You need some framing done and you need it done at the right price.
Maybe you have seen some frames in the department stores, and you see that white/black frames with white mats look to be in fashion. And the thinner the frame the more affordable it will be – right? Well, no.
When you walk into a Framing shop there are a couple of things we can recommend that will help you receive maximum value from the experience.
Firstly, white/black frames with white mats look great in very few environments, and they may cost the same as a tailored-to-complement-the-art frame with a mat that completes the image being framed. The frame and mat combination that is tailored to the art will look better in the variety of environments it will hang in it’s lifetime (which can be long).
The cost difference between a tailored moulding and a small black frame may be less than 5% of the overall job. The (say) blue mat that accentuates with the eyes/sea/flowers in the image costs exactly the same as the white mat, which maybe accentuates the white paper the print was printed on.
The labour is a significant percentage of the total cost of having a frame built. There is at least an hour of love that goes into designing, documenting, making and wrapping each frame ready for you to hang. The labour charge will be so similar for a badly designed and executed frame from one shop that another shop with great design and execution will charge.
So the message is, go in with an open mind, and look for a frame designer that is capable of great design first and foremost. When the quoted value for the frame is above what you were looking to pay, ask how the design can be modified to meet your budget. This way, you can choose the increments that add most value, should you wish to.
After all, great value is a function of how much you like something, and how long it gives you that feeling. You can always spend less, but if you don’t like it much on day one and it is ruined in a couple of years by poor quality components, you have received next to zero value.
On the flip side of that, if you cared enough about your art (photo, print, poster, certificate, needlework, canvas etc etc) to take it to a good framer and they make a design that you really like, and the framed item gives you lasting contentment/inspiration/joy/pride (which may grow the more time passes) then you have received excellent value indeed.