Picture Framing Dimensions

Picture Frame Dimensions can be very confusing since there are lots of different types of dimensions used in picture framing. Artwork size is the size of the print that you want to frame. It may or may not be the size of the image. You can print a 12x18 image on 13x19 paper. The artwork size is 12x18 but the paper size is 13x19. Frame size typically refers to the size of the glass the frame will hold. An 11x14 frame should have an inside dimension a little larger (normally 1/8 inch) so that 11x14 glass and backing will fit inside the frame without binding. If you use a mat to add borders around the artwork it will increase the size of the frame. A common mat for 11x14 artwork has 2-1/2 and 3 inch borders creating a frame size of 16x20. Although the mat is for 11x14 artwork, it will not have an opening that size. Most off the shelf mat boards will be cut 1/2 inch smaller so that the mat will overlap the artwork by about 1/4 inch all 4 sides. Custom frame companies and most Frame Destination picture mat boards are cut 1/4 inch smaller so they will not cover up as much of the photo. The mat opening should never be the same size as the artwork. If you do not want any of the artwork covered up you can do what is called float mount and use a matboard that is larger. Such mat openings will often be cut 1/2 to 1 inch larger so there will be a gap between the artwork and the image of at least 1/4 inch. In that case either paper (if the paper is larger than the image) or the mounting board will be exposed. Care must be taken to ensure the exposed border is an appropriate color for the overall picture frame presentation.


About the author


Mark Rogers is an amateur photographer and the founder of Frame Destination, Inc. In 2004 Mark realized the framing industry was not keeping up with the evolution of photography via new digital technology and started Frame Destination in his garage. Now his company has thousands of do-it-yourself framing customers across the US that it helps with its 11,000 square feet production facility in Dallas, TX.

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