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1 mat over the picture
2 mats, one mat on top of the other. The top mat has a slightly larger opening than the bottom mat to allow a small border of the bottom mat to show around the image. The offset dimension is what determines how much of the bottom mat will be shown. 1/4 inch is the most common. The opening in the top mat will equal the exact opening (not artwork size) in the bottom mat plus the offset on both sides. For example, if the opening on the bottom mat is 5 3/4 x 3 3/4 and 1/4 inch offset is selected the opening on the top mat will be 6 1/4 x 4 1/4 inches.
Just like the double mat but consists of 3 mats layered on top of each other with the opening of the bottom mat being just large enough to show the image, and the middle and top mats having larger openings to reveal portions of the middle and bottom mats. The offset specified for the top mat will determine how much of the middle mat is visible.
The opening size of the middle and top mats will be based on the exact opening of the bottom mat, not the artwork opening. If you order a standard size mat such as 4x6 artwork 8x10 frame the exact opening can be seen when you add the mat to the shopping cart and in this case is actually 3 3/4 x 5 3/4 so that the mat overlaps a 4x6 inch print by 1/8 inch on all 4 sides. If you specify a custom mat opening then you will be providing the exact opening dimension of the mat and not the artwork size. The middle and top mats will be based on the dimensions you enter.
Once you place your matboard or picture frames in the shopping cart you will be able to see the exact dimensions of all mat board openings and borders.
Ordering custom matboard on our website is easy! Just select "custom", the first choice in the "Choose Mat Size:" pull-down.
First you need to determine the size of the image you are matting. The image size may be smaller than the paper. For example, you can print an 8x10 image on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. In this case the image size is 8x10. For an 8x10 image size there are three common mat opening sizes:
1/8 inch overlap. For this option you subtract a 1/4 inch from the size of your image. If your image is horizontal, you would select a width of 9 3/4 inches and a height of 7 3/4. This will allow the mat to overlap the image by 1/8 of an inch on all for sides. This option will prevent the edges of the image from showing, help hold it down if the paper size is also 8x10, and will mask very little of the image. If you image is portrait you would select 7 3/4 width and 9 3/4 height.
Example: 8" x 10" horizontal image, 1/8 inch overlap and 2 inch borders
1/4 inch overlap. For this option you subtract 1/2 inch from the size of your image. If your image is horizontal, you would select a width of 9 1/2 inches and a height of 7 1/2. This will allow the mat to overlap the image by a 1/4 of an inch on all for sides. This option will prevent the edges of the image from showing, help hold it down if the paper size is also 8x10, and make it easier to center the image inside the mat opening. This option will cover up more of the image than the above option. If you image is portrait you would select 7 1/2 width and 9 1/2 height.
Example: 8" x 10" vertical image, 1/8 inch overlap and 2 inch borders
Float mount. This option is used to show the entire image within the picture frame. Typically you select an opening that is 1/2 to 1 inch larger than the image. For instance, if you have an 8x10 image you might select an opening that is 9x11. This will leave 1/2 inch gap between the image and the edge of the mat opening. If the paper the image is printed on is larger than the image then the paper will be visible and the mat will still hold the image down. If the image is the same size as the paper, then the edge of the paper will be visible and the image mounting board will be visible.
If you want your image centered, then the top, sides, and bottom borders should all be equal. Typically the frame edge will overlap the edge of the mat. For this reason it is common to add 1/8 of an inch to the borders.
Example: 8" x 12" image centered
If you want to bottom weight your image then you just select a bottom border a little larger than the top and side picture frame borders.
Example: 11" x 14" horizontal image, 1 inch bottom weight
Example: 11" x 14" vertical image, 1 inch bottom weight