Saturday, March 1, 2008


This article is re-printed with permission from the MatShop and author Jim Fishwick. Visit the MatShop for the full article and additional information.

Some of the Fundamental secrets when selecting Matting for your artwork.

Single mats: If a single mat is used, it is often safest and most desirable to use a neutral color, such as off white, cream, light grays etc. These go very well with most images and fit into most home settings. If you wish a stronger color, try to match the mat color with a dominant color in the image. i.e. Lots of dark green trees in the picture, use a dark green mat. For black and white photographs, off-white mats with a black core are very effective.

Using a double mat: Double mats add considerably to the richness of the presentation. The safest method is to use a neutral outer mat, and a color for the inner mat that matches a dominant color in the image. The amount of the inner mat that can be seen is called the “reveal”, and varies with the size of the mat. A reveal of 3/16" is close to being an industry standard, but use your own judgment. When using a white mat over another white mat, a reveal of 1/2" or even much more can work very well. Double mats are usually twice the price of a single.

Adding decorative cuts: Closed and open "V-grooves", decorative corners and graphics can be attractive, but often unnecessary. A closed v-groove is very common, and can be quite cost effective especially with larger artwork. The extra cost can be recovered by a higher retail price. Closed v-grooves can be very effective on single mats of conservation quality.

Types of mat cuts explained

These are some of the cuts available, and the terminology used to describe them.

  1. Open v-groove, 3/16" reveal
  2. V-groove gap
  3. Closed v-groove
  4. Message box, 3/16" reveal
  5. Double opening, 3/16" reveal
  6. Single opening
  7. "Fancy" corner
  8. Floating the image
  9. Graphic
  10. #246 Walnut frame
  11. Double mat, light blue outer, dark blue inner.

No comments: