double mats?

Discussion in 'Presentation & Marketing' started by winger, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    A local restaurant has decided to have a few photos on the walls for sale. But the owner is being quite particular and wants only white, double mats. Is there a standard way to cut these as I usually cut my own? Or is there someone that will do them custom at not-too-high prices? I found pre-cut ones at documounts.com, but the board is unlabeled, so I don't know if I want to take the chance.
    It might be a moot question anyway because the owner will be jurying the photos anyway and I guess he's looking for a specific look (but all we know is "rustic" and "local"). Only 8 photos at a time will make it.
     
  2. brian steinberger

    brian steinberger Member

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    Bethe, I can cut them for you. We use a Wizard mat cutter. Let me know what size opening and mounts and I can ship them to you. If not, check with documents.com to make sure their mats are acid-free. I'm assuming that's what you mean by "taking a chance."
     
  3. Dan Henderson

    Dan Henderson Member

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    I learned to cut the outer mat 1/4" larger than the inside mat. But that is not set in stone; larger photographs, for instance could be matted with 1/2" differences.
     
  4. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    Bethe,

    The typical reveal between the bottom mat and top mat is 1/4 inch. For example if you have an 8x10 photo, 11x14 frame and select 1/4 inch offset for the top mat you would cut the botton mat at 7 3/4 x 9 3/4 and the top mat would be cut to 8 1/4 x 10 1/4.

    My company is having a 10% off sale on everything including mats and double mats for APUG members right now. Website promo code APUG9677 expires March 18th, 2009.


    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  5. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    ...about the mats...acid free is not very meaningful since most companies claim all mat board is acid free. Paper mat board is made from wood pulp and will be buffered so that it is TEMPORARILY acid free but can not be used for archival framing. You need mat board made of naturally inert components such as alpha cellulose or cotton. Bainbridge alphamat and alpharag mat board are both very archival as is Crescent rag board. I have more info about mat board types here.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  6. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    I usually use a cotton rag board from Light Impressions. I like the color of it and have not liked the color of the Alphamat and Alpharag ones (who knew there are so many shades of white). The documounts site says that what is used for the double mounts is safe, but says, "These mats are imported and a non-branded matboard."
    I can't even submit my work for jurying until April 1, so I won't be buying any mats until after that - I just wanted to know ahead of time what I might be getting myself into.
     
  7. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    This year, to mount prints about 10.5 inches square, I cut the inner mat to about 10.3 inches square (optically centered for 16 x 20 frame). The outer mat I cut for a 0.3 inch reveal on sides and top, 0.5 inch reveal on bottom where I stick my signature. For those of us who cut our own, I note that making the reveal extremely narrow tends to show flaws in the dimensions more noticeably than with a wider cut.

    [​IMG]

    DaveT
     
  8. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Thanks for mentioning that - it's very useful info.
     
  9. George Collier

    George Collier Member

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    Bethe - I saw something today I might try and thought I would pass on to you. A water colorist friend cuts one matte about 1/4 inch back on all sides. Then she cuts a piece of archival foamcore (3/16 in thick) a quarter inch back from that on each side. She then places the foamcore between the matte and the piece, which floats the matte out from the print, looking similar to double matte, and nowhere near as critical in terms of accuracy of cut or position, and without the work and expense of the second matte. You would need at least a half inch border on your print so that it runs under the foamcore, but you probably do already if you reveal the border inside the matte window.
    So, what's with the restaurant owner's hangup on double mattes, anyway?:confused:
     
  10. ROL

    ROL Member

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    Which is one reason (as well as personal taste) why I standardized all sizes of my windows (8-ply), from 11X14 to 36X48, to a half inch well all the way around, despite the fact the above essentially replicates Adams' recommendation in The Print.

    see previous post for example.
     
  11. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    Double mats has a much more striking presentation. I think that is a good choice. I have had some on my prints mounted on four levels of mat board.

    Steve
     
  12. DWThomas

    DWThomas Subscriber

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    This is similar to something sometimes done with pastels so that dust that shakes loose falls into a "gutter" and out of sight. Although more often they are framed with a narrow spacer, smaller than the rabbet, so the mat is against the work, but spaced back from the glass leaving a bit of a gutter.

    DaveT
     
  13. winger

    winger Subscriber

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    Thanks for the ideas all!
    I don't really know. I'd guess he saw one and liked it and figured it would be good for everything. The main thing I don't like about them is that it seems like they don't leave enough space around the photo. Though I've never used them, I kinda like the ones that have more space than standard around the photo. Oh well, if that's what he wants, I'll give it a go for a bit to see if anything sells.
     
  14. fdi

    fdi Advertiser Advertiser

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    Double mats are often considered to be a little more upscale and add a little depth to the package. It is one way to help separate your work from others but with the advent of computerized mat cutters it is much more common now. In gallery framing where a simple black frame and white mats are being used making the mat border 4 or5 inches instead of 2 or 3 inches will have a more dramatic effect. Personally, I prefer the use of a single 8-ply mat over a double 4-ply since it is much less common because it is so much harder to cut 8-ply.

    Other ways to add depth are with spacers although they are often used for more practical reasons. If you are not using a mat at all and want to keep the print away from the glass for archival reasons you use a spacer between the glass and the print. If you are float mounting (where the mat opening is larger than the print so the print is fully exposed), and the print has some thickness to it due to paper curl, torn edges, or pre-mounted to another substrate, then you can use a foam board spacer between the mat and the frame backing board or primary print mounting substrate. This spacer can also be used to create a mat shadow effect.

    Cheers,
    Mark
     
  15. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Double mats are often considered to be a little more upscale and add a little depth to the package. It is one way to help separate your work from others but with the advent of computerized mat cutters it is much more common now.

    Good point. But I prefer the print floating in the mat opening, and since I trim very precisely for composition, I transfer the actual print edge dimensions to the mat before marking off the mat opening and cutting with a Dexter. When I showed one of these to my local framing guy (he couldn't help showing off his computerized cutter...) he just shook his head and admitted that it was something he couldn't do with the machine!

    It is apparently not universally recognized that covering anywhere from a quarter to a half inch of the print---on each edge---may change the appearance of the image. A few years ago there was a Weston exhibit for which the museum had apparently put all of the prints into matching frames, with new mats. Several of them looked odd, and comparison with the printed catalog showed why---the mat windows were a full inch smaller than the prints they went over. I can imagine what Weston would have had to say about this.
     
  16. fdi

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    Are you saying you are cutting the mat opening exactly to the print size? That is normally not done since it difficult to get it perfectly centered and not have crack showing on at least one side. Regardless, seems easier with a computerized mat cutter since they can cut to within a few hundredths of an inch. Generally when you don’t want any of the image to be covered you just float mount and cut the mat opening 1/2 to 1 inch larger than the image. Another nice effect is to mount the image on 1/8 inch foam core spacer that is smaller than the paper so the paper appears to be floating above the backing board and use a foam core spacer to lift the mat up so that it is still above the image.
     
  17. greybeard

    greybeard Member

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    Are you saying you are cutting the mat opening exactly to the print size?

    Not at all--for nominally 8x10 on an 11x14 mount, I prefer a 1/4" reveal at sides and top, and 5/16 at the bottom (for the signature). I agree that with larger reveals (1/2" or more) the precision issue is less troublesome, but I happen not to care for the look, as it seems to make the frame too small. Going up a size would fix that, at the expense of making the whole thing a bit pretentious, the way some art students put a 4x5 contact print in a 16x20 mount :wink:

    The problem for the frame shop is not cutting the mat, but measuring the print to the required accuracy and then entering the dimensions with enough precision. The print is not always perfectly square (although I do the best that I can) and often ends up not measuring an exact multiple of 1/16", which seems to be the software limit for the computerized cutter. Since I register the top right-hand corner of both the mat and mount before transferring the print edge locations to the mat, the absolute dimensions don't matter, and if anything (print, mount, or mat) is slightly off square, this method compensates and the result visually acceptable. Believe me---an error of six hundredths (about 1/16") is very noticeable!

    I hope that the foregoing is understandable---it is easier to demonstrate than to explain.

    I have nothing against either manual or computerized mat cutting, and use both when I can. But for my personal things, I like to be able to trim off a distracting bit along one edge of the image, and still have the mat opening exactly fit the print.

    With a nod to the original post: American Frame cuts all manner of mats to order (including oval!) and offers both Crescent and Bainbridge conservation matboard. I have found them to be quite conscientious, and easy to deal with.
     
  18. panastasia

    panastasia Member

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    It doesn't hurt to pass on your experience. I've also scrapped similar materials that were advertised as acid free, they turned yellow-brown around the edges. I too, switched to solid core museum board (Strathmore is my favorite, the various shades work well with many print tones) and never looked back. One exception, though, black solid core should not be trusted - any brand.

    Paul