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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Try before you buy – Frame USA offers free quotes on Thousands of Products
If wholesale pricing or bulk ordering is what you’re looking for, then we have the perfect free tool for you. Shopping for anything in bulk can be difficult, or when trying to find that perfect custom framing job without spending an obscene amount of money. We know as well as anyone – making a purchase without knowing exactly what you’re getting is downright unnerving. We have a process of estimating orders and recommending products: our Special Volume Quotes.
To request a quote on any framing need you have, simply fill out our custom quote form. What are the benefits to requesting a free quote as opposed to buying direct? Here are a few reasons:
You’ll receive a reply within 8 business hours.
Custom quoting is a free way to know what you buy, before you buy it.
You won’t spend a dime until you know exactly what you need.
Our representatives are trained to help you find the best framing options for you.
Receive the latest discounts and promotions when ordering online based on your quote.
If you have an item you’ve wanted framed for years, but don’t know where to start, fill out our form and we’ll help you quote a price. We also help with volume orders, wholesale requests and anything from posters to plaques — and of course, framing.
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.
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!
At Frame USA, we pride ourselves at being pretty good with gallery presentations. There’s a lot that goes into launching your first fine art presentation – whether you’re displaying sculpture, installation or 2D artwork. People will be looking at your layout as much as they’ll be looking at the art itself! Because of the sometimes-puzzling nature of galleries, we put together a list of 5 tips for your art or photo exhibition.
1. Present your art well.
First thing’s first – have some high-quality photos of your work! If you’re a photographer, you should be good to go. Make sure that your work is printed on the best possible paper for your shots. For artists of other varieties, you still need to have good quality photos of your work to get you through the gallery doors. Either way, your work will need to be presented in a way that highlights your work. Should your work be screen-printed? Should it be laminated? Should it be framed? Matted? A popular option is floater frames for canvas work, or a sleek in-depth picture frame for eye-popping quality. Consider your options, there are many!
2. Research your gallery.
Time for some logistics! Who are you targeting in this area? What can you do to bring in buyers and gallery-hoppers? Explore different venues of social media, put up flyers in some local coffee shops, tell your friends and family. Are you trying to sell or just create some buzz about your work? These will ultimately affect the vibe of your gallery and any type of events you may have.
3. Think in layouts.
Establish which prints, paintings and sculptures will need to be the focal point of your display. Obviously they will all have value to you, but it’s important to know which pieces look best under what kind of lighting, at what height to display your piece, whether the picture frames you use are appropriate, etc. You’ll need measuring tape and sample lighting to decide what’s best for you!
4. Know your art.
Before you even start the process of displaying your gallery work, ask yourself the hard questions. What makes your art unique, and what will you say to any buyers? What is your focus as an artist? Knowing yourself and your art will save you time and embarrassment moving forward. Don’t be rehearsed, instead, be comfortable and confident in your abilities.
5. Enjoy the process.
Don’t become caught up in a black-and-white mindset of success or failure. Enjoy the process of what it means to have a gallery presentation! This is your project with your artwork, and it is definitely a learning process. Your first show may have been a flop in your mind, but in the end it’s valuable experience that will help you be more successful at your next showing.
As always, be sure to leave any questions for us and we’ll answer to the best of our abilities!
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!
We admit it, we’re a bit biased toward our Build a Frame product. But what’s not to love about building a custom framed image, poster or print at a fraction of the cost? We’ve all been in that situation where a mainstream hobby/art shop has tried to charge us outrageous amounts for only one custom frame job (even after supposedly taking off something around 60%! We’re just saying, $300 for an 11×17 just sounds wrong!)
This is what makes Build a Frame that much more simple. No hassle about getting the best deals. No getting any false discounts. No worrying if they’ll get your order right. Just measure your image or send us your image file using our simple Build A Frame web app. Then pick your frame of choice, matting, backing and glazing. We’ll ship it all, ready to hang and at a price that retailers can’t beat!
This super frame deal won’t be around for long though, so be sure to shop and save today! Just click on the ad below and you’ll be taken to our Build a Frame page, where your only limitation is your own imagination. If you can dream it, we can frame it!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!