteful manner. We’ve seen many of our customers take great advantage of this technique, from Bachelor winners to our tasteful twitter followers…

 


In recent news, however, we’ve found a great example of forward-thinking design for framing mobile photography. (Instagram lovers, this is for you!)

Meet the Fotobit: a modular framing system by Alan Yeung. This product allows you to place the frame on the wall using a single nail, balance the frame with a built-in leveler,  and attach the frame to other units to create an assmblage of frames. The concept is very modern and well-received–in fact, the Kickstarter has raised over $4,000 above the expected amount! With this trend in frame collage design on the rise, it’s obvious that this style of design is here to stay.

picture frame collage

You can find the creator’s Kickstarter page here.

What are your thoughts on this new product? Let us know if you’re a fan of this modular-style frame, or what you’ve done to mimic this look! (We personally thing that our Architect series could handle the challenge!)

National Photography Month

National Photo Month – May 2014

Join us in celebrating National Photo Month, the PMA’s initiative to spark creativity in photography

With the winter season (hopefully) behind us, it’s time to look forward to sunshine and clear skies. While we’re all outside dusting off our cameras and shooting anything shiny or colorful, it’s a good season for some friendly competition and encouragement! What better way to start it out with a whole month dedicated to Photography?

This coming May starts National Photo Month. Created and promoted be the PMA, this “holiday” month supports photographers and creators of imagery everywhere by promoting education, contests, resources and community involvement in regards to photography. Whether you’re a student, hobbyist or professional, everyone can benefit from Photography month.

So what kinds of things should you shoot during National Photo Month? Besides the obvious answer of “anything you want”, it’s an even better idea to use the month to take experimental photos and push the borders more than usual. Use sources of inspiration like Pinterest and Tumblr blogs to find information on different tips to try, or perhaps subject matter you’ve not yet explored!

national photo month
Pinterest provides a great source for photography inspiration.

 

Are you a practicing photographer? Leave a comment below about your experiences with National Photo Month! If you plan on getting involved this year, what are you doing to prepare?

 

photo frames
National Photo Month, presented by the PMA

 

custom picture frames

To Frame, or Not to Frame?

Framing can become a burden for both client and artist alike. Here are some ways you can save money AND your artist/client relationships.

Framing can be a frustrating task for those trying to make a living on their art. Sometimes, even the responsibilities of framing are unclear. Do you leave framing up to the client, or take care of it yourself? From the other perspective, should you frame a piece of art you bought, or place that task on someone else? Cost is definitely the largest deterrent for artists — the cost of just one framing job can be an unthinkable amount of money to spend up front. This is particularly true if your client is indecisive about framing, constantly asking for different frames for the piece. When time and money are factors, these questions can become a nightmare!

From an artist standpoint, instead of spending all the money on a custom job, you may want to consider covering the framing yourself. That’s where online retailers like Frame USA can help. With thousands of mouldings, frame series and mat combinations to choose from, you can find the look you’re going for without sacrificing any of the cost.

1. Discuss framing choices with your client.

art framing

Before making any big decisions on your artwork, you should talk about the frame with your buyer. Sometimes they won’t have an opinion, and many times they share an opinion too late. You can prevent about half of the miscommunication by discussing it openly beforehand. Are they looking for something more modern, or something more elegant? How will those decisions relate to your artwork? These are just a few questions that should impact your art framing decisions.

2. Take note of the surroundings in which your art will hang.

art picture framing

Environment is half the battle of hanging artwork. For instance, your work is hanging with older pieces, you should think about fitting the same tone. If your work is to be displayed with other modern artwork, you may want to look for a more simple frame.

In the same regard, it’s not always necessary to have a frame! Sometimes a bare canvas is more situationally appropriate, or a matting job can convey the piece perfectly. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your options.

3. Factor in cost of framing with the total price of the art

Framing your art is a financial responsibility between artist AND client. Think about what your art is worth, then figure a fair price to charge extra based on the framing. A custom job will obviously raise the price significantly, so learning how to size and order your own frames will save you a great deal of hassle in the long run. Some artists even take it upon themselves to make their own frames. The point is, finding out how to make or source your own frames will save you time and money in the long run. If your pieces typically run for several thousand a piece, then perhaps custom framing is exactly what you need!

custom picture frames
The cost of framing can be high. Do you invest in a custom frame, or take matters into your own hands?

 

Inspiration and Photo credit by: ProfessionalArtistMag.com

custom picture frames

The Art of Framing

Artistic framing is precise framing, guiding the customer with their ideas to make the total composition fit their exact needs.

In many cases, the design of a picture frame (as well as the mat pairings, v-grooves, bevels etc.) make as much of an artistic statement as the artwork itself. Framers use design principles such as color theory, geometric correctness, depth perception and texture to decide what will compliment your artwork to the best of their ability. This is, of course, all done with the artwork and your own personal preferences in mind, and a good framer will walk you through the entire process.

It’s also an impressive feat when a framer will not only custom frame your piece to perfection, but engrave and/or carve your specific designs into the wood. While we don’t specialize in custom framing to that degree, we do offer personalization services, laser engraving and a fully-staffed custom framing department that can answer any questions you have about making your artwork even better with a frame job that completes the composition.

Unlike other custom framers (both online and in our retail store located in Cincinnati, Ohio), our  photography and art-creating customers see much higher sales and return by framing with us. How, you ask? Lower price points for all of our items and labor! In one example, we had a customer call in from a local big-name hobby shop that wanted to charge somewhere in the neighborhood of $900 for a relatively small frame job (and that was with 50% off!) For the same service (and better quality, in his opinion!) we worked with him to frame his total order for only $479.

custom picture frames

You can follow our instagram account to see just what kinds of artwork and memorabilia we’ve been framing, from guitars signed by the “Goo Goo Dolls” to movie posters, sports jerseys to ornate wedding photography. Fill out our custom quote form today to see how we can make your art preservation dream a reality (while also saving you money!

 

shadow box frames

Shadow Box Frames as Fine Art – Exploring Dioramas

Shadow Box Frames and Fine Art Assemblage

Recently, we’ve seen a great shift between the realms of 2D and 3D art. Not quite paintings and not quite sculptures, these art pieces are more of an assemblage of 3D objects meant to be viewed on a 2D-plane. You may have even made these in school at some point.

Today, we are talking about dioramas.

Not your average middle school project

While popular for school projects, this Alice in Wonderland piece is proof that dioramas are every bit as capable of being fine art.

 

Before you get skeptical, these are anything but your average diorama. Shadow box frames are typically used to hang sports jerseys and personal memorabilia, and custom framers are great at arranging these objects to fit whatever the customer may need. Using shadow boxes for fine art, however, requires much more creativity and artistic know-how. You will need to experiment and try different methods of mixed media and sculpture to get the effect you’re looking for.

shadow box frames

Don’t be afraid to experiment, though! Experimentation is how you become more advanced in your art, and trying a slew of different things is necessary to become more creative and technically skilled. Find our shadow box frames here to get started!

For a great inspiration board from pinterest, click here.

To see how Audra Krunkle from Oddities: San Francisco does her work, click here.

DIY framing

DIY Craft Ideas – Picture Framing Projects

Frame USA Offers Craft Kits for those who Love to “Do It Yourself”

We get it, we get it! Projects that start with a broken couch and an old rusted locomotive engine often DO make some of the coolest home design pieces. Just like we can’t get enough of lightbulbs turned into gardening fixtures or christmas wreaths made out of coat hangers. It’s fun, stylish, cheap incredibly creative.

We make it a point to offer a few lines of products that our customers can tweak and edit to their heart’s desire. Below, we’ll list some sources of great products that you can use to make your own custom frame designs — but first, a video that should clarify the whole DIY process for beginners!

Once you’ve gotten the hang of the inspiration – create – share phases, you’ll be churning out great projects in no time. Here are some products we offer that have inspired some great customer creations in the past — we’re sure you’ll find them useful, too!

Unfinished Picture Frames: The ultimate favorite when it comes to complete personalization, the unfinished series can be oiled, glossed or stained to create the perfect look you’re trying for.

Decorate – It Picture Frames: A favorite for the kids, the Decorate-It series  has always been a great success for ourselves and customers alike. The highlight of this frame is the totally open, flat surface which you can use to decorate in any way you’d like. We’ve really enjoyed taking these to local festivals and fairs, bringing craft supplies and letting kids decorate their own frames. You really can’t go wrong with Decorate-It, as a professional or as a craft-lover.

DIY framing
Just one example of the crafty things you can create with Decorate-It, such as this “gesso / painted coral” look.

U-Frame Kits: These metal frame kits are unique in that they do not come assembled, rather, they arrive to you in two pieces per item purchased. What does this mean for you? Total framing freedom! Our easy-to-use kits come with assembly instructions and come with two pieces of moulding per item bought. What this means is that you can buy a 24 inch U Frame Kit and a 36 inch U Frame Kit, then assemble them to create a 24×36 frame! Aside from the freedom in assembling your own way, you also have the ability to mix colors if your art piece calls for something outside of the traditional frame.

Shadow Box / Jersey Frames: Being in the home town of both the Cincinnati Bengals and the Reds, we see a pretty great amount of business from Shadow Box customers. Shadow box frames are also commonly referred to as “Jersey frames” among athletes and sports fans. These are good for many other purposes, however — dioramas, antiques, art installations and 3D assemblage pieces are among many other ways to use these frames to their fullest.

Acid – Free Mat Tape “Frame”: A relatively new method (popularity-wise) that involves wrapping the outside of the frame in tape, creating unique designs where the only limitation is your own creativity. Our mat tape is perfect for things like this! See some awesome examples here!

DIY Frames
Custom Picture Frame Mats: We also offer custom mats to fit any frame you may already have built. Using MatDesigners, you can order mats that can fit into almost any picture frame with the exact style and opening you’re looking for.

Other fun series: Barnwood and Corporate always produce fun results for our customers, just because of their versatility and price. Barnwood is naturally a very earthy look, so this frame already fits the DIY description!

Follow us on Pinterest for more on some fun “DIY” projects. We would love to see what great things you’ve created with our frames!

personalized picture frames

Laser Engraving – What to Look for in an Engraver

Laser engraved products are absolutely storming the market, anywhere from engraved jewlery to engraved hunting rifles. A big draw to this is personalization; being able to modify a product so that it reflects something with meaning to the consumer. It goes without saying, then, that laser engraving is something that must be done with the utmost care and skill to give the customer exactly what they want.

In a recent post by DECOR magazine, Lisa Crabtree of Spring, Texas uses her laser engraving machine to corner the engraving market in the small town. She discusses all of the big project undertakings that come with engraving products. You can read more about it here!

The big secret to engraving lies in the craftsmanship, technology and the technical skill of the engraver. One must know how to troubleshoot errors, utilize expert layout skills and have a broad understanding of the engraved material. It can be a very costly process if your engraver is not careful.

Similarly, it’s important to know the limitations of laser engraving. There are many surfaces that can be harmful if engraved, or even ruined. Knowing an expert is half the battle!

You can get started with our laser engraving app located here!

More on engraving: DECOR Magazine

framing artwork

Framing Artwork – Artist Perspective

If you follow our Paper.li news feed, we try to share some great advice in the art and framing community throughout the week. You can find this online publication here.

One article that stood out to use was and article called “Framing Artwork”, a robust and long-winded article on art becoming  more than the act of creating art, but also involving labor and democracy, that art makes up more than creative and technical processes but includes labor as any other job does.

We happen to agree. The author also cites examples from Warhol, who was the first artist to relate to society’s conformity and democratic approach to art. To quote the author,

“Art is not simply the place where desires get expressed and monetized. It is also where desires get fulfilled and monetized. There will always be a remainder, and that remainder is the libidinal investment in art as a space different from other spaces, and in creativity as a more expansive ideal of production. The persistence of this remainder demands a critique of artistic labor that goes beyond the terms offered by political economy, a critique that takes seriously those desirous investments that become entwined with—but are not reducible to—art’s institutions and economic engines.”

We think it’s good to keep this in mind when framing artwork. Art is most complete through hard work and working to improve yourself, and of course, working to make your work ready for display. Don’t be afraid to go the extra mile! We also offer custom framing services if you need help along the way.

FrameUSA.com

 

Source: E-Flux’s article, “Framing Artwork” by Lindsay Caplan