MATTED PRESENTATIONS FOR
FINE ART ON PAPER AND PHOTOGRAPHS
Matted presentations are used when you want to cover the edges of the photograph or work on paper and the mat is deep enough to provide a separation from the glazing. This is often done when the artwork has large borders around the image or has edges that are frayed or damaged.
We recommend using museum quality mat board to ensure that the art is protected over time from acidity. Museum boards are made from 100% percent rag boards and made from cotton which is naturally lignin-free.
Measuring for matted presentations
The first step is to measure the amount of the artwork you want to show. Be sure and measure in at least 1/8" from each edge (on larger pictures we recommend a minimum 1/4") to ensure the artwork lies flat and is secure under the mat.
If the photograph or artwork is signed, often the measurement for the inside dimension of the mat is 1/4 - 1/2" from the image and enough at the bottom to ensure the signature shows.
Determining Border Size for matted presentations
As the size of the mat increases, the size of the mat border increases, too. We seldom recommend mat borders less than 2". If the photograph or artwork has large borders you will need to make the mat large enough to cover the borders. As the artist you can trim the borders if you want to have a smaller mat. As a framer we never recommend trimming original artwork.
Sizes ranging from 16 x 20 and up generally get 2 1/2" - 5" borders. Traditionally, mat borders are equal on the top and sides and 1/4" - 1" extra on the bottom border. Visually this seems to make the mat borders look even. However, many artists prefer to make all borders even so they can use and reuse the mats on either horizontal or vertical pictures.
Custom Frame mat calculator
Just measure your artwork and decide on the border size and our new custom calculator will do the rest.