View Full Version : Framing

26-Feb-2013, 13:11
I would like to order an assortment of frames in advance.

I shoot several formats from 35mm to 8x10, so am wondering if there is some resource that would help me determine typical print sizes for each format / aspect ratio?

I've found this :


which seems to be a good mat to frame size suggester ...

I print digitally from scans, and will likely be looking at welded aluminum frames.


26-Feb-2013, 13:24
I had this issue recently, I already had the frames but needed to print & frame a wide variety of formats from 6x17, 6x6, the odd 6x9 (similar to 35mm) plus 5x4 and 10x8.

Initially I drew out the frame in CorelDraw, Illustrator would be the same, and then added blocks to simulate the formats until I found what worked for me. Then I made prints to check and that showed my choices were OK.

In hindsight I'd print the 6x17's larger and use a different frame but these panoramics do need it.


Nathan Potter
26-Feb-2013, 14:28
And I've essentially done what Ian has done. I use a draw program to draw a print size for the various formats I'm interested in using after I've found a precut mat size that is compatible. Then I'll choose a selection of frame sizes that seem to look like what I want using the draw program. I standardize as much as possible for 35mm, 6X7, 4X5 5X7 and Postcard format. I have ended up with about 10 basic sizes but none usually fit exactly the way I would crop the image so I make do.

Precut mats are usually of standard opening sizes so that drives the actual print size slightly smaller in order to leave room for signature etc. right on the print paper. Silver and Ilfochrome prints are titled on the mats only.

I also attach three archival info sheets to the back of each print; Paper data from the manufacturer, My certificate of authenticity and My data sheet about the print.

Nate Potter, Austin TX.

26-Feb-2013, 14:49
Not having the above program, I just use graph paper and draw it out to scale.

Welded frames will lock you into certain sizes. Besides wood (which also locks one in), I use sectional metal frames and get sides for 12x16, 16x20, 20x24 and 24x28 frames. Then if I want to I can mix and match -- make 16x28 frames if I want to, for example.

But generally I mat my 8x10 platinum prints and carbon prints 16x20, and my 4x10 (and 5x7) prints 12x16. My 4x5 prints are matted 8x10.

26-Feb-2013, 20:56
I must admit I am not very fussy about mat size, and stick to the 'standards' (8x10, 12x16, 16x20), and then pay more attention to fitting the image onto the size. My exception is for 16x20 prints -- I prefer 24x28 instead of the 22x28. My 11x14 prints go into 20x24 frames.

26-Feb-2013, 22:21
Are you looking for something that will allow you to visualize how a particular mat size/layout will look with your print size/aspect ratio? If so, you might find the American Frame ordering tool useful:


In the link above, I've already selected a basic frame style (in general you would start elsewhere on the American Frame web site - see link below - and select from one of an enormous selection of frames to get to this point). Then select the "Frame My Own Artwork" button, skip the preview artwork option, then enter the photo size, and on the next page you can edit the mat borders to see the effect of different choices. All this is a little hard to describe in words but if you poke around on the web site you should be able to sort it out. As you make size selections, the image of the frame/mat changes so you can see what it will look like. The final step in the process would be to order the materials, but obviously you can stop before that. Though I have never done it, it looks like if you don't skip the "preview artwork" step, you could actually upload your photo and see what it would look like in the frame/mat combination you have customized.

Since you are looking for frames anyway, you might consider American Frame as your your source. I've used them in the past (mostly for metal frames) and have always been very happy with the product. You can start here to see the many frame types/styles they have: http://www.americanframe.com/AmericanFrame/Framing.aspx.

I have no connection to American Frame, just a satisfied customer.