It's important to know the total thickness of the artwork, mounting board, mats and cover glass or acrylic to be framed.  If the total thickness of the materials is less than the rabbet depth, the artwork will fit inside the frame.  The rabbet depth is the recess on the back inside edge of the frame into which the artwork, mounting board, mats and glass fits.

Having some familarity with some of the terms and techniques associated with picture framing is often times a window into the possibilities of where picture framing can take you! Below is a graphical representation on the components of custom framing.

Framing Terms & Techniques

Acid-Free Paper:   Paper or paperboard in which the acidic content of the fibers used to produce the paper has been neutralized. Paper made with cotton fiber is commercially acid-free while paper made with wood pulp is not. The cotton content is the reason for the terms rag mat and rag board.

Conservation Framing:   A reversible framing method that protects and preserves valuable artwork from the natural aging process.

Glazing:   A protective layer or glass (available with UV screening) or plastic/acrylic sheets between the air and the artwork.

Mat:   A protective housing for flat artwork, usually a plate of cardboard, comprising a base to which the support is fixed (backboard) and a frame (window mat) that allows it to be seen.

Shadowbox:   A frame deep enough for 3-dimensional objects in addition to backboard, mat and glazing.

Original Print:   A work of art that has been created specifically for the printing medium. It is printed by the artist or under the artist's direction.

Limited-Edition Prints:   Identical prints of the same limited production edition, numbered in sequence. A maximum number of copies is stated.

Reproduction:   The duplication of an original work of art in another medium, such as a lithograph of a painting.

Engraving:   A method of printing using a metal plate inscribed with a sharp tool and printed in a press.

Etching:   A method of printing using a tool to incise a design on a metal plate coated with an acid-resistant substance. The plate then is given an acid bath which etches the exposed areas.

Basics on the Creation of Popular Print Types

(Per Art Publishers Association)

Serigraphy:   A serigraph is a stencil method of printmaking in which an image is imposed on a screen of silk or other fine mesh. Blank areas are coated with an impermeable substance, and ink or paint is then pulled through a fine silk or nylon screen onto the printing surface. In the process of silkscreen printmaking known as serigraphy, colors are printed one at a time, requiring the screens to be prepared for each color used. A hand-separated process is used to re-create the image if it is to be classified as an "original serigraph". Original serigraphs are typically created by the artist or in conjunction with printmakers or artisans under the artist's supervision.

Original Lithography:   Invented in the late 18th century, stone or plate lithography uses an inked slab of limestone or a specially treated metal plate to transfer an image to paper. A hand-separated process is used to re-create the image if it is to be classified an "original lithograph". Colors are printed one at a time, requiring the stone or plate to be prepared for each color used. Original lithographs are typically created by the artist or in conjunction with printmakers or artisans under the artist's supervision.

Offset Lithography:   In this printing process, an inked image on a metal or paper plate is transferred to a smooth rubber cylinder and then to paper. A photomechanical or digital process is used to re-create the image, which is run on a high-speed, automated press. Four- to eight-color printing presses are most commonly used, with all colors typically being printed at the same time. Touch plates or added color embellishments are common in offset lithography.

Giclee:   A 20th-century digital print medium emanating from Iris print technology, "giclee" has become a generic term for a wide variety of digital print technologies found within the fine art market. Digital prints have found favor among artists and publishers because of accurate reproduction quality, print on demand capability and because the best giclee prints do not exhibit a digital signature, i.e., banding, dot patterns or other typical signs of commercial digital prints.

Canvas Transfer:   A canvas transfer is a process where a print image on paper is transferred to and backed up with canvas. To accomplish this, a paper-backed print is laid on a table and coated with a formula of acrylics. The chemicals used integrate with the print inks and, over a two-day period, are given a chance to cure between applications. The next day the coated print is put into a bath of chemicals and water is allowed to soak. At the time that the acrylics and inks (which are one) begin to separate from the paper, the wet print is removed from the tank. It is then laid on a table where the acrylics are peeled away from the paper. The wet, blank piece of paper is thrown away. At this point, the film, which is a thousandandths of an inch thick, is hand applied to a prepared canvas. Canvas transfers are durable and can be cleaned with warm water and mild soap if necessary. Permission of the copyright owner is required before a canvas transfer can be created.

Three simple words - Custom Picture Framing - this allows you to preserve and protect your memories for many years to come.  So many of your cherished treasures, like ticket collections, old documents, personal achievement awards, and children’s art, all deserve just the right picture frame to help protect them from their natural enemies of ultraviolet light, humidity, direct and reflected sunlight, and temperature extremes (heat accelerates the decay of paper and canvas, and cold causes paintings to become brittle).

Don't take chances with your memories.  Value is not just about money - if you have something to preserve then custom frame it.  Pictures of your children, and special pictures made by your children, become lifelong treasures.  Family portraits can never be taken over, so be sure to preserve them in a good frame.

Framing Components