How we influence artwork by our choice of Framing? 

When a piece of artwork is brought to us as Framer by a customer, we know that we have a lot of influence over the look of a final piece of work. A customer may have his or her own ideas but if, as the “expert”, you feel they will not work, it is always better to speak up and offer suitable alternatives.

When choosing the format for the framing of artwork, the five Ps come into play: proportion, presentation, professionalism, profit and pricing.


– Measuring and calculating the final size of a piece of artwork is down to the framer. An incorrect proportion can make a piece of work look inadequate or oversized. Small mounts on large artwork can look mean and oversized mounts with large frames can look out of balance. Frame widths are not usually the same width as a mount. Narrower frames look great with wide mounts and vice versa

– When cutting a double mount, just because you are using a second colour does not mean that it has to be too obvious. If a double mount has an inner colour of 5mm or above, it is generally the first thing you notice because it is too imposing. Our job is to enhance and draw the eye to the artwork. If the framing is very obvious, it is usually because something is “taking over”. Therefore, if you reduce the inner mount to a small measurement e.g. 3mm, it is still obvious that a double mount has been used but your eye is drawn inwards to the artwork.

– Smaller width mounts benefit from having a deeper base (usually about 10mm) so that when the artwork is on the wall, the illusion of the top of the mount being larger is offset. When using wider mounts, for example, 8cms wide and above, the illusion mentioned above is not apparent and the mount can therefore be the same width all around.


– Colour choices play a huge part in how good a piece of artwork looks when framed. Neutral outer mounts are timeless and hang better against a variety of wall finishes. If you had a black and white picture with a red spot colour in the image, it is better to use black or dark grey as the inner mount thus allowing the red post box to be visually enhanced. Using a red inner mount can diminish the drama of the picture, but again this is open to interpretation.

– Double self-coloured mounts are classic and avoid the use of a colour for an inner mount which you may not have.

– Thick board single mounts are very stylish and a V groove adds a small but professional detail to the mount.

– Keep up to date with new trends and colours. The fashion and interior worlds are primarily responsible for the new designs and ideas coming through into the framing world. I always tell my students to keep an eye on the latest fashions because we need to be “up there” with the designers.