Some of the most frequent questions I’ve been asked concern framing and whether prints should be framed with a mat or not. While I can’t claim to be a framing specialist, I'm happy to offer insights into various framing styles along with a few illustrative examples. Hopefully, these help you on your way to creating the ideal presentation for your wall art that works best in your space!

  • framed art print framed with mat

    Framing with a mat

    Is a mat important to framing?  I think so. Mats create an additional border and gives a print ‘room to breathe’ by creating space between the image and the frame.

    Image above: 'Afternoon Blue'
  • fine art print framed without mat

    Framed without a mat

    The choice of mat vs no mat is personal, and a matter of taste. Mats 'size up' smaller prints and many people opt to skip the map when they are framing larger print sizes.

    Image above: 'Jade'
  • float frame fine art print

    Float framing

    "Floating" or "float mounting" is a style of framing where the art print sits on top of the matting. The elevation of the print compared to the matting adds depth, shadow creating extra drama.

    Image above: 'Evening Over Evermore'

Other considerations for framing art prints

Fine art prints are delicate objects and need to be protected in their frame with glazing. The glazing protects them from dust, dirt, moisture and UV light (but don't be hanging your art in direct sunlight!)

Canvas art prints don't need glazing. The options for canvas prints are a little different 

Beyond aesthetics, mats have other purposes. They separate the print from the glazing, keep it perfectly flat, and when you have your heart set on a certain frame that doesn’t quite conform to the dimensions of your print, a custom cut mat can help you bridge the difference.

As a rule, I suggest that people keep their mats simple and white. Simple and white is the best way to ensure your print will look just as fresh in 20 years as it does today.

The choice of framing style is a matter of personal taste and there is no one right way to do it but good framing will help preserve the print so it looks bright and fresh for years to come.

Your framer can help you visualize the options and create a presentation that will highlight the beauty of the art on your walls!