Framed or Unframed? That Is The Question
One of the first decisions you will be faced with when choosing to display a large photographic print in your home or office is whether or not to externally frame the piece. Historically, photographs have been displayed using an external frame of some kind. Those who chose not to frame their artwork often utilized some other form of high-end hardware for hanging and displaying the work like a thumbtack, duct tape or chewing gum.
Prior to advancements in printing and displaying photographs that we enjoy today; large wall art prints were either custom framed or were simply cheap posters. There was no in-between. While that Farrah Fawcett, Pulp Fiction, Boys II Men or Michael Jordan poster made for perfect wallpaper in your bedroom as a teenager, now that you are all grown up and moved out of mom & dad's you should really consider stepping your game up. I'll wait here while you go take it down off the wall before someone sees it. I promise, I won't tell anyone.
Custom Framing Vs Mass Production
When it comes to mass produced framing, the sky is the limit, for better or for worse. You can find an endless selection of pre-made external frames from matte black and high gloss white, to leopard skin fur styles that you can even purchase with a matching light switch cover, cutting board and burp cloth... you know, for those of you who still own spiked wrist bands and have this song in your top 10 playlist.
Typically, the vast majority of these framing styles are smaller than 24" wide with only a handful of larger ones available up to 36". Anything larger than this becomes a custom job for your local framer. While the quality of the frames and quality of assembly is vastly improved at this point, the cost associated with finishing your fine art skyrockets. For example, a Roma Tabbachino Dark Ash frame that I charge just $1250 for to finish a 45" museum quality acrylic print as shown above ($3500 shipped) will easily cost you $3000 or more for the framing only at a local frame shop. Buying a similar piece is a local gallery will often cost you upwards of $10,000 or more.
Close to a decade ago, I sold my very first framed 45" print. I was so excited to make this sale I didn't even bother to get a quote or look into the costs associated with custom framing. I closed the deal, accepted payment and drove down to my local frame shop with my new found riches burning a hole in my pocket, only to find out I was going to have to pay out of pocket just to finish the piece and I still had to pay to ship it! As an enthusiastic small business owner, I learned a valuable lesson that day, by actually paying someone to buy the first framed print I ever "sold".
Advantages of Framing Your Large Wall Art Prints
External framing offers a number of advantages to you as the owner of the piece and to the work itself. A few of these include:
1. Personalization - Once you have fallen in love with a piece of photographic art, you can then personalize the work by choosing a frame that matches both your decor and your individual style.
2. Custom Sizing - While photographs can typically be produced in a wide range of sizes, the aspect ratio of the image is often fixed. The horizontal and vertical dimensions can be modified by your choice of liner and moulding. The Overall size of a finished piece can be greatly increased by using a large liner and wide moulding. This allows for truly large finished fine art prints with maximum impact for large spaces.
3. Aesthetic Appeal - Framing protects and enhances your print, offering a finished look that will enhance, improve and transform your decor. From simplistic and clean to luxurious and rich, a wide variety of museum quality moulding is available. While I have a "standard" collection I offer to my clients, I am a Roma Moulding Partner and can source just about any frame in the world.
No Frame? No Problem.
While we have covered some of the most compelling reasons to externally frame your large fine art prints, advancements in printing and mounting technologies have offered us the ability to hang large works of art completely frameless. This can be achieved by utilizing a "float mount" system as I do with all of my unframed limited edition fine art prints, or by hanging artwork from cables or other types of modern suspension systems. Many of the advantages of leaving artwork unframed, are the opposites of arguments for framing which include:
1. Simplicity - A float mount or frameless piece of art leaves all focus on the art itself and offers a clean minimalist appearance that works particularly well in many modern decors.
2. Reduced Investment - With the cost of framing subtracted, the overall investment in the art itself can be reduced allowing for larger work, or simply more money in the bank. Everyone likes more money in the bank.
3. Design - Without external framing styles to consider, only the artwork itself will need to be considered when purchasing furniture, choosing paint colors and other elements of interior design.
The Choice Is Yours | Framed or Frameless
While one of the greatest benefits of acrylic face mounting as a fine art medium is its ability to be displayed frameless, there is no doubt that an externally framed fine art piece commands attention. Often times I personally prefer a fully framed piece, having both a finished and more luxurious look and feel. For those who truly want the very best museum quality art, I offer my TruLife Acrylic Fine Art prints externally framed with ROMA Hand Made Italian Framing and linen liners in your choice of colors.
To review my available works and to purchase fine art prints through this website, please visit my limited edition gallery collections. Clicking through to each image will offer high resolution previews and provide size, medium and pricing information. Please enjoy the time you spend browsing around and do not hesitate to reach out to speak to me directly at any time, seven days a week.