A frame should be as custom as the picture you took, the drawing you made, the print you bought, or the piece of art you painted. The result should be a custom frame made exactly with your artwork in mind — right down to the last inch of matboard or piece of hanging hardware.
And the good news is that now it’s easier (and more affordable) than ever to get a custom made picture frame in any size you need. With the advent of the internet, online framers are offering the same services as their storefront counterparts at a fraction of the cost.
That custom frame shop on your street corner might have prices you think are a bit high, but the internet storefronts set up all across cyberspace should have affordable, competitive custom picture frame pricing. Plus the product should be just as good (if not better) than anything you’d find in a local frame shop. (And what’s better than a great product at a great price?)
Limited edition concert posters; prints that come in a limited run; panoramic photos; drawings by your niece, nephew, son, or daughter…all of these have one thing in common: they most likely come in a nonstandard size, meaning that pre-sized, “readymade” frames likely won’t work for a best-fitting display.
This makes buying a premade, store-bought frame less than ideal, not to mention the time it would also take to get in your car and drive to the store. Here, we’re taking you through some of the main advantages of buying custom size frames.
1. Custom Frames Are Available In Odd Sizes
This merits repeating, because this is the most primary service custom framers offer. It is also the most important one, because it makes your life easier.
You can buy a standard 8” X 10” frame in many stores. It may even have a matboard included, so it can be a “two in one” sized frame (one size if you include the mat, another size if you don’t).
But this doesn’t come near to the trillions— yes, literally trillions— of possibilities that you can make on a custom frame site.
Here at Frame It Easy, the difference in sizing, frame styles /colors, and matboard sizes / colors leads to a potential 600 trillion different options. That’s a few more than the 5 or 6 you get when you are deciding between different standard size frames at your local arts and crafts store.
So that poster you got abroad, cool panoramic photo you took at the top of a mountain, or the odd-sized print you found at a thrift store can now be perfectly framed and matted among your other art.
2. Custom Frames Are Cut To More Precise Sizes
As the old saying goes, “You get what you pay for,” and cheap, mass-produced frames you can pick off a shelf will have a higher chance of having defects, such as alignment issues and slightly-off sizing.
Custom framers are usually much more precise in how they produce their frames. For instance, the machinery that we operate at Frame It Easy only has an error margin of less than 1/16”. (When converted to a decimal, this is less than .1”— a negligible amount of space — which means that you should have no issue sliding your print into the perfectly fitting frame once you receive it.)
So, when you get a custom-made frame, not only will it fit better to your art, but it will more than likely have more professional care taken in its manufacturing process. Quality is key!
3. You Will Never Have To Alter Your Art To Fit A Frame
Frames are meant to preserve your artwork and keep them in good condition for years to come. It seems odd, then, that you should need to trim a poster, photo, or the like to fit it. A frame should be cut to fit your art, not the other way around!
Because you get to decide what artwork the frame is to be built around, all the components of the frame conform to your artwork.
No need to think various size posters or photos you have can’t be framed — just check what the maximum “Art Size” is for the company you’re framing with, measure, and order your frame from any phone or computer.
This is a huge advantage as you won’t have to trim your artwork, which means you won’t compromise its quality. (And you could even move it to a different frame if you want to at some point, which would be more difficult if you had to trim it.) What if you have to do that again for another store bought frame? Eventually, you could keep trimming your artwork until it’s compromised entirely. You should be able to preserve your poster or artwork, not damage it.
4. You Have More Flexibility With Sizing In Regards to Where You Plan To Hang Your Art
As we hopefully made clear at this point, at custom frame shops nothing is pre-made and everything is custom cut to how you order it. As such, you’ll get to look at a spot on the wall, find something you might want to fit in there, and then make sure the total sum measurements don’t exceed that limit. (Meaning you don’t need to stand in a store and wonder if that 11” X 14” frame will fit on your wall.)
You should also be able to see the exact outside measurements of the frame from your home computer. While the opening of the frame will certainly be listed on a store bought frame, the outside measurements might not be. This opens up the door for a lot of guesswork.
Your life is a whole lot easier when you can perfect your home decor from the comfort of your living room, made to your exact specifications.
5. You (More Than Likely) Can Interact Directly With The Manufacturer
This is a big one, as it gives the customer that much more power in deciding what they want, and for giving them personal consideration. When you’re buying a readymade photo frame from a store, that store mostly likely is selling the frame from a separate manufacturer.
So if you have a question about the frame, what it’s made of, or what the proper hanging hardware should be, you likely won’t get a sufficient answer.
This can be frustrating. What if the frame has a defect that you didn’t notice? What if you’re curious about a certain aspect of its construction? While it wouldn’t be as easy to resolve these issues with a store bought frame, it would be much more convenient to reach out to a manufacturer that you bought directly from.
If you have a question about a custom frame made at a company that specializes in such things, it will likely be answered by someone in customer service who has a full knowledge of the frame’s components, its development process, and more. This usually can’t be said for frames bought from chain arts and crafts stores, so you buy at your own risk.
The most important thing to remember about custom size frames vs. store bought frames is that they give you the largest sizing selection; every last piece of the frame is custom cut for you so the size is exactly how you want it.
No components are re-used, and there is nothing that is just taken off the shelf and put in a box. This might increase your overall wait time for an order by a few days, but it will also give you the best possible product in the end.
There’s no need to make compromises or settle for close enough. There should almost always be a solution that’s just right for you. Just be sure to measure your art to the best of your ability and the rest should fall perfectly into place.
But, just to recap the main advantages of custom size frames:
- Custom frames are available in any size.
- You never have to alter your art to fit your frame.
- The frames are cut more precisely.
- You have more flexibility with where you plan to hang it.
- You can generally interact directly with the manufacturer.
The end result should be custom to your artwork, no matter how large or small, and ordering custom is the best way to find a frame that fits your piece perfectly.