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Author Topic: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary  (Read 1045 times)

Schmoe

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Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« on: February 12, 2018, 01:23:59 PM »

Hey there, I'm excited to start printing a bunch of my work, and I'm looking at cost effective ways to hang and display.  My rough plan is to rotate images through a fixed collection of frames that I plan to buy.  With an eye towards keeping costs down, my original thought was to frame my photos as full bleed without any matting.  And if I want any kind of white border, I'd do that in the print out. 

Question is: what am I losing by not matting?  Is it just an aesthetic thing?  Or does it serve some other function that I will regret not having?

Many thanks in advance for advising an enthusiastic newbie. :)
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DougDolde

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2018, 02:47:19 PM »

You risk the print sticking to the glass or acrylic.  A bad idea.
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sportmaster

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2018, 02:48:34 PM »

A mat separates the print from the glass and potential sticking problems.
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Telecaster

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2018, 04:13:17 PM »

I've often tacked a print with a "mat" built in, as you describe, directly to a piece of backing board. No frame. Works fine. Unless you plan on selling prints I wouldn't worry about it.

-Dave-
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Schmoe

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2018, 04:42:28 PM »

I've often tacked a print with a "mat" built in, as you describe, directly to a piece of backing board. No frame. Works fine. Unless you plan on selling prints I wouldn't worry about it.

-Dave-

Thanks, Dave.  If I may, can you elaborate on what exactly you do when you "tack" a print to backing board?  Are you using some kind of glue or double-sided tape?  And what kind of backing board do you use?  Thanks.
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patjoja

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2018, 05:05:20 PM »

Thanks, Dave.  If I may, can you elaborate on what exactly you do when you "tack" a print to backing board?  Are you using some kind of glue or double-sided tape?  And what kind of backing board do you use?  Thanks.

The classic way to mount a print to a backing board is to take linen adhesive tape (Lineco...available at most art stores), cut two strips about 1.5" long and make a "T" with the tape, adhesive side to adhesive side, and then one side to the backing board and one side to the print.  It's easier to do than describe.

Another way is to buy plastic corners that lay under the mat.

Patrick
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Schmoe

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2018, 05:48:20 PM »

The classic way to mount a print to a backing board is to take linen adhesive tape (Lineco...available at most art stores), cut two strips about 1.5" long and make a "T" with the tape, adhesive side to adhesive side, and then one side to the backing board and one side to the print.  It's easier to do than describe.

Another way is to buy plastic corners that lay under the mat.

Patrick

Oh, I was under the impression that Dave was describing an alternative method of hanging prints that doesn't use a frame at all.
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2018, 05:56:22 PM »

You can use a small spacer to keep the print from touch the glass.

https://www.framedestination.com/blog/accessories/feeling-lost-in-spacers-heres-help

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Robert Boire

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2018, 06:00:05 PM »

Instead of a a mat, I believe it is possible to get small spacers that sit between the glass and the print to ensure the print never touches the frame....though I have never actually seen them. Has anybody seen these?

An alternative also to using a mat is to use a so-called shadow box frame, basically a box with a glass front, where the print is actually recessed from the glass and attached to the backing of the frame. From what I have seen, many art galleries use this type of frame especially for large prints by contemporary artists.

And of course there is face mounting ...which I am trying to figure out myself (http://forum.luminous-landscape.com/index.php?topic=123165.0).

Slobodan Blagojevic

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2018, 07:40:00 PM »

Instead of a a mat, I believe it is possible to get small spacers that sit between the glass and the print to ensure the print never touches the frame....though I have never actually seen them. Has anybody seen these?...

I have one frame with it. Works nice. I also have a dear family photo that's been permanently ruined by sticking to the glass like glued in one area.

On the "why mat" subject, one more factor to consider: it adds depth and richness to the whole framed picture (as opposed to just adding white space).

BobShaw

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2018, 08:50:56 PM »

Hey there, I'm excited to start printing a bunch of my work, and I'm looking at cost effective ways to hang and display.  My rough plan is to rotate images through a fixed collection of frames that I plan to buy. 
What does "cost effective" mean?
If you mean display today and remove tomorrow or within a couple of months then great.
If you are selling framed prints at a market for $35 then framing doesn't matter. Neither does the print sticking to the glass because you will never see them again. If however you are selling photographs for hundreds or thousands of dollars then presentation is pretty important. If the print sticks to the glass and forms little lakes on the surface then they will be unhappy and want their money back. So you will lose reputation and the entire cost of the work.

You can get spacers. They are clear plastic self adhesive 2metre lengths that you buy from the framing shop. They are more expensive than the cardboard they replace.

Mats do several things. They protect the image as mentioned, They increase the size of the work (>$). They make it look better (>$). They allow some adjustment so you can get the horizon straight for example. The only time I don't use one is when a particular print has to be the same size and then I use spacers.
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Schmoe

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2018, 09:30:23 PM »

What does "cost effective" mean?
If you mean display today and remove tomorrow or within a couple of months then great.
If you are selling framed prints at a market for $35 then framing doesn't matter. Neither does the print sticking to the glass because you will never see them again. If however you are selling photographs for hundreds or thousands of dollars then presentation is pretty important. If the print sticks to the glass and forms little lakes on the surface then they will be unhappy and want their money back. So you will lose reputation and the entire cost of the work.

You can get spacers. They are clear plastic self adhesive 2metre lengths that you buy from the framing shop. They are more expensive than the cardboard they replace.

Mats do several things. They protect the image as mentioned, They increase the size of the work (>$). They make it look better (>$). They allow some adjustment so you can get the horizon straight for example. The only time I don't use one is when a particular print has to be the same size and then I use spacers.

Ah, sorry if I wasnít clear on this point. These are not for sale. Just for display in my own home.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
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Wayne Fox

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2018, 10:06:30 PM »

Instead of a a mat, I believe it is possible to get small spacers that sit between the glass and the print to ensure the print never touches the frame....though I have never actually seen them. Has anybody seen these?
did you click the link the previous reply I sent?  this is exactly what  you are referring to.  Yes I use them all the time.
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Robert Boire

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2018, 10:26:34 PM »

Yes I did. I only saw you response after I posted mine.

Thanks

mikev1

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2018, 12:49:36 AM »

I almost always prefer a mat.  Many reasons why already posted by others.

Iíll settle for white space around the print if just hanging on poster hangers like this. (Very easy to make something similar yourself)

Google DYI poster hangers and youíll see a number of different options.

And despite my best intentions to rotate my prints around the home, I never seem to get around to it all that often!
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Mike D. B.

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #15 on: February 13, 2018, 01:18:37 AM »

Iíll settle for white space around the print if just hanging on poster hangers like this. (Very easy to make something similar yourself)
Great poster hangers!  I have over two dozens pairs and switch prints at home every few months.  Simple and quick.  They're also cost effective and easy to handle for exhibitions, though they don't offer protection from very inquisitive viewers.
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hogloff

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #16 on: February 13, 2018, 01:47:45 AM »

I typically do not use glass in my frames if they are just hanging in my house. Some of my prints have a matte, others donít. Removing the glass also saves you money and the prints look a lot richer without any glare. The downfall is the possibility of the prints getting damaged. I donít worry about damage as I can just reprint the image.
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nemophoto

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #17 on: February 13, 2018, 08:24:56 AM »

Iíve been printing and framing (and stretching) my own prints for 20 years. As has been mentioned, without a mat, there is a very real risk of the print sticking to the glass/plexi. An alternative to to create a ďfloatingĒ mount. Basically you use plastic spacers in the corners of the frame that will keep the print from contacting the glass. You still have the look and feel you want, but you donít risk the print sticking to the glass. Many, many years ago, I used to use ďframelessĒ frames that used clips and a backing board. I used these for tear sheets and prints hanging in my old studio. Years later, I came across the frames. A handful of both tears and prints (remember these were chemical prints, not inkjet or dye-sub). Some stuck to the glass, some did not. So itís a crap shoot, depending upon what you want to do/risk. Sun light and humidity will exacerbate the possibility of sticking.


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PeterAit

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #18 on: February 13, 2018, 09:35:58 AM »

When hanging my own prints home I never use glass/plexi. Why bother? Family and guests know not to touch, and remember - it's a PRINT so you can always make another! Plus they look better unglazed.

You might find this system useful for quick, cheap, and temporary installations: 

https://posterhanger.com/

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Peter
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Schmoe

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Re: Newbie framing question: is a mat really necessary
« Reply #19 on: February 13, 2018, 11:48:21 AM »

Thanks all for the insights.  :)
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