There are many options as to how you can have your print framed.
When an artwork is box framed there is no space in-between the print and it's frame and instead the the artwork sits neatly within it. The only gap is between the print and the glass / perspex. A box frame is used most frequently with prints that have straight, crisp edges because this allows for a neat fit.
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When a print is "floated", it means that there is a border between the artwork and the frame. The print is flat on the back-board and usually there is a surrounding border space of around 2 to 3 cm, depending on the individual's desired aesthetic. We particularly suggest on having a floated frame when the edges of the print are not crisp but deckled.
David Shrigley, Untitled (Set of Four), is another example of a floated frame.
High Floated Frame
High float is probably the most popular choice today. It is similar to a floated frame because there is a border surrounding the print but it differs because the print is raised from the back-board, not flat. The print sits on a foam board, which is usually around 5mm in depth, creating a slight shadow below the print to add extra drama.
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As the name suggests, a high floated frame has a floating aesthetic. The print appears to be suspended slightly within it's frame.
If an image is window mounted it is framed behind a mounting board, which is usually cut with a bevelled edge and sits between the glass and the print. The following Banksy prints are framed with a window mount.
Above: Banksy, Grannies
The mounting board sits on top of the print slightly, which can be useful when cropping or levelling an image. This separates the print from touching the glass, which helps to prevent both ink residue on the glass and any damages consequently to condensation.
This style of framing has a classic, clean-cut appearance. Additionally, window mounts can be a decorative choice because they can be intricately designed.
Banksy, Choose Your Weapon
Glass or Perspex?
With a glass frame there is risk of glass breakage, unlike perspex which is shatter resistant. Therefore, although perspex is more expensive than having a glass frame it is worth the money when dealing with expensive prints. You do not want glass shattering over your Banksy!
Furthermore, glass is also a lot heavier than perspex so it can be inconvenient, particularly when framing large pieces. However, perspex does require more care when handling because it scratches easier than glass does.
Without UV protective material covering the artwork you are more likely to encounter "bleaching". Bleaching is where a surface becomes lighter due to damage from sunlight's ultraviolet components.
Ideally it is best to have a UV, non-reflective, perspex frame, but of course this depends on the amount of money the owner is willing to spend.
Damaged Artwork as a Result of Framing
At Hang-Up we cannot stress the importance of having your artwork framed professionally at a high standard. We often encounter Banksy prints that have not been framed to conservation standards and are damaged as a result. This arises from previous years when Banksy prints were not as valuable and people did not invest in the quality of their frame.
Avoid Damaged Artwork...
It is important that prints are mounted both using and onto acid-free products to prevent acids from discolouring the print.
Above: Example of an acidic transfer between two surfaces
Mounting With Tape
It is important that your print is mounted using the correct substance to prevent issues such as tape marks. If the wrong tape is used it can lead to unwanted marks and even "skinning" of the print. This term refers to the removal of the top layer of a material due to the physical act of removing sticky tape.
Above: Example of "skinning"
Dry mounting is a print owners nightmare and should never be used when dealing with expensive artwork. A 'dry mount' refers to when the print is stuck directly to the back of the frame with glue. The process involves permanently sealing the artwork to an aliminium or paper mount using a specialist tissue or film... and there is no going back!
Be aware of the environment that your artwork is kept or stored in. Factors like humidity and temperature can affect the framing. For example, perspex is not totally rigid therefore high temperatures or humid conditions can cause a bowed frame.
Humid environments can also lead to "foxing". This is a term used to describe localised discolouration of paper, which appears as random rust-coloured spots, usually resulting from humid environments.
Here at Hang-Up we have multiple systems in place, such as de-humidifiers, which ensure the protection of our artwork.
Deciding on a frame ultimatley comes down to personal taste combined with the look of your print. I asked members of the Hang-Up team, 'If you had to choose one, which artwork from TYPE Exhibition would you buy? How would you have it framed?' Here are their replies...
Fabiola, Hang-Up Gallery Assistant: It's OK by David Shrigley.
Above: David Shrigley, It's Ok (...be sure to follow us on instagram @hanguppictures to be updated with news and for your chance to be involved with upcoming competitions)
"I love the bold, simple pattern created by the uneven lines of this linocut. At first glance the message is a positive and reassuring one, but it conceals a typically Shrigley-esque caustic and bitter note. The perfect frame for this b&w, minimalistic print would be a black frame with a slight floating, just as the one in our TYPE exhibition. It couldn't have been any other way!"
Carla, Gallery Manager: Harland Miller, Armageddon
Above: Harland Miller, Armageddon
"The Harland Miller ‘Armageddon' is epic - and an epic artwork needs the perfect frame to compliment it, not distract from it. The white metal tray frame shows off the bold colours and layers, and the high float gives depth and breathing space to the print - allowing the viewer to see right to the edge of the paper.”
Laura, Business Development Manager - Banksy, Laugh Now
We hope you've enjoyed this week's blog. Any questions or queries drop us an email on firstname.lastname@example.org or call in on 02036674550.
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