A well-dressed piece of visual art such as a picture, a collage or mosaic adds an artistic touch to any space.
It is a look one can get from an interior designer thou one can also become their own design expert by making framed prints. Most people however prefer to purchase picture frames rather than going through the trouble of making or building their own frames.
Do your picture frame market research
One way of acquiring picture frames is to order them online. There are many companies that make and sell picture frames, and most also sell them online. It is important to do your research well before buying picture frames online.
This involves looking up the various companies that sell these frames online, checking samples of their frames, their prices, and finally looking at reviews of previous customers. Having gathered this information, you will be in a position to settle for the best frame retailer.
What to look out for when buying a picture frame
Before buying picture frames online, there are certain things a customer needs to know or consider.
The artwork you are framing
This is the first thing you need to determine. Consider the purpose of the artwork and the importance of protecting it using a frame. The artwork could be one that has a special meaning.
It could also be one that cannot be replaced, thus the need to frame it and eliminate the risk of others mishandling it. Consider the frame style you want and where it will be placed or hung and making sure it goes well with your room style and decor.
Consider that thickness you want. Also consider whether you want it framed forever. The other consideration is whether you already have the artwork or whether it is artwork that will need to be printed before framing.
Consider the importance too. If the artwork is unimportant, it may need to be framed only temporarily. In this case, purchasing a standard size frame from a retailer will do.
For any artwork of value which comes in a non-standard size, custom picture framing will be your best option as it will give you more flexibility in your choices.
Bear in mind that most picture frame components are not made to last long or to fully preserve the contents. Also note that for thicker items such as a canvas or a jersey, you may need to order for a deeper shadow box frame.
There are several types of art you can frame such as wrapped canvas, jerseys, posters, puzzles, photographs, art prints, diamond paintings or any other kind of unique painting and 3D collectibles.
The kind of frame you are looking for
If you already have a precious piece of art, you will need to decide between ordering a frame to fit or mailing your art to the frame retailer. If on the other hand you have a digital picture, you will need a framer who can both print and frame.
It is also advisable to go for a frame that will help in soundproofing your room.
The size of your artwork
The size of your art will require that you determine the framing options available for you. Most frames have minimum or maximum sizes they can accommodate, meaning that if your art piece is very large or very small, you may need to shop around. Before doing this, ensure your artpiece is correctly measured. A great frame is worth little if it cannot hold your artwork.
The style of your picture frame
In considering the style of your picture frame, you need to factor in the colour, the shape, the material, the matting, and the thickness of your frame. This is because as earlier mentioned, the thickness and size of your art may affect the frame styles available.
Metal and wood are the two main materials to consider when choosing a picture frame. These are materials for those who desire quality and a touch of class. The best wood frames are those made of solid wood, while the best material for metal frames is aluminium. However, there are other available frame options made of lesser quality materials such as plastic.
The cover of the picture frame you desire
The cover is what protects your art and allows you to view what is inside, your special art. Both the backing and cover should protect your art. Frame covers are made of glass or acrylic.
Glass is the most common or preferred frame cover choice but is also the most fragile. Acrylic is more durable and is also lighter. Because of this, it is quickly becoming the most popular frame cover choice globally.
Consider the finishing you prefer when purchasing a cover. There are two main options, namely the clear finish and the non-glare finish. The clear finish is the most conventional and is ideal for most artwork. It is also crystal clear. The non-glare option softens the colour of the artwork thus preventing extreme glare from sources of light.
The backing of the picture frame
The frame backing should be a highly functional component coming alongside the frame cover. There are 3 common types of backing, namely cardboard, plastic and foam-core. Cardboard is a strong and lightweight material which makes it most popular for most utility functions.
Plastic is highly durable, is lightweight and low cost. Foam-core is lightweight and easy to cut which makes it ideal for any artwork. It is the most used of the three types of backing.
As with any online purchase, there is the risk of damage to the package during the process of delivery. The retailer needs to have boxes that are custom made to fit different types and sizes of picture frames because right packaging is crucial. Having made all the above considerations, go ahead and order for the picture frames of your choice.
Where can I buy nice picture frames?
If you opt for online purchase, you can choose various sites such as Amazon.com, Walmart.com, Target.com, Ikea.com, T.J. Maxx and Worldmarket.com. You can also visit local stores.
Check customer reviews of the stores in your locality as this will help you narrow down on the places you need to visit. Use Google search engine for this. Consider the stores with the widest variety of picture frames as this will give you a wide choice to choose from.
Why are picture frames so expensive?
One of the reasons why picture frames are so expensive is their preservation purpose. They are meant to preserve valued works of all kinds for the longest time possible.
Another reason for their high prices is the cost of labour. Making good quality frames takes tedious work and the task of framing requires skilled expertise. Expert framers charge more for their frames. In addition, custom picture framing is very labour intensive.
Many retailers cite working with customers, showing them profiles and colour samples, and discussing preservation techniques as an exercise that can take anywhere from half an hour to a couple of hours. This cost is shifted to the customer because time is money.
The astronomical prices also have a lot to do with the huge variety of options available in the picture frame shops. You can walk into a local store intending to pick a simple brown frame only to be confronted with more than enough options, all of which are very appealing to the eye.
In addition, prices are driven upwards by the sheer number of mouldings, mattings, glazing and frames a retailer provides. These framing materials are expensive.
In addition, the more options a retailer offers, the less able they are to order same kind of frames in bulk, therefore increasing the cost of frames.
Inventory challenge is another reason why picture frames are too expensive. Retailers have to offer various frame designs and moulding styles with different colours for the mat boards. This reduces the amount of space most retailers have for keeping all the inventory.
Most end up keeping the extra inventory with the wholesalers who act as middlemen between the manufactures of raw materials and retailers or shop owners. When the cost goes up on the manufacturer’s side, the wholesaler increases the charges to make profits, and this forces the retailer to pass the increased cost to the customer.
Another factor that contributes to the high cost of picture frames is distribution. Retailers are averse to the idea of customers interacting with wholesalers. Retailers insist on customers dealing with them directly and this serves to increase the cost of picture frames. Each party seeks to increase their profit margins which has the effect of increasing the customers’ cost burden.
The other challenge is what is known as pushback problem. When the prices keep on increasing due to the desire by all parties to make more profits, it reaches a point where sales drop as customers begin to keep off.
In the meantime, the expenses incurred by the wholesaler and retailer remain the same. This loss in volume of sales is passed on to the few customers who buy the frames.
These customers bear the decrease in revenues. When the process goes on, it instigates another customer pushback resulting in yet another round of price increase on the frames.