Your customers are always looking for great art and great service. What they aren’t short of is options. You need a way to help your art stand out.

How artwork is framed is important to both the buyer and the art itself. A piece of art isn’t complete until it has a frame. Without one, the artwork will struggle to show its full potential—especially when it’s digital, not showcased on a wall but sitting in the middle of a busy web page.

Adding a digital frame doesn’t just add polish to an online presentation; as in a gallery, you can use digital mats and frames to emphasize a piece’s best features.

Select the best frame for the artwork

There are two schools of thought when it comes to framing: Do you match the frame to the art or the decor? Your customer may have their own opinion, but for now, showcase the artwork in a frame that complements it.

  1. Choose a frame that matches the style of the artwork. With digital frames, you can access a rich library of photo realistic styles, textures, and materials from different periods to find one that fits.
  2. Select a frame colour that suits the image. Typically, a frame should be a shade lighter than the darkest colour in the picture—but it can be lighter, as long as it’s still darker than the mat.
  3. Consider the composition. If the image contains strong geometrical lines, keep the frame fairly simple. You don’t want a frame to overwhelm or distract people from the image.

Before making a final choice to share with a customer or upload to your site, try different options and compare the style of the picture frame to those used for other, similar pictures.


wing in frame

Framed with ImageFramer

Use a digital mat to further enhance artwork

When framing art with a physical frame, mats are practical as well as decorative. When it comes to digital, however, a mats whole purpose is to make a piece of art look fabulous.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind:

  • The standard rule is to use a mat that’s double the width of the frame. There are exceptions like the one noted below, but start with the recommended width and adjust from there.
  • If an image contains movement, use a wider mat—especially if the perspective goes beyond the frame or if the subject fills the entire image. Don’t overdo it, though, or the composition will lose its impact.
  • Adjust the width of each side if you need to. Perspective can be funny; sometimes an image will look off balance even if each side of the mat is the same width. So you might need to make some adjustments to compensate. If a picture is vertical, the upper edge should generally be wider than the sides; if it’s horizontal, the sides should be wider than the top. For a square image, the bottom edge should be wider while the other three sides should be the same.
  • Choose a mat colour that matches hues in the painting but not the dominant one. Using a mat that’s the same hue as the primary colour will make it harder for the eye to figure out what to focus on. Usually, the best colour for a mat is slightly darker than the lightest tone in the picture, but if dark colours predominate in the picture, a darker mat can be chosen. You can read more about How to make your artwork with digital mat here >>


flowers in frame

Framed with ImageFramer

Seeing art in person can have a powerful effect. It’s hard to replicate that online, but a great frame and mat can help make a stronger impression—regardless of the setting.

Need help getting started? ImageFramer is the Mac way to frame your artwork.   >>


Mac application for adding photorealistic frames to pictures.