Choice of mount boards

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by Travis Nunn, Oct 29, 2005.

  1. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I'm getting ready to mount a number of prints and I'm curious to know what reasons one would mount prints to foamcore as opposed to regular mount board and vice versa. Since both can be archival, is it just a matter of taste?
     
  2. Pastiche

    Pastiche Member

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    well...
    There are differences in the "archival" qualities of each.... for example, I believe that all foam core is buffered, while there are lots of matt boards that dont need buffering (I'm sure someone will step up and explain the rationale for buffering..)

    BUT - there is also the different physical properties of each... foam core is more fagile, but lighter, also more likely to be gas permeable.. and I'm not sure which would wick water faster, or retain it longer, or stain/warp more given equal doses of humidity/liquid...

    Personaly, I prefer to mount on 4ply matt, and overmatt with the same thing. I think that for the cost, I feel a whole lot better about showing my work, it's just knowing that I didn't cut a corner, and that no one else will think I cut a corner.. and possibly raise questions about the sincerity of care for quality. Even though I often pinch pennies for lots of other things. ;.)
     
  3. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    i tried some foam core for one project, and didn't like it at all.

    The prints are large , and the foam core is softer than regular board and the fiber didn't adhere to the core very well. A lot of rippling at the outer edge.

    Results; the end of that experience.

    We mount on 4ply board, using 8 ply for the window until the print is larger than 16x20.
     
  4. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    I mount to 4ply board, and over mat around the print edge (1/2") with matching white 4ply board. Check out www.SuperiorArchivalMats.com and read the test done on mounting on Alpha Rag Artcare board. I suggest using the "White" 4ply. This is the best mat board in the whole world. Period.

    That website has it for sorta expensive, but you can find Artcare board at most framing stores for cheeper.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  5. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I see. So it seems 4ply board is what most photographers mount to, am I correct in assuming that?
     
  6. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member

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    4-ply white board is the most common, but more galleries are showing 8-ply these days. 8-ply is really beautiful stuff, but expensive and harder to cut.

    Unbuffered is more commonly used for color (because buffered board is unnecessary for color prints), buffered for B&W.

    There is lots of useful information on mounting and archival standards out there. Some leading resources online are palimpsest.stanford.edu, www.loc.gov, and wilhelm-research.com.
     
  7. User Removed

    User Removed Guest

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    Lots of photographer will mount on a 2ply board, and overmat with a 4ply. It saves abit of space and also its 1/2 the cost for the mount.

    Personally, 2ply is too thin and flimsy for me...so 4ply mount, 4ply over mat.
     
  8. wfe

    wfe Member

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    4 ply with a 4 ply overmat and never anything but white. I use 100% museum quality rag from Light Impressions. Expensive but very nice mat board. I also dry mount because I like the photos to be flat.
     
  9. photomc

    photomc Member

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    Agree with this, except that for prints smaller than 8x10, find that the 2ply does work OK, with a 4 ply overmat. Anything larger and when I can afford it, much prefer the 4ply mount with 4ply over mat. They just look good...if I could afford the 8ply (and cut it) I would. If you can't afford the Artcare board at least go with the good boards from one of the other vendors like LI. A well mounted print adds to the overall appearance of a photo, but a poorly mounted one moves the focus from the print to the matting job....just my opinion though. Never really cared for the foamcore mounts, but that may just be me...makes a nice backing material when framing though.
     
  10. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I've been drymounting my prints onto foam core and haven't had any problems with flatness. I attach my 4-ply matt over that with 3/4" ATG or "snot" tape because it keeps the matt flat against the print without any spaces in between. I've always been dissapointed when viewing someone's great print that has a warped matt attached only by hinged tape at the top. It may be the one of the most accepted "archival" methods but it often looks terrible and there's no guarentee that it won't warp once it's delivered to a different climate.
     
  11. User Removed

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    The problem with drymounting to foamcore is you have to cut your window mat to go INTO the printed image. By drymounting, and triming the print edge off, you can leave a matching white border around the prints edge which looks really nice. If you did this with foam board, you would have a nice mat board, but then the glossy surface of the foam board under... and that would look very untasteful and tacky. Also, you cannot sign foamcore. Pencil just wipes off, or leaves a dent where you write, and pen will wipe off also.

    Form core is also too thick, so if your storing prints in a portfolio case, it takes up twice the thickness as normal mount board. That means you can only carry 1/2 the number of prints you could if you used proper mat board.

    Also, alot of foam core boards are not 100% archival and acid-free. Your prints would be better of mounted on Alpharag Artcare museum board, or similar.

    Light Impressions sell's both Westminster Board (which is more expensive then Alpharag, which is better!) and Exeter Board. The Exeter board is rather quite nice. The "Gallery White" looks very nice with cool tone prints, since it is a slight warm/pinkish.

    Ryan McIntosh
     
  12. DarkroomDan

    DarkroomDan Subscriber

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    reading this thread I am starting to feel that the whole world is a tuxedo and I'm a pair of brown shoes.

    I use foam for most of my framed work. I use a 4-ply 100% cotton rag overmat and buffered foamcore backing. I do not dry mount my work - I use my press to flatten and, in the case of bromoil, to super dry. I use archival dots at the top corners of the print to secure it to the backing and four more to secure the overmat to the backing.

    I used to use the same mat board for backing and overmat but find that with the aluminum frames I use that the additional thickness of the foamcore provides a tighter, flatter fit.

    I should note that probably 80% of my prints 5x7 on 8x10 paper. This small size may account for my lack of problems with foamcore though I have a few larger prints mounted and framed at 20x24 with foamcore and have not noticed a problem.

    If I am going to present the work as matted with an overmat, I still use the same 4-ply for both.
     
  13. Travis Nunn

    Travis Nunn Member

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    I've seen warped mats before, but I just figured it was cheap boards. Is this a common problem?