If you are serious about art collecting, you will have to be serious about framing. As such, all your art prints should be custom-framed by a professional with protecting the artwork as the ultimate consideration.
A professional framer has the right tools and experience to ensure your prints are framed without damage. Further, they should possess the skills to talk you through the important components you must consider before framing an artwork, such as:
- How well a frame protects the print.
- How well the frame complements the print.
- How the frame may appeal to (or offend) other collectors.
What you need to know:
How well does the frame protect the print?
It is a good idea to spend time talking to your framer and listen to their recommendations in respect to the qualities needed for protecting specific prints. Most framers are incredibly knowledgeable and very happy to spend time talking through your framing needs.
Perhaps the most crucial piece of advice you can ask of your framer is what type of glass and what type of matting is appropriate.
You may think that buying the most expensive museum-grade glass is the best choice for every art print. However, this is not true, and a good framer is likely to agree. Certain prints, like those printed with light-fast pigments on hearty card stock, may only require a cheaper grade glass to keep it pristine over the years. In these cases, a museum-grade glass may be overkill and add unnecessary expense to your collection.
Similarly, a framer will be able to advise you if a print would be better protected if a mat (or mount) were included in the frame. A mat is the (typically white) card that is laid over top of your print to separate it from the glass and to serve as a padding between the end of the print and the start of the frame. The size, color, texture of the mat can all be discussed with your framer, or if a mat is even needed at all.
How well does the frame complement the print?
Framing a print is one of the most creative tasks for an art collector. In a way, you are collaborating with the artist to ensure their print is perfectly framed (or at least, does not distract from the artwork).
As you will see when you visit the framers, there is the great number of materials, sizes, and colors you can choose from, including raw and painted wood, metal, and gold leaf ornate frames, to name just a few.
Choosing a frame that does not match the print can have a detrimental impact on its resale price. This is because future potential buyers will have to consider the re-framing costs when negotiating a sale price.
Always remember, when you sell a print from your collection, you are not just selling the art; you are most likely also selling its frame. For this reason, you should never rush the process of framing.
How will the frame appeal to other collectors?
It is important to remember that you are an art investor. Meaning, your ultimate goal is to sell the art you collect to someone else in the future.
As such, you should consider not just what looks good to you but what would be appealing to future art collectors. With this in mind, it can be best to err on the side of caution, and avoid flamboyant or garish frames, even if they (in the moment) compliment an art print perfectly.