When you have a piece of art, a photograph or an item that you want framed, you have several options as to how to go about getting it done. With a photo, you can easily buy a ready-made photo frame at almost any store. For a poster or print, many retail stores offer standard poster frames that are available in a variety of colors and sizes to fit your décor. As an alternative, you could also visit one of the many "do-it-yourself" framing centers where, with the help of employees, you can cut your own mat and build your own frame. With all these options available, why are you in a custom frame shop?

Designing Your Framing Package

Although a good artistic eye is something that can't be taught, there are certain rules of custom framing which lead to good design. When followed, these guidelines, well known to your custom framer, produce a beautiful, well-balanced framing presentation that enhances the work of art without overpowering it.

For example, did you know that the width of the mat border should never match the width of the frame? This tends to draw the eye away from the art they surround. Or that a poorly placed decorative element, such as a French line, can detract from the beauty of the finished package? Good design based on commonly accepted framing principles is one of the many reasons to custom frame.

Protecting Your Artwork

Perhaps the best reason to custom frame your personal and well-loved works of art is that a professional picture framer has the skills and materials necessary to preserve and protect them as closely as possible to their original condition. Acid- and lignin-free mat and mount boards contain no impurities which can damage the art they surround. Special UV-filtering glazing such as Tru Vue® Conservation Series® Glass featuring TruGuard® UV Protection can be used to protect art from the irreversible damage caused by light exposure.

Professional picture framers have the training and skills required to use these materials to beautifully present your treasured items in a way that will not only enhance their appearance, but also protect them for your enjoyment for years to come.

Why A Custom Framer?

If you were planning to build a new home for your family, would you ask the person working in the lumber department of your local home improvement store to draw up the plans? Or, if you were sick, would you ask the checkout person at your drug store to diagnose and treat your illness? Probably not.

The same reasoning applies to your decision to use a custom framer's services. A professional picture framer is a person who has been formally educated to know how to preserve, protect and beautify works of art, regardless of their known value. Many hold the professional degree of Certified Picture Framer or CPF. This notation can only be used with one's name after a rigorous, standardized test has been passed. CPF is to framing as Dr. is to medicine.