When researching framing options, you will come across terms being used that you might not be used to. Particularly if you take to framer forums, Facebook groups, or pop into your local framing store.
Discover what framers mean when they talk about…
When framers talk about the frame material, the term mould may be used. They are not referring to a frame with mould on it! The frame mould is the frame material.
The term "moulding" refers to both the material and the design. As an example, a plain wood moulding is just that. Plain wood, even if it is painted. An ornate wood moulding would be a wood frame with some carvings etched into it for a more intricate design.
The recess in a frame refers to the grooves that are cut into the moulding to allow for the different framing materials to be sandwiched inside the frame securely. Without the right recess depth, components will either slide, fall out, or be too crammed in to breathe. Paper contracts and expands in response to temperature and humidity fluctuations so it needs room to breathe!
The standard depth for recesses is 3/8" (roughly just under 10mm) which is enough to hold the glazing, foamboard (picture mount) and backing board. Any deeper, or if a picture mount is not used, framed items will be more prone to moving inside the frame.
Picture mounts have many labels. Mat board, mount board, foam core, backing board, and foam board. They all mean the same thing. A picture mount is a piece of board that goes directly behind the glazing to put space between framed items and the glass or acrylic glazing.
The term double mount refers to using two different colours of picture mounts in a single frame.
Frame spacers can be wood or plastic. They have a thin profile and slot inside of frames to prevent artwork from coming into contact with glazing. These are used when you want to frame prints without a picture mount and still protect the artwork from sticking to the glazing.
A floater frame has no recess because glazing is not used. These frames are designed to house artwork inside the frame without it touching the edges or having a picture mount around it as an aesthetic border. These frames create the illusion that the art is floating inside the frame and are commonly used with prints on canvas and art on wood.
Art board frames
Art board frames are a type of box frame but designed to display works of art that have been created by painting directly onto board. With this type of frame, the art board slots into the frame, is secured with either velcro or preferably glued in place for a sturdier fixing and displayed without glazing. These can have different depths – our art board frames are available in depths of 29mm or 47mm.
Shadow box frames
Shadow box frames refer to frames that have deeper sides than standard photo frames. These can be used for framing flat prints, or 3D objects - which they normally are. These frames are more akin to display cases that can be hung on a wall.
Traditional frames include glazing. You can get real glass that is either flat or etched, but preferable for safety and to keep frames lightweight is acrylic glazing, which is sometimes called plexiglass.