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Art Exhibition Mockup

How to Prepare for an Art Exhibition

As an artist, getting accepted into an art exhibition can be super exciting but also overwhelming. You’ve put the hours into creating your artwork, but now it’s time to make it presentable. The work itself is what got you accepted into the show, but your presentation is what will help you sell.

Arranging Your Work

One of the first things to consider is how much space you have. If you know the dimensions of the wall or room you’ll be displaying in, you can make a mock-up of how you want to arrange your pieces. This way you don’t have to worry about whether or not everything will fit once you’re ready to set up. You can do this by measuring each piece and drawing a to-scale diagram of the space. Or if you want to see how it will really look, you can measure the actual size in your home or studio, arrange your pieces in that space, and take photos to reference when you’re setting up.

Art Exhibition Mockup

Photograph Before Framing

Before getting your art display-ready, you’ll want to make sure you have high quality documentation of each piece. Depending on the kind of work you’re showing, you should photograph or scan it before adding a frame with glass or any other distracting display materials. This way, if you sell any pieces during your exhibition you’ll still be able to use it in your portfolio.

Art Exhibition

Create a Price List and Business Cards

You’ll want visitors of your art exhibition to be able to easily find prices and information about your work. Before your show starts, create a list with each piece’s title, size, media, and price. This list should be displayed somewhere that is accessible to the audience. Depending on how big the show is, you might want to print multiple copies and set them in different places.

Business cards are also important to display at your show. This way if someone is interested in your work and wants to get in touch in the future, they’ll know how to contact you. People might walk into the exhibition on a whim without the funds to purchase something. However, if they have your business card it will remind them that they enjoyed your art, and they’ll be able to easily find you.

Frame Your Work and Prepare for Display

If your art is 2-D you’ll want to make sure it’s framed and ready to hang. There are tons of options for picture frames for your work. However, it’s important that the frame doesn’t out shine or distract from your art. Keep it simple so that no one is paying more attention to the frame than your art. Black or white frames are usually a safe bet. Depending on how you choose to use a frame, or if you go without one, you might need additional hardware to be able to easily hang your work.

Art Exhibition

Be Personable!

One of the best ways to make connections is to have genuine conversations with your audience. Let them know that you’re the artist and you’re open to answering questions. If they don’t have questions for you, ask them how they heard about the show or what made them stop by. If someone seems interested in your work at all, let them know you have business cards. Being likable in general will make people more engaged with your art.

Matting Art Tips

Tips for Matting Artwork – Color, Size, and Display

Matting Artwork

When looking at a piece of art, matting can really brighten or enhance the image. People often ask if you should mat a picture based on the image itself or based on the room it will hang in. It’s actually a little of both. You don’t want to have a mat, frame, and picture totally clash with the wall it’s hanging on. But you also want to highlight some of the colors from the art. I like a mat to pull out some of the subtle colors in a picture. You can use just one mat or multiple! We’ve matted up to 4 times on some of our framed art in the retail store gallery.

Matting Artwork Tips
We also play with spacing the mats differently so there is a small gap between one mat and the next. It’s fun to try and pull colors out that you are drawn to or would like to feature. Mats can help draw your eyes to the uniqueness in a piece of art. You can play with the reveal (amount of each color shown) for each mat. Typically we have the bottom mat show 1/4″ and the top mat is 2″, but this can be customized depending on the art and the customer preference.

Another way to mat artwork is to do what is called “floating”. When you float something, the mat is solid behind your artwork. This is really cool when you have a signature that is right at the edge. Some artwork has rough edges and it would be a shame to hide the unique effect this creates in the piece. This is when floating can really help finish off the art.

Using Mats For Non-Standard Sized Images

Matting is also a great way to put an odd size picture into a standard size frame. For example, you want to fit your 10×12 picture into an 11×14 frame. We can cut a mat that will fit both the frame and the exact size needed for the image. We have tons of mats in stock in several colors. Plus we have a large selection of mats that we can order for customers.

Matting Art Tips Art Matting Tips
If you are framing artwork as a gift for someone, it is best to keep the colors and frames neutral since you don’t know where they may be hanging the gift.

Occasionally, we’ll have a customer bring in their framed artwork looking for something to spruce it up. Just changing the mats can totally change the overall look of your image. It can make it look like a completely new piece! We have so much fun playing with colors and finding what looks the best to make the art really pop!

-Laurie Meurer

New Frame Series - Timber Barn Wood Brown

New Series Spotlight – Timber Barnwood Frames

Hello fellow framers! As we all know, summer is quickly coming to a close. And with that, comes all the fall things (HAPPY DANCE!). This season we’re introducing a brand new series to the Frame USA collection called “Timber”. Our new series Timber Barnwood is a great way to spruce up that She Shed, or dust off those old time, sepia-toned photos to hang around the house. It’s perfect for bringing the tranquility of outdoors inside your home. You’ll thank us for it once the weather gets cold!

She Shed
Rustic framing, or shabby chic, is becoming a major trend in home décor! With three different colors to choose from in this series (black, white, and light brown), you won’t have any trouble at all finding a place for these frames in your home. This series is made from real Spruce wood, but gives the illusion of reclaimed wood without the imperfections. The moulding gives a natural appearance with distressed ridges. Whether you’re stuck in the city and miss the country life, or you’re in the country and want to bring that feeling indoors, these frames are exactly what you’re looking for!

New Frame Series - Timber Barnwood Black New Frame Series - Timber Barn wood Brown New Frame Series - Timber Barnwood White
Just like all of our frames, the Timber series is American-made in our warehouse in Cincinnati, OH. Buying from Frame USA means supporting an American company and getting the best quality products! Now through 8/26/18 you can try these new Timber frames for 15% off. Just use coupon code “TIMBER” at check out to take advantage of this awesome discount!

Dry Mounting Art

What is Dry Mounting and Does Your Image Need It?

Does your image need dry mounting?

Dry Mounting Art   Fine Art Prints
The process of dry mounting adheres your image to foam core using a heat press. Sometimes when art is printed, the paper will have slight imperfections. The process isn’t reversible, but it will remove any bends, smileys, creases, or curls that may be in your art work.

Dry Mounting for Paper creases

The best way to determine whether your image needs to be dry mounted or not is based on the value of your piece. It is highly recommended by our team that photographs, posters, prints, and newspapers are dry mounted before framing. This is because they can be reproduced, since the dry mounting process is permanent. The paper they’re printed on can also be prone to creases or bends. Another reason to dry mount a piece is if your artwork has been stored in a tube for an extended time. Dry mounting will smooth out the curl in your artwork.

Signed Posters

If you have a signed or numbered piece, it’s best to opt out of dry mounting as it does decrease value. Foam core is not archival. And once your art has been dry mounted, it is not able to be removed from the foam core.

Dry mounting is a way to make your art smooth and flat. The materials that we use are PH balanced, so your artwork will not yellow over time. Knowing the process of dry mounting will help you determine whether or not it’s the right process for your artwork.

If you ever have questions about our process or what is best for your artwork, feel free to reach out to us! You can contact us or visit our retail store in Cincinnati, OH with your questions.

 

– Manda Hill
Frame USA Retail and Specialty Lead

Barnwood Frames

DIY Projects Using Picture Frames – Tips and Ideas

DIY Projects – Tips and Ideas using Picture Frames

 

DIY Projects
Do it yourself projects are a huge trend right now. They’re a great way to bring out your creative side, manage stress, or decorate on a budget. I look at a picture frame and think the possibilities are endless. There are hundreds of styles and sizes that can be transformed into exciting DIY projects!  We’ll start small and work our way larger.

Let’s take a 4×6 frame and place a photo in it. It might seem DIY Gift Ideas obvious, but this could make a great gift for grandparents or other family members. You could also use that same frame and place a gift card inside – now there is a great gift idea! Using a picture frame instead of a greeting card is not only more exciting and unexpected, but many frames are more affordable than the average greeting card. They can also reuse the frame themselves.

Frames make for great wall decor just by adding printed craft paper or chalk board material. Check out this photo below of one of our customers who decorates the outside of our frames and sells them on Etsy! Our Decorate-It frame series is perfect for this kind of project. These unfinished frames are great for your DIY project like painting or collage.

 

DIY Projects Frames

One of my favorite DIY ideas is to add mirror glass to picture frames. Large or small, they can sit on a table or hang on a wall. This makes your frame a one of a kind wall decoration. We have frames that can be stained, painted, any custom finish that one can think of.

Barnwood Frames
Another favorite is the versatility of Frame USA’s natural Barnwood frames.  This series has a great rustic look and can be filled with any style of photo, or decorated with paint or collage. We have even turned them into serving trays that can be customized by simply adding a seasonal paper or family photo.

Last year the employees at Frame USA had the opportunity to make a project from their favorite frame. Each project was unique, creative, and awesome!
We are always adding new mouldings to our frame lines. The possibility of new ideas for creative DIY projects is endless! Get creative and send us your photos of any projects you use our frames for on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter! We love seeing how creative our customers are!

Favorite Frame Series - Decorate It

Favorite Frame Series By Dan Regenold, CEO Frame USA

Our CEO’s Favorite Frame Series

Frame USA CEO Dan Regenold

Favorite Frame Series - Gold Wow, it’s a hard choice for me to try and name my favorite frame series. But, if you put me under pressure, I will give you some personal recommendations of what I would choose to frame my favorite image.

If you are looking for a GREAT gold frame, the American Value #797 Large has always been one of my favorites. It is manufactured at a value price and will look good anywhere. This frame is also very substantial when displayed on your wall.
If you have more of a simple taste in gold, like for a smaller print, maybe for the bathroom or kitchen, I would try American Value Gold #802 Thin—you will not be unhappy with the results.

 

Favorite Frame Series - Corporate Someone told me early on  that with Framing simplicity is usually best. You cannot frame an image more simply that with our Corporate Series. I like the Corporate Narrow frames for just about anything. Corporate is the series you will find that architects choose most frequently for a business setting. It doesn’t take away at all from the artwork and instead enhances the product. A few of my favorite colors—Black, White, Canadian Walnut, Red Mahogany and Brazilian Walnut. You can’t go wrong.

To compliment the corporate frames I might try the Café Collection. The Expresso and Mocha Narrow are colors that are very popular and these choices look great in Narrow or Wide. The Black Series is a profile that will never go out of style. Next to the Corporate Series, the Black Series it is my favorite.

Favorite Frame Series - Clean Cut

 

Under real wood frames—I love the Grande Series Frame in Black or Cherry.  Grande is perfect for doing a lot of the same prints for resale or giveaway. The double finish that the Grande Series offers you will present you with the presentation vs. price you are looking for. The Clean Cut Series is remarkably good—in any color. The green, the blue, the red, the white, they all overachieve with a true “shaker” look. Also, they are at a great price point.


 

Decorate-It Series (especially 1.5 and 2” flat) for a real wood frames offers so many opportunities. Take a look at the “Stem Girls” image that we created where we have lasered the logo on this unfinished frame. It looks great!

Favorite Frame Series - Decorate It IMG_6657

We can laser on the Decorate-It frame or you can have your team decorate the frames themselves with glitter, color, markers, stick-on’s. We can create custom matting. The unfinished segment of our products offer many choices.

Rounding out my favorite series I must tell you I’ve always enjoyed the “stateliness” of our Napoleon frame. Napoleon would be perfect at the Biltmore. It is an old style which is something that never goes away.

Trying for a more contemporary look? Think about the True Depth series. The finish is Favorite Frame Series - Napoleon stunning—white or black, you will not go wrong. At a custom framing shop you would easily pay 3 to 4 times our price.

Finally, Verona Narrow is a handsome frame with a smooth rounded edge. Verona is a little upscale if you are trying for that look. The elegance of our Verona Series will turn heads.

Oh sorry, I’m out of space…I could go on and on…. If they let me write another article I’ll talk to you about our incredible Barnwood and Shadow Box frames.   Until then, happy framing!

Signature

Grey Picture Frames

Grey Picture Frames – July Frame of the Month

Grey Picture Frames Are This Month’s Featured Frame

Every month Frame USA chooses a series of frames to feature and provide a discount for 10% off.
July 2018’s Frame of the Month is the Grey Series.

Grey Picture Frames

We chose this series for the cool look during the summer heat! Frame USA offers both a wide and narrow version of our grey picture frames. These frames are sleek and modern, and do an excellent job of accentuating any artwork without distracting from it.

Grey Picture Frames   Grey Picture Frames

Use coupon code “grey10” during all of July 2018 to get 10% off of any frames from this series. We offer grey picture frames in many standard sizes including 5×7, 8×10, 11×14, 18×24, and several more. If you need a non standard size for your frame, we also offer custom sizing on our grey frame series. Just scroll down to the “Custom Sizes” tab and enter the size and quantity you want for your frames!

4th of July Frame USA

4th of July at Frame USA – Celebrating an American Company

An All American Company on the 4th of July

4th of July at Frame USA

One of Frame USA’s most important values is making our products in the United States. So as you might imagine, the 4th of July is one of our favorite holidays! We strive to give our customers the best quality products by making them here in Cincinnati, OH. This also means we’re creating more jobs for Americans, which helps the economy and the well being of our citizens!

We are able to create our products locally after Frame USA moved in February 2003 into our current 85,000 square foot warehouse and manufacturing facility in the northern Cincinnati area.  After extensive remodeling, we now have a state-of-the-art facility.

Frame USA is grateful to be in a country where people have the freedom to build businesses and follow their dreams. So we are proudly celebrating America’s birthday with a 4th of July sale for our customers!

4th of July Sale

From 7/3/2018 – 7/5/2018 you can get 10% off all orders from any of our four websites – Frame USA, Posterservice Inc, Frame Closeouts, and Mat Designers! The coupon code for this sale is “july2018”. Our websites have a huge variety of frames in all colors, styles, and materials, and a wide selection of posters.

We hope you all have a great and safe 4th of July! Here are a few fun facts about the 4th of July:

  • John Adams made a prediction in a letter to his wife that the “Second Day of July” would be celebrated as American Independence Day, since the Congress had actually voted to sever ties with Great Britain on that day.
  • Independence Day became a federal holiday in 1870.
  • The Founding Fathers actually lost the first draft of the Declaration of Independence.
  • Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both died on July 4th 1826.
  • The original wording in the Declaration of Independence said “the pursuit of property”, but Thomas Jefferson changed it to “the pursuit of happiness.”
Custom Framing

Custom Framing by Our Retail Team and Online

Frame USA Offers a Variety of Custom Framing Options to Make You the Perfect Frame

Here at Frame USA we run a retail store, an online store, and a full production warehouse all at our location in Cincinnati, Ohio. Every part of our team works hard to make Frame USA run smoothly and make the best quality products for our customers. However, this week we’d like to highlight the beautiful custom framing work done by our retail team!

Custom Frameing   Custom Framing Custom Framing

Our team layered multiple mats of different sizes and colors to give dimension to the frames and the artwork. They also used our engraving technology to add details to the frame in the first image. Customers can bring in their artwork or images to our retail store and use the expertise of our team to have them create the perfect unique frame for their piece. One of a kind custom ready made frames can also be bought in our retail store.

However, if you’re not located in Cincinnati or don’t have the time to visit our store, you can still get a custom frame! Our website also has a section for you to customize a frame specific to the size, material, mat, glazing, colors, etc. that you’d like. We’re proud of the creative work our retail team does on custom framing, but that doesn’t mean you can’t design a frame on your own.

If you just want a frame to be engraved, we also have a section on our website that allows you to customize your own engraving on a frame. The options for custom framing with Frame USA endless! Whether you want in person help from our creative and experienced retail team, or you want to design a frame yourself through our website, Frame USA is the perfect place for custom framing.

Wood Diploma Frames

Diploma Frames for the Recent Graduate

June’s Featured Frame of the Month is our whole collection of Diploma Frames!

Diploma Frames

June marks the end of the school year, which means it’s graduation season! Whether it’s college, high school, or even kindergarten, receiving a diploma is an incredible achievement. This is why purchasing diploma frames is so important – you deserve to show off that certificate you worked so hard for. Some people choose to file away their diplomas and certificates and forget all about them. However, displaying a diploma in your office or home is a wonderful reminder of all the effort you put into getting where you are now.

While Frame USA offers a huge selection of frames for showcasing your memories, we do have a section specifically for diploma frames. Our diploma frame section has a wide variety of styles and colors to allow you to choose the perfect frame you want.

Our diploma frame section includes:

Wooden Boardroom Diploma Frames in a variety of colors

Wood Diploma Frame Wood Diploma Frames Wood Diploma Frames

Heavy Metal Diploma Frames in a variety of colors

Metal Diploma Frame Metal Diploma Frame Metal Diploma Frame

Metal Diploma Frames in a variety of colors

Metal Diploma Frames Metal Diploma Frames Metal Diploma Frames

Through the whole month of June 2018 you can get 10% off any of these Diploma Frames using coupon code “diplomas” on our website. These frames can also make an excellent gift for the recent grads in your life! Summer time is full of graduation parties, so be sure to take advantage of this discount and get the perfect gift so those graduates can display their new diploma proudly.