When it comes to photo frames there are many different options in the marketplace with huge variances in price. This makes it very confusing to the average shopper as to what is the right pick for them. However, once explained this decision can be quite easy once you understand what the differences are and what the item is you have to frame.
The first and cheapest option for photo frames is a ready-made, standard sized frame from your local discount store or homewares shop. These frames are a great pick if you have a digital photo that you printed for ten cents and you want to display a photo on your office desk or give Grandma another picture of her great grandkids for her mantle. These frames are an economical option if the item that you are framing is easily replaceable, not an original and isn’t a family heirloom. The reason for this is the economical, mass produced frames are made with the cheapest of products and the materials contain acid which will discolour and deteriorate your framed item over time. If you have ever opened up Grandma’s old photo frame from the 1940’s and found a distinctive line from where the matboard was sitting or the back of the photo was yellow or brown or the actual photo has faded and discoloured you can blame the pesky acid for this. So, stick to these frames for your ten cent photos and replaceable items otherwise you will be spoiling your memories for the next generation.
The second option is to search for picture frames online. The majority of picture frames online will be ready made and standard sizes but you may be able to find a good quality, acid free frame that will properly protect your special memories. This option could be more cost effective than visiting a professional picture framer (see below) however sending picture frames in the post has its hazards and there is no guarantee your new purchase will arrive in pristine condition. If you are looking at this option, be sure to choose a supplier that offers insurance or replacement on frames that arrive damaged.
The third option which has varying prices is to visit a professional picture framer and get custom photo frames made to order. The picture framer will guide you through the best options for your item and recommend the best products to preserve your item. Firstly, all materials used by professional picture framers should be acid free, so make sure this is your first question when you visit their store. Secondly, they will offer a multitude of glass options to protect your framed item. Choices range from the economical standard clear glass that will simply keep the dust and dirty finger-marks off your item to museum quality UV glass that reflect 99% of UV rays which will prevent fading and keep your item in pristine condition. They will also offer a colour consultation in which they choose coloured matboard and frames to best highlight the item that you are framing. Lastly, and the best advantage, is you will have a huge selection of frames to choose from and by choosing to get your custom photo frames made means that you can dictate what size you want, what colours and a vast array of other options to get a perfect keepsake for generations to come.
A custom picture framer can usually frame any item, you name it and they can frame it. That is the ultimate benefit to going to a professional and they can guide you and recommend the best type of framing for your item and they should also be able to frame your item so that no lasting effects are present if you ever wanted to remove the item from the frame.
So, when choosing a picture frame for your photo, certificate, family heirloom etc make sure you consider the all the advantages and disadvantages between the $2 frame from the discount store and visiting a reputable picture framer in your area.