Guide to Frame and Mat Dimensions for Common Print Sizes

Art comes in many shapes and sizes, but there are certain popular ones depending on the type of artwork — namely photos and art prints — which makes it that much easier to find a way to display it.

If you’re framing your prints without a mat board, finding a frame is easy. The frame size — the measurement of the inside of the frame — is the same as the print, so a 5 x7 print will fit in a 5 x 7 frame. Photo and art prints are often matted, however, which adds another dimension to your framing project.

Instead of measuring and figuring out the right dimensions of the frame and the mat board yourself, refer to our list of the most common mat opening and frame sizes based on your print or photograph.

The Most Common Photograph Print Sizes and Frames

Fine art photography and other types of professional art, whether bought at an art fair, gallery show or directly from the artist, are often sold in just a few sizes, and there are customary mat board and frame sizes for all of them.

Note that Frame Destination cuts mat windows 1/8-inch smaller than prints 18 x 24 and under — allowing for more of the image to show through — while standard, off-the-shelf frames and other frame shops may cut them 1/4-inch smaller. The suggestions listed use Frame Destination mat cutting standards.

Photo Print Size Mat Window Opening Picture Frame (Inside)
5 x 7 4 3/4 x 6 3/4 8 x 10, 11 x 14
8 x 10 7-3/4 x 9-3/4 11 x 14, 16 x 20
11 x 14 10 3/4 x 13 3/4 16 x 20
12 x 18 11 3/4 x 17 3/4 16 x 22, 18 x 24, 20 x 26
16 x 20 15 3/4 x 19 3/4 20 x 24

The Most Common Art Print Sizes

Because art prints are reproductions of original work, the print sizes — like photography prints — are generally similar. If you are buying art prints from countries other than the United States, you may encounter print sizes you’re not familiar with: A2, A3, A4, and so on.

These sizes are part of the A series in the ISO 216 standard, which is used extensively around the world. The measurements are listed, along with its conversion to imperial units and corresponding Frame Destination artwork and frame size.

There are no standard US frame sizes that exactly match these ISO 216 paper sizes, so a custom frame is the best way to get a perfect fit. However, there are also “close enough” standard sizes that may work with your artwork; note that some sizes may still be hard to find or too large for the type of art.

Artwork Size Mat Window Opening Picture Frame (Inside)
A2
420 mm x 594 mm
16.5 x 23.4
(16 1/2 x 23 7/16)
16 1/4 x 23 3/16 21 1/2 x 29 7/16
Close: 22 x 30
A3
297 mm x 420 mm
11.7 x 16.5
(11 3/4 x 16 1/2)
11 1/2 x 16 1/4 16 3/4 x 22 1/2
Close: 18 x 24
A4
210 x 297 mm
8.3 x 11.7
(8 5/16 x 11 3/4)
8 1/16 x 11 1/2 13 5/16 x 17 3/4
Close: 16 x 20
16 x 24 15 3/4 x 23 3/4 20 x 28
24 x 32
20 x 24 19 1/2 x 23 1/2 24 x 28
28 x 32
24 x 36 23 1/2 x 35 1/2 28 x 40

Frames for Unique Print Sizes

For those planning on framing artwork with a unique size, order a custom frame to get an exact match for your print. The custom builder allows you to enter your artwork size and, using these dimensions, automatically calculates the recommended mat window opening and frame size. If you need help calculating your custom dimensions, there are tools available online that can convert from metric to imperial measurements and vice versa. You can also contact us at 972-479-1188 or at [email protected]

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5 thoughts on “Guide to Frame and Mat Dimensions for Common Print Sizes”

  • Joyce Morier

    I have a vertical painting image of 11x15. What best matt size should I use?

    Reply
    • Laura W

      It really just depends on what you want to see. Our mats are custom cut to any size you'd like, so you'll need to choose a border size and it'll dictate your mat size from there. If you'd like 2" borders, the mat would wind up at 14" x 19", just for example.

      Reply
  • Liam Gibson

    I have a A3 size print and the wording is close to the edges what size matting will I need and what size frame to hold this art work?
    .k

    Reply
    • Laura W

      A3 paper is about 11.69" x 16.53". The closest this comes to is 11-11/16" x 16-17/32" in fractional form for framing. It won't be exact, but this fairly close to the opening for your mat window. How big you want your borders to be will determine the outside size of your mat.

      Reply
  • Barry C Collins

    Very helpful article ? thanks so much!!!?‍♀️

    Reply
  • Bonnie Smith

    when a mat has an outside dimension of 24" X 36", what is the live area within that mat?

    Reply
    • Laura W

      Hi Bonnie - the inside dimensions are determined by the artwork. Our company will allow you to customize to any inside mat size you'd like. You'll find precut mats for sale at other places that have a 20" x 30" cutout in a 24" x 36" mat, but it can vary depending on the manufacturer.

      Reply
  • RobinB

    If I want to frame a poster size 16.5 x 23.25, what size mat and frame would you suggest?

    Reply
    • Joely Rogers

      Hi Robin, it really depends on your preferences and wall space. For a poster that size, I'd select a mat border border between 2 - 4 inches. Keep in mind that the larger the mat border, the bigger the materials and greater the cost. The website can walk you through how to do a custom mat opening or you can call or office (972-479-1188) Monday-Friday between 8AM - 5PM Central and customer service will help you out.

      Reply
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