Recently, I had meet a friend for coffee at one of our NW Indiana cafés to drop off some artwork. I was patiently waiting for them to arrive and my eyes wandered the cafe looking at their products and furniture to help pass the time. Where I sat, my table was adjacent to four large photographs, framed as a matching set directly across the barista counter. They blended well with the entire atmosphere of the cafe, and I credit that to the interior designer that picked out the art and decor for the space. Although the images looked well-matched, I noticed that the mat-width for each of the images was at least 6 inches. I had to laugh as I can barely convince most clients that 3″ is usually ideal, yet here were four pictures, hung side-by-side, and the mats didn’t detract from the attention of the photo at all. My samples at the shop are not even 6 inches! (for those curious, they’re four inches). Still, they looked great and I had to snap a few pictures to document the mat width:
Most people have a hard time grasping the role and creativity of mats, especially when they become wider than the width of the frame. I hear people say that, “that much space will distract me from focusing on the artwork,” or “why do I need that much mat?” All are sound questions, but this example shows how, when done correctly, a wide mat border can boldly enhance the art.
“When done correctly, a wide mat border can boldly enhance the art.”
So the next time you look at a piece of framed artwork at your local coffee shop, try to guess how wide that mats are (if they have any) and then ask yourself, “Is that enough space to still focus on the art?” Chances are most will be too small, but every once in a while, a place will hit in on the head.
The jury is still out on the boring black frame though……A topic for another day perhaps!
-Your friendly neighborhood framer, Kristina