Should I custom frame my photograph?
There is so much to know about custom framing!. Unless you’ve been into a custom framing store like Nainsook, where it is part of our service to educate and answer questions, or you grew up in a household that purchased and framed original art, you may not have a clue about custom framing and why it is so important. There is SO MUCH MORE to custom framing that what appears on the surface. Let’s explore the details…
Most Important – The Glass
The MOST IMPORTANT part of your finished piece is really the glass! Glass (also known as “glazing” in the industry) comes in several choices and a wide variety of prices.
Conservation Clear Glass – The most widely used. CC glass as we call it, is the least expensive and protects your photo or art 98% from sunlight and indoor lighting damage. While it is the least expensive it definitely does the job. It does show light reflection however so it is not the best choice if you want to cast light on it to show it off, or put it near a window where the sun will reflect.
70% Art Glass – Art Glass is medium priced and you get big bang for the bucks because it looks like museum glass but costs about 50% less! It will not reflect light, but it has only 70% protection from UV lighting. Perfect for a hallway or bathroom that is low lit.
Museum Glass – You guessed it! This is what the museums use to protect as much as possible from lighting and to show off the piece with no reflection. The best of the best. Expensive but worth it.
Next In Line – The Paper
The SECOND MOST IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle is also something that you cannot see! Paper! The backing on your frame, i.e. that black cardboard like product on the back of the ready-made that you purchased to put your wedding photo in…and also the mat that came with your ready-made frame.
Paper backing on your photo – Paper can be acidic or acid free. Acid free papers and mats are used in conservation framing. If a lower grade of paper, backing or matting is used with your treasured photo you can be sure that in several years it will start to yellow and deteriorate. The acid in the backing or matting that came with the ready-made frame will seep into the photo and change the color.
2. The Mat– The mat has two purposes. The first, to keep it a safe distance from the glass so that when the air temperature surrounding the framing changes, the condensation will not touch the photo. A photograph will actually stick to the glass after time if it is not matted or held away from the glass with a spacer. And the second purpose is to enhance the look of the photo.
So, should YOU custom frame your special photo? Absolutely!
If you want your photo to last and look it’s best the only choice is custom framing.