Mount sizing

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Mount sizing

Post by Frangipaniframer » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 8:09 am

Hi guys :)

I was just curious to see what the overall thoughts are about mounts and should they ALWAYS be bigger on the bottom? In my opinion, it’s dependent on the artwork and is sort of “outdated” because we don’t tend to hang our pictures that high anymore. I had a friendly chat with another framer who says he always advises to go heavier at the bottom. We all work in different ways! What do you think?

Hope you’re all having a good week so far! Fran
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by prospero » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 11:34 am

There are lots of tales about this. Forget all that high-hanging stuff. :lol:

It's an subconscious optical illusion. Make them all exactly equal and it will look as though the top is wider.
You see (or rather perceive) with your brain and not a ruler. Of course there are other factors in the
equation. The image, the colour of the board, the width of the mount border. Portrait or Landscape format.
A portrait image (higher than wide) gives a subliminal feeling of instability. Weighting the bottom of the mount
mitigates this effect.

Ask someone to draw a triangle. They will 99.999% of the time draw it apex-up. Having it with the 'heavy' section
up gives an uncomfortable feeling of instability. Try it. Works every time. :P
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Steve N » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 12:44 pm

Frangipaniframer , you have just started a topic that's going to be HOT!

I nearly do all my mount boarders equal all the way around, but it boils down to personal preference, 1st it need to be at least 1cm more at the bottom, but that look stupid on a narrow mount, and anything less , say like 5mm is not going to make a jot of difference, especially with a lot of new images being square, putting 5mm extra at the bottom, is a waste of time.
I read somewhere else that a framer weighted the bottom, the customer didn't like it or even ask for it, the framer would only change it if the customer paid for it!!!, now that is what I call 'Customer Service' . My point being, most buying public do not know about weighted bottom and/or care , in my shop it's only weighted if asked for
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by prospero » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 2:50 pm

Skinny mounts(<30mm) the rules are different. Often do this on photoframes where the 'mount' is narrower than the frame.
In cases like these the eye equates the mount as part of the frame (like a liner). You would never bottom weight a frame, although I've been
asked to.

It's all a matter of 'if it looks right it is right'. :wink:


** I should mention very long upright images such as Oriental wall hangings and suchlike. Different discipline called for.
Oriental art has completely different rules of perspective. A tall picture, say 4 foot high x 6 inches wide might benefit
from a mount with extreme borders. Maybe 10" at the bottom, 7" at the top and 3" sides.
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Justintime » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 3:02 pm

I'm with Porspero, "if it looks right".
Some older customers expect it and seem to see it as a sign of whether I know what I'm doing or not.
I usually offer it unless the customers has an eye and agrees that it looks better without.
Mine are only 5mm deeper at the bottom, but everything I frame for myself, I wish I hadn't added it! Maybe I'm an exception to the focal centre being above actual centre theory??
I see lots of contemporary prints on Instagram that are equal all round and they look great.
Tall thin can look great with narrower sides sometimes too..
Rules are meant to be broken :lol:

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Re: Mount sizing

Post by YPF » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 5:10 pm

I found an interesting article discussing this very subject.

https://epxx.co/artigos/centre.html

I’m considering producing a picture similar to one at the end of the article that shows the effect of bottom weighting to help explain it to my customers.

I don’t force bottom weighting when designing but give customers the option. One of the few occasions I don’t recommend bottom weighting is on square images or multi-apertures.
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by poliopete » Wed 17 Jul, 2019 7:15 pm

If the customer's image is to be framed with a mount then I always discuss this (weighted bottom) at the design stage. This option is casually introduced and different examples on display are used to aid the customers choice.

Although these days, I work from my double garage workshop my walls are covered with a wide variety of framing/mounting styles to aid customer choice and also to help with upselling.

Like Steve N I read the post where the framer added a bottom weighted mount without it being chosen and then wanted the extra payment to change it:shock: In all my years as a Framemaker, I would never presume to add a bottom weighted mount unless the customer requested it.

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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Frangipaniframer » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 8:04 am

Well I think it’s safe to say that we all work in very different ways, but it’s definitely got me thinking and I’ll probably scrutinise mount sizing a bit more! I think I do a weighted bottom maybe 10% of the time but only when it is requested.

I think most of my customers don’t realise that it’s an option to have a weighted bottom, but asking if they would want one is definitely one of the little things that may make a customer more confident in your ability.

I’ve been doing picture framing for nearly 10 years (so only a beginnner compared to some!) and I’m always open to new ways of working :) thank you all for your thoughts! :D

Fran
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by prospero » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 9:02 am

It never occurs to me to ask a customer if they want a wider border on the bottom. The purpose of it is
to make the image appear central. You wouldn't ask if they want the image to appear as if it had dropped. :lol:

If it needs it - it gets it.

Which one looks the most pleasing? :D

Image

Image
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Frangipaniframer » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 10:27 am

Good morning Prospero,

I must say, that’s a very good example! :giggle:

Definitely the top one. Point well and truly proven hehe. Everyday is a school day I say :clap:
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Steve N » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 1:05 pm

Just had an email enquiry for framing to images

images 515x515mm they would like it in a mount (and frame) 680x880mm, my quote for a hand stained oak frame with a wax finish is somewhere around £190.00 each, they have 2 images, personally I think that would look carp, it will look like they have found 2 frames and had mounts cut to fit the image to the frames :head: :head:
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by poliopete » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 3:59 pm

Peter's examples are spot on and make perfect sense :D the problem is, some customers are not as logical :( . That's why I have found it far less problematic to establish framing details at the design stage

Obviously, if a customer's choice of framing is way off-piste I tactfully rein them in :D

One thing I have noticed over the years is that the more regular the customer is the more they tend to leave it to the framer. And when they cease asking "how much will it cost?" happy days :giggle:

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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Chris_h » Thu 18 Jul, 2019 11:42 pm

Which one looks the most pleasing? :D
I am going to be controversial here and say I prefer the bottom one with equal margins.

I used to mount all my own photography images with bottom weighted borders until about ten years ago. I changed to equal margins and I do prefer them for my own work. I understand the arguments that when you look up at a frame the bottom can appear slightly smaller, but you also get exactly the same issue when looking at a frame slightly from the side with the side margins.

I have to say I always ask if the customer prefers bottom weighted or not. Probably about 90% of my customers go for equal margins. Most stuff I do involves printing and I find particularity the illustrators and digital artists nearly always prefer equal borders. With artists and photographers I find it's mostly the slightly older generation who prefer their margins bottom weighted. I do wonder if this is a change in style / fashion over the last few years or whether there are just lot's of lazy framers out there (probably myself included) who cut on a manual cutter and it just saves time.

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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Not your average framer » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 8:13 am

I guess you could call my old fashioned, because I like the old fashioned bottom weighted mounts, but customers are alway given a choice about this. Commercial customers almost always choose equal mount margins and normal domestic customer almost always choose bottom weighted mounts. Everyone seems happy with what they get. No Problem!
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by prospero » Fri 19 Jul, 2019 9:07 am

The main object with bottom-weighting is to make the margins appear equal.
I generally use +6mm

Sometimes this is exaggerated so it is very obvious that the bottom is wider. This is a purely aesthetic choice.
It depends mostly on the image, a factor that is often overlooked.
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Kevindaniel » Sat 20 Jul, 2019 8:23 pm

I was trained to apply a 10% extra at the bottom. I never ask the customer as most would not know what I was talking about. So why confuse them.

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Re: Mount sizing

Post by YPF » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 7:34 am

You don’t have to confuse them, take the time to explain why you recommend a particular material, technique or design.

As an example, on Saturday a couple came in for some prices for 8 pieces to be framed. They had already been to another framer but I still went through my “routine” all the time providing reasons for a particular action. My price for the first picture was more than double the other framer but because I had taken the time to offer different options with explanations that couple chose to use us and ended up spending nearly £700.
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by Not your average framer » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 8:04 am

Price is rarely the main consideration and being noticeably cheaper than the rest of the pack only raises questions in customers minds. Justifying your techniques, design and materials will show the customers your expertise and that they can trust you. Customers at the money end of the market expect quality and expertise to come at a price.

Cut price jobs is not the way to maintain a sound business. When money gets tight, it's the cut price customers who usually won't have any money to spend with you, or your competition. Reputations are also not built on being the cheapest. Sure you may get by when times are good, but what about when times are not so good? Cut price deals won't help you stay on top of your overheads all that well, when you are paying to be in a key location.

Sound advice from Steve (YPF)! :clap: :clap: :clap:
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Re: Mount sizing

Post by cleaver » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 11:57 am

Before getting in to framing, I never know this was a 'thing' (as the yoof say :lol: ).

Now I realise it's the mark of a pro framer that most do it automatically. No disrespect to the framers on here who know about this, but choose not to. In fact I fully realise why: some anal customer might measure all four sides and moan about it: "Why didn't you tell me you were doing this" etc.

I also agree with Kevindaniel that if you raise it beforehand, you're opening up a right can of wossnames.

I'm doing oils ATM, so this hasn't reared its head. But I'm going to have to make a call on it sooner or later.

Right now, I'm leaning towards casually(!) mentioning it to the customer. Then, if their eyes glaze over, showing them an example of each.

Interesting thread...I'm enjoying it :D
:head:

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Re: Mount sizing

Post by YPF » Sun 21 Jul, 2019 2:35 pm

cleaver wrote: Right now, I'm leaning towards casually(!) mentioning it to the customer. Then, if their eyes glaze over, showing them an example of each.
Then don’t let their eyes glaze over - take the opportunity to educate in an engaging way. Loads of my first time customers will say they didn’t know framing was so involved and that no other framer has bothered to explainso much about what and why things are done.

Part of our growing reputation (including with other local framers) is based on being forthcoming when discussing framing techniques.

Now stepping off my soapbox :D
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