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  1. #1

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    Offsetting image with matting when signature is involved

    I wonder if I can get an advise from folks with experience.... My problem concerns properly matting and framing my work. I have two senarios:

    1) The paper I'm going to print on is 11x14 but the image size is actually 9 1/2 x 12. At the bottom, additional 1/2" will be taken up by signature and title. (I am signing on the photograph, not the matting) This is a vertical work. You *could* say the total area to be "framed" in mat opening is 9 1/2 x 12 1/2. I'd like to basically have 3" matting but question really is what I should do with the bottom width. I understand that it is common to have wider border at the bottom by a little to adjust for visual centering of the work. But, if I add another 1/2" at the bottom, because of the signature space, the photograph part/image part will be 1" higher total. In other words, image will be 3" from top but 4" from bottom. Is that right or too much? What would you do?

    2) This is the same type of issue but the work is horizontal. Image size will be 9 1/2 x 12 with additional 1/2" at bottom for signature. Would you increase the bottom width of the matting by another 1/2"?

    I guess my MAIN CONCERN is, because the signature portion is raising the image by 1/2" already, would I add yet another 1/2" to the matting or not....

    I really do not want to take this to a framer but want to do this by ordering from my usual frame source which is online. (Frame Destinations) So I really need to be precise in what I want.

    HELP!
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  2. #2
    Vaughn's Avatar
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    I think it could look just fine...especially with a vertical. But cut out the approbiate sizes of paper and visually check it out for yourself. Move the paper around to what looks best to you, then measure what it is.
    At least with LF landscape, a bad day of photography can still be a good day of exercise.

  3. #3

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    I'm not very good at subjective stuff like this....
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  4. #4
    Rick A's Avatar
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    It will look good. My art professor in college espoused that concept, and I still do it that way.
    Rick A
    Argentum aevum
    BTW: the big kid in my avatar is my hero, my son, who proudly serves us in the Navy. "SALUTE"

  5. #5
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    My custom for a long time has been to use 1/4" borders on the sides and top, and a 1/2" border on the bottom like you are considering. To my eye, the pictures look "visually centered" in the frame even though the borders are equal all the way around in contravention to the idea of slightly offset top and bottom borders. Unscientifically, I think the larger bottom border visually "lifts" the print in the frame.


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  6. #6

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    Dan,

    Do I understand correctly that when you say 1/4" and 1/2" border, you are talking about the white border on photo paper around the image? Also, you mean your mat is cut with equal width all the way around? Or, did you really mean 1/4 inch width mat around the image except for the bottom? That's really narrow.
    Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?

  7. #7

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    If you will be using a 16x20 frame which is considered a "standard" size frame. You would position the vertical so assuming a 1/4 " border above and on both sides you have enough room for your signature and some space below it and still have a longer mat on the bottom. The horizontal print presents a different issue. If you want the frames to be the same size 16x20. You would then have a 2 3/4" on top (1/4") white print paper and a 3" +(1/2) on bottom and then 3 1/2" +(1/4") on each side. Frequently photographs are signed verso and not dry mounted and matted right to the print. This makes a very nice presentation especially with an 8ply mat board. In that case the color of the mat which may not be the exact matching white to the base white of the print. When possible I have stopped dry mounting prints especially if they are to be sold because if the purchaser wishes to frame differently or to a different size the mounting board does not have to be cut.

    http://www.jeffreyglasser.com/

  8. #8
    Dan Henderson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tkamiya View Post
    Dan,

    Do I understand correctly that when you say 1/4" and 1/2" border, you are talking about the white border on photo paper around the image? Also, you mean your mat is cut with equal width all the way around? Or, did you really mean 1/4 inch width mat around the image except for the bottom? That's really narrow.
    Well, I float-mat, meaning that I trim the white border off the edges of the print, mount the print to a 2 ply mount board, and cut the mat board 1/2" wider and 3/4" longer than the print, centering it left-right, and placing it 1/4" from the top and 1/2" from the bottom of the mat window. I like the relief that float mounting creates, but leaving the border on and placing it 1/4" from the sides and top and 1/2" from the bottom is the same idea. And yes, my borders are equal all the way around, usually 3".


    web site: Dan Henderson, Photographer.com

    blog: https://danhendersonphotographer.wordpress.com/

    I am not anti-digital. I am pro-film.

  9. #9

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    For a print of that size, an inch more in matting at the bottom than at the top (in addition to the extra signature space) is too much for me.

    I do what Dan does, sort of. 3/8" sides and top between print and mat, and 5/8" at bottom for signature. I find that bottom-weighting the mat by 1/8" is sufficient. So, doing the math, the print is 3/8" above center in the frame. I think an inch more at the bottom would be a distraction.

  10. #10
    Whiteymorange's Avatar
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    You're never going to get folk to agree on how the mat should be cut, because it's subjective. The tradition of leaving a "runway" space at the bottom (I usually add 1/4 to 1/2 in) is just that, a tradition. I agree with Vaughn - a quick and dirty cut out of paper to the size you're thinking of using will tell you more than anyone here can about what you like. Personally, I simply avoid two things: a side border that is larger than the top border and a smaller bottom border. But then, that's just my tradition...

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