Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Matte size  (Read 6349 times)
kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3917



« on: July 22, 2009, 02:53:28 AM »
ReplyReply

How big do you make your mattes?

I realise that it's largely a matter of taste, that some images would demand larger or smaller mattes than others, of course, but are there any "rules" to guide a beginner?

Thanks

Jeremy
Logged
jasonrandolph
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 554


WWW
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2009, 11:02:09 AM »
ReplyReply

I'd say there are no set rules, but it's very subjective based on artistic taste and that of your client.  I've matted 8x10 prints to 11x14, all the way up to 16x20.  My mat cutter limits my max size to about 24x36, but I rarely use mats beyond 20x24.

I'd say that you should have, at a minimum, 2 inches of matt outside the print area.  With large prints, this looks rather small, but for 8x10s, it's more than sufficient IMHO.
Logged

Dward
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 88


« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2009, 11:03:28 AM »
ReplyReply

I dislike narrow mats----they have the effect of making the image look confined and crowded.   For 11x14 and above I use at least 3" mat borders, and often 3.5" or 4" on larger pieces.

David V. Ward, Ph. D.
www.dvward.com
David V. Ward Fine Art Photography
Logged
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2009, 12:10:04 PM »
ReplyReply

Well if you simply must use matted framing, be sure the matte is not the same width as the frame moulding.  The matte should be significantly wider (or even narrower) than the moulding, but mattes the same width as the moulding are just plain dorky.  As said 2" minimum width unless you are using a linen liner instead of a matte in which case 1 inch is OK.  And different matte widths top & bottom versus left & right is also seriously dorky, this really puts a damper on things sometimes.

If you decide to go over 3" be sure you have a very stiff backing on the artwork package to prevent visible warping which can happen in no time at all.  You can even mount really huge mattes on a stiff substrate leaving a 1/2" wide rabbet on the back of the opening for the actual artwork.

Best matting procedure is to carefully cut a precision, 4 inch wide, 8 ply, really expensive, dust-magnet archival matte with perfect bevels.  Then put it in the closet, reprint your image 8 inches bigger, and mount it in the the frame with some framespacers between the glass and art under the lip.  You need to have just the right moulding for this.  But then that's just me.
Logged
Thomas Krüger
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 451



WWW
« Reply #4 on: July 22, 2009, 12:10:32 PM »
ReplyReply

If you have a windows machine you can use MatWorks! from Giorgio Trucco to calculate and preview the settings for the mat cutter:
http://www.giorgiotrucco.com/matworks.html
http://www.outbackphoto.com/portfoliowork/pw_36/essay.html



Logged
framah
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1177



« Reply #5 on: July 22, 2009, 02:13:13 PM »
ReplyReply

One of the basic rules is that the mat should be, on average, twice as wide as the frame at a minimum.  A 1" frame would have a minimum 2" mat. This makes them look proportioned to each other.
A 2" mat with a 2" frame would have them fighting for who is visually dominant.

As a general rule, I usually work with 3" around.  I have 2 artists who insist on a minimum of 4" no matter what size the art is along with 5" on the bottom.

 Don't forget to add 1/4" per side onto the size to account for the mat being covered by the rabbet of the frame. Most people don't do this and they think they are putting 3" around but only 2 3/4" is showing.

Rule number 2 is to ignore rule number 1 whenever you need to.
Logged

"It took a  lifetime of suffering and personal sacrifice to develop my keen aesthetic sense."
kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3917



« Reply #6 on: July 22, 2009, 05:13:41 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: framah
One of the basic rules is that the mat should be, on average, twice as wide as the frame at a minimum.  A 1" frame would have a minimum 2" mat. This makes them look proportioned to each other.
A 2" mat with a 2" frame would have them fighting for who is visually dominant.

As a general rule, I usually work with 3" around.  I have 2 artists who insist on a minimum of 4" no matter what size the art is along with 5" on the bottom.

 Don't forget to add 1/4" per side onto the size to account for the mat being covered by the rabbet of the frame. Most people don't do this and they think they are putting 3" around but only 2 3/4" is showing.

Rule number 2 is to ignore rule number 1 whenever you need to.
Thanks. I've been working on a 2" matte all round, with photos of A3/A2 size, and narrow aluminium frames, so I'm not too far off the mark.

I like your last sentence!

Jeremy
Logged
kaelaria
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2225



WWW
« Reply #7 on: July 23, 2009, 12:16:40 AM »
ReplyReply

Most of mine are 3"-4"
Logged

Bill Koenig
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 353


« Reply #8 on: July 30, 2009, 04:23:09 PM »
ReplyReply

After getting into framing 6 months ago, my standard frame size is 18x24. This is for prints, printed on 13x19 paper with a 1/2 white boarder all the way around.
I also use a double mat for most of my framed prints this size, with a 1/4 inch reveal on the bottom mat, which gives about a 3 inch boarder all the way around.
This has worked out well, as I can cut two mats out of one 32x40 sheet of mat board. The drops are good for 8x10's if I can get them apart with out any damage. (with a double mat, the drops are held together with double sided tape)
Logged

Bill Koenig,
Bruce Watson
Jr. Member
**
Offline Offline

Posts: 92


WWW
« Reply #9 on: July 30, 2009, 05:27:10 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: kikashi
How big do you make your mattes?

I realise that it's largely a matter of taste, that some images would demand larger or smaller mattes than others, of course, but are there any "rules" to guide a beginner?

Thanks

Jeremy
I had a great lesson about custom framing from a private photography dealer who did a lot of sales to and framing for an interesting collection of national and international galleries.

What he would do himself was to lay a nice clean sheet (not white -- mid gray works well) on the floor, place the print in question on the floor, then stand on a chair and look down at it. He'd get a stack of 8.5 x 11 paper from a copier and fold the papers down to create a boarder size and go all the way around the print. Climb up on the chair and look at it. Come down and make changes. Iterate until done.

This method works. Better than you'd believe from my poor description. The advantage is that you work with the real print at the real size. It not being theoretical really does help somehow.

What I've found doing this myself is that most of my own prints want to have a little more boarder on the bottom. So the top and sides are the same width, but the bottom is a little more. Usually it's not much more. I've got a few with four and five inch boarders where the bottom is just a half inch bigger. But when framed, that extra half inch can make or break the presentation.

I would not have believed it coming from anyone else. But having seen some of this guy's impeccable presentations I had to take him very seriously. He put the "custom" in custom framing. And for a very good reason.

He was also fairly emphatic that the frames be hung fully leveled and that all prints (for photographic exhibitions like a one person show) on a given wall be framed the same way (frames and matte style, but not necessarily the same size) and have the top of their frames all line up perfectly. When done correctly you don't notice any of it, and all you remember are the images. Which is the point of the whole exercise IMHO.

I've done this in my own house. Sold a few prints. And no one ever talks about or asks about the framing. Make of this what you will.
Logged

Jack Varney
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 392


WWW
« Reply #10 on: July 31, 2009, 08:26:06 PM »
ReplyReply

I recently exhibited a 13 X 19 print matted in a 16 X 20 inch frame. The matte had almost 2 inches of border on each side. It was not pretty. There was not nearly enough matte frame around this photo.

Fortunately some artists at the event counseled me on a rule of thumb. That is, your matte area should be two times the area of you art piece. So, an 11 X 14 (154 sq in) works well in a 16 X 20 (320 sq in) etc. I tried it and found that it does work.

On the other hand, there are always exceptions. The frames I used had a narrow border. Some prints in some frames will demand a different matte. But, for most photos the rule of thumb works.
Logged

Jack Varney
madmanchan
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2101


« Reply #11 on: August 01, 2009, 02:46:50 PM »
ReplyReply

I do a number of prints where the image size is around 10" x 15" thru 12" x 18". In this range, I prefer a mat margin of 3" on each side. So a 10" x 15" image would have a total package size of approximately 16" x 21", for example (I say approximately because I'm ignoring details such as the width of the frame, edge overlap of the image, etc.). I also prefer using a double mat with a reveal of 3/8".

It certainly is personal preference and well worth the time to do some experiments to find out what you like. It took me a long time to arrive at the guidelines I use above for my own prints, but I'm very pleased with the result.
Logged

Gary Ferguson
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 522


WWW
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2009, 11:36:23 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Bruce Watson
What I've found doing this myself is that most of my own prints want to have a little more boarder on the bottom. So the top and sides are the same width, but the bottom is a little more. Usually it's not much more. I've got a few with four and five inch boarders where the bottom is just a half inch bigger. But when framed, that extra half inch can make or break the presentation.

I agree. For strut mounted frames, ie those that sit on a sideboard rather than hang on a wall, it's maybe not required. But for a wall hung presentation having a little extra space at the bottom gives a print additional presence. IMO it's even more important for prints displayed in a vertical/portrait format, and also for pano shots in a horizontal/landscape format. If you look at how book pages are laid out you see the bottom margin is generally wider than the top margin for the same aesthetic reason.
Logged
AFairley
Sr. Member
****
Online Online

Posts: 1132



« Reply #13 on: August 03, 2009, 02:15:02 PM »
ReplyReply

I have around 3.5" on each side for 16.5" x 21.5" prints in Nielsen aluminum frames (about 7/32" wide, I think).  Always a little more on the bottom than the top.

Best thing to do is to get some large sheets of heavy paper and cut different sizes and see what you like with the size you print at.  I found 4" was too wide and 3" too narrow for my taste.
Logged

BradSmith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 258


« Reply #14 on: August 05, 2009, 01:50:20 PM »
ReplyReply

I like the mat width to be about 1/4 the dimension of of the smaller side of the print.   So on an 8X10 print, about 2".  On a 13X19 print, about 3.25".  On a 16x20 print, about 4".   I always previsualize this result on my Mac by looking at the image and increasing canvas size (in white) by these sizes and then again in black, by the frame width.  I then adjust accordingly, considering actual image size and standard frame sizes.

Does anyone know if there is a shareware program for the Mac that will do this?
Logged
BradSmith
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 258


« Reply #15 on: August 05, 2009, 02:05:36 PM »
ReplyReply

One more thing that I forgot to mention.  I really dislike very wide mats on smaller images.  For example, I think that for a 5X7, an 11x14 mat is too big, and a 16X20 mat is really crude.  It is the kind of thing I sometimes see in galleries and to me, screams of being pretentious.
Logged
gcs
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21



WWW
« Reply #16 on: August 08, 2009, 04:07:01 PM »
ReplyReply

I ave just printed a 40x40” image,  using the different rules of thumb:

a)   1/4th of the smaller side, would give me a mat of 60x60
b)   Double the area, would give me a  mat of 56x56
c)   Using the process described by Bruce (stepping on a chair), I would use a 46x46 mat

Does this larger have the same rules as smaller, or it is limited to the availability of the mat sizes, and of course the cost.

Any comments?

Gonzalo
Logged

Gonzalo Contreras del Solar
Photography of Water

http://www.tacomal.com
bill t.
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 2693


WWW
« Reply #17 on: August 08, 2009, 08:20:08 PM »
ReplyReply

Well if I really wanted to matte that size I would buy a 48inch x 96inch matte, cut it in half, and use 4inch borders all around.  There are other possibilities.  A 5 inch wide linen liner all around an image that size looks pretty classy, just ask Peter Lik who uses 5 inch liners with 4 inch moulding.  And it would be a much sturdier physical assembly than a matte with a backing.

You can even get a few mattes in 60 inches x 120 inches, 10 inch borders all around, woohoo!  BTW very few matte cutters can handle anything over 60 or even 40 or 48 inches.  Nothing more ragged looking than a hand-cut huge matte, trust me on that.  I rather have a clean 48 inch matte that a ragged 60.
Logged
kikashi
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 3917



« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2009, 04:25:48 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: skeedracer
One more thing that I forgot to mention.  I really dislike very wide mats on smaller images.  For example, I think that for a 5X7, an 11x14 mat is too big, and a 16X20 mat is really crude.  It is the kind of thing I sometimes see in galleries and to me, screams of being pretentious.
I'm glad someone else feels that way. I've recently spent an evening in a hotel whose walls were covered in the things: 5"x7" prints in mattes well over 20"x16". I thought they looked ridiculous.

Jeremy
Logged
gcs
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 21



WWW
« Reply #19 on: August 09, 2009, 10:58:39 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: bill t.
Well if I really wanted to matte that size I would buy a 48inch x 96inch matte, cut it in half, and use 4inch borders all around.  There are other possibilities.  A 5 inch wide linen liner all around an image that size looks pretty classy, just ask Peter Lik who uses 5 inch liners with 4 inch moulding.  And it would be a much sturdier physical assembly than a matte with a backing.

You can even get a few mattes in 60 inches x 120 inches, 10 inch borders all around, woohoo!  BTW very few matte cutters can handle anything over 60 or even 40 or 48 inches.  Nothing more ragged looking than a hand-cut huge matte, trust me on that.  I rather have a clean 48 inch matte that a ragged 60.

Thank you for the info.

Gonzalo
Logged

Gonzalo Contreras del Solar
Photography of Water

http://www.tacomal.com
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad