Framing Tips: Thinking of Placement When Framing

BY: ALDEN WILLIAMS // 6.20.2023

It can be a daunting process figuring out how you want to frame your artwork, memorabilia, or family photos. An easy thing to think about before you start the framing  process is where this item will be placed. Will it be somewhere in the house, office, or a gift to a friend? Taking a few pictures of the space can give more clues for your framer to match the aesthetic of the framing with the artwork and the final destination. A few options I like to think about when looking at the room are the wall color, surrounding furniture, lighting and how the framing will function in the space. These considerations are key indicators for decisions such as matching or contrasting colors, choosing materials that resonate with the space, the functionality of frame depth and the type of glass best suited for the lighting of the room.

For example, one client emphasized that he had medium to dark gray walls. His collection consists primarily of post graffiti art. We decided on a white frame and mat. This decision allowed for the frame to have presence on the wall without pulling down the room. It also is a contemporary look for his collection and the artwork takes center stage without distractions. A white frame with gray or taupe wall color can help the work have more visibility adding a crisp look to a room.  Another example is a time I went on a site visit with a local designer. We had picked out a few frames for a room to make sure the wood tones would work for the wood panel walls. A consideration I hadn’t thought of until I was in the space was the surrounding furniture. There were tones that could be played off and create cohesive harmony in the room. Furniture can also help you with figuring out what style of frame you want. If your furniture is traditional then a softer frame might be more suited for you rather than a clean edge contemporary frame. 

The functionality of a space is also important. If a work is going to be in a hallway or above a couch I typically caution away from using a frame that will project 2 or more inches into the space. This can be cumbersome to navigate on a day to day level or in a public space having multiple people engaging closely to the work. Glazing is something to think about for functionality. Two main distinctions for glazing is the material: glass versus acrylic. There are pros and cons to both of these. Acrylic is shatter resistant and best used for large works and glass is typically more cost effective and has been the standard for a very long time. In our shop we carry the highest UV standard of 99% protection. From there we can decide based on the lighting of the space if you will want anti reflective glazing. We considered this based on direct light from a window or artificial lighting or if the light will be diffused throughout the day mitigating reflection. 

These are a few things to consider when thinking of framing for home, office or other public spaces. Framing not only acts as a means to an end for protecting an object from the elements of light, humidity and temperature change but can be an extension of how you merge an idea, memory, or artifact into the context of your environment.