Should I mount my print?
Make sure to mount your print before framing to give the image room to breathe. There is plenty of choice: double mount, triple mount, coloured or not. Modern fashions have favoured a simple white or off-white surround of 50mm minimum.
Compare the two images above. Which looks better? White (or off-white) with a contrasting frame gives a clean finish. On the other hand use of a specific darker colour in such a quantity will skew the reading of the colour within the picture. It also doesn't provide the image with enough breathing space, even if an image appropriate colour is selected. Coloured borders are generally confined to a 5mm accent border, which can provide depth without choking the image.
There is also a margin around the image itself for my signature, the title of the painting and edition number.
Why should I use 'acid-free' mount board?
Using acid-free mount board - not to mention acid free paper for the print itself - avoids the yellowing that will otherwise occur over time. Modern paper and mount board production methods remove lignin, a chemical compound found within wood which, when mixed with the bleach from the refining process, will turn to hydrochloric acid as the paper ages, turning it yellow.
If a mount board which is not acid-free is used on acid-free paper, it will eventually yellow the print underneath.
Therefore, ensuring the use of conservation mount board protects the long term value of your print.
My framed limited editions carry a triple mount with a muted purple/magenta inner border, a colour I often use in my paintings.
What if I'm buying a framed print as a gift?
Since the recipient of the print won't be involved in the decision process, a neutral choice of frame and mount is advisable.
If the print's intended space has white or coloured walls, either a white or black frame will be fine. However, selecting a white frame to hang in a space that has cream or magnolia walls risks the walls looking yellow by comparison. Indeed the clashing of whites in this way (including the print paper in comparison to outer mount) is an important consideration throughout the framing process.
Bespoke hand-crafted in Scotland
I'm really proud of the level of care that goes in to the production and bespoke framing of my signed paper limited editions by publishers Edinburgh Arts.
To show the process off to its fullest extent I've put together a short 'behind the scenes' video tour of a recent visit to Edinburgh Arts' workshop in Leith. You can watch a fascinating journey as 'Glenfinnan Viaduct' is produced and signed, goes through the mounting, framing and glass cleaning stages and finally the finished product is revealed.