EXCITING NEWS: Last week we launched a new service called "Done-in-a-Day". The jury's still out on the name deliverables and timing may vary per client, so we may just call it Done in a Day* with a big fat asterisk. Feedback welcome on that front, but basically this service is for those who need a quick fix -- we come into your space with our installer and either tell you where to hang what (perfect for those who just moved) and/or give you a blueprint for improving your current wall situation (that you may want to execute with us or on your own). See the Service page for a full run down.
Framing is a big part of the DIAD* service, as I find that poor framing is one major reason why people's current art looks unideal. We're regularly identifying client pieces for re-framing, taking them to the frame shop, and selecting new ones. Inspired by such issue, and to celebrate the new service, here are a few free and fab framing tips.
1. Framing matters.
Framing isn't a great place to save money; cheap frames make any art look worse. Good frames, however, makes art look better, and this goes for store-bought and custom. Ikea frames, for example are around $15 and are much poorer quality than, say, Room and Board's that retail around $75.
2. Consider Cracks, Corners and the Glass.
Looking at the cracks, corners, and glass of frames is a good way to determine quality. Cracking just looks bad, and let me know if this requires any further explanation. Corners may be a little less obvious -- on a frame, they should come together perfectly and tightly. Any gap or uneven bonding makes them look cheap. Also, the type of glass or plexi used is super telling; cheap glass/plexi is reflective and often unclear. Those Ikea frames I mentioned earlier that clearly are no where in my home look like they have a cloudy filter on them; seeing the art or photo behind the glass is a challenge. If you're getting custom frames, museum glass or the UV non-glare plexi is the way to go.
3. Frame Appropriately
There are ton of ways to frame art. These include with or without glass, matting, float, bevel, etc. and of course there are numerous materials, colors and styles from which to choose. Working with a framer (or us!) gives you the benefit of understanding options that are appropriate for a particular artwork. In general (with some exceptions) works on paper are framed behind glass, either with a mat or hinged to a backing. The same is true for photography, and note that mats used should be acid-free so they don't turn a gross yellow over time (and ruin your art/photos). Paintings on canvas should typically be framed when the edges are "raw", meaning staples connecting the canvas to the support are visible, or the edges are just not cool or pretty at all. Works on canvas are typically not framed behind glass.
With that lesson, you may now be looking at your frames thinking "WOW, mine qualify as crap!" I'm sorry. I didn't mean to insult you or the frames you bought in 1990. Note that acknowledging the issue is the first step to recovery, and maybe you found a great exception from Ikea that I did not... either way, if you're seeking to improve your wall situation, considering the framing (or calling me to possibly deal-with-it-in-a-day) is a good first step.