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Help! How will I know what size photo frame or picture frame I should order?

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To know what size photo frame or picture frame you should order, first make sure you have your artwork (photo, print, canvas, document, etc) with you so that you can measure it. While measuring-artwork-to-suit-picture-framesthis seems a little silly to suggest, it isn't. Many customers ring us up wanting picture framing quotes for prices. When we ask them what size their picture are many say that the don't know for sure. They say that they don't have the picture because they're just about to order it online or that they've just done so. It seem that customers either take it for granted or assume that the picture size they're getting online will be exactly as described or ordered.... Unfortunately and, in about half the cases, the picture size the customer gets won't be the same size as ordered.

Chances are then that when that 50x70cms poster that you've just ordered online comes, it mightn't be that size. In about half the cases we get to hear, a poster ordered online is either a too small or too big than what was originally desired. So if you've already bought a 50x70cms ready-made picture frame and your print doesn't fit, you're in trouble. And the best way to avoid that is to make sure that you get your artwork first.

You'll then be able to measure it exactly so that you can buy the right size picture frame for it. Now then, for most photos, prints, posters, documents and other common art on paper you'll just need to measure both sides in either centimetres or inches. Whatever size you come up with, that'll be the size of the picture frame you'll need. For instance, if your picture is 21x30cms, an A4 (21x29.7 cm) size certificate frame will do.

And, if your picture is 20x25cms then a 20x25cms (or 8x10") photo frame will do. For more detailed help, see our blog entry on how to measure picture frames Often, if your art doesn't fit the frame, you can choose the next size up and buy a window mat (or window mount) , most often just called, a mat, from a custom picture framer. Not all picture framers will cut custom mats so make sure you contact the framer first.

If this is service he or she provides, then take you art and the oversize picture frame to picture framer for the mat to be cut. If not, then you may have to get a custom picture frame especially made for you art. If your art is an oil painting or photograph on canvas then you won't need to measure it as you can't insert a canvas into a frame. For art on canvas, it's best to take it to your local picture framer for framing options. Thank you for reading this post "Help! How will I know what size photo frame or picture frame I should order?".

2 thoughts on “Help! How will I know what size photo frame or picture frame I should order?

  1. Most people don’t realize this but the viewing area, or the picture you see at the front, is always a bit smaller than the area at the back of the picture or photo frame. So if your picture is 40x50cms, the viewing area will be about 39x49cms. This happens because all frames have what’s called a rebate, often about 5mm wide. This is necessary to hold the glass and art inside the frame and you can’t really without it. Your local picture framer will show and explain to you what this is, if you’re curious.

  2. With many pictures, especially from Europe, the sizes are likely to be international A Series sizes. This means that these sizes never change, no matter where you are. For instance an A4 is 21 x29.7 cms no matter where it is printed in the world. This makes it easier to find and buy picture frames. A Series sizes are also becoming widespread in Australia. With US art, you should look for photo frames or picture frames to the nearest inch, provided your measuring tape is so calibrated.

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