When framing artwork, mats can be used to achieve multiple effects. However, the primary purpose of a mat is to keep the glass from touching the artwork. Over time, changes in temperature and humidity can compromise paints, inks and paper emulsions, leading them to soften and adhere to surfaces pressed against them. Raising the glass eliminates this risk.

This piece by pop artist James Rizzi is comprised of the same image printed twice, with elements from one print cut out and mounted on top of the other. The cut pieces were then raised to achieve a 3D effect.

To keep the glass from touching the print – thereby destroying its 3D qualities – we used a 20 ply window mat that raised the glass about 1/8″ from the surface of the print. We then used a 1/8″ spacer between the mat and the glass to emphasize the print’s 3D qualities.

Our client wanted to keep things simple, so we chose a mat of the same color as the paperbase and a Clean Silver frame that complimented the work without overpowering it.

Much thought was put into the framing choices for this print.  However, the end result appears effortless, allowing viewers to focus on the detail and elaborate minutiae of this fun piece.

Fun With Colored Frames

The mention of colored frames often brings to mind images of children’s artwork. However, colored frames can be used to create interesting effects with “Adult” pieces as well.

Our client wanted to do something fun and unexpected with this Charles Pabst giclée, so we decided to play with color and texture to create something totally unique.

To begin, we chose a handmade canvas float frame using two types of Maple, stained with two different colors from the artist’s palette. The top and left-hand side is made of Tiger Maple stained a light orange, while the bottom and right-hand side is made of Bird’s Eye Maple stained Lemon Yellow. The colored stains highlight the figure of each wood, adding depth and emphasizing texture. For additional interest, we decided to add dimension by extending the upper right-hand leg and lower left-hand leg, giving the piece a sculptural feel.

The finished piece is truly distinctive, absolutely singular and…well…a lot of fun!

Painted Bevels

Painted bevels are a unique alternative to double-matting with colored mats.

For this giclée, we assisted our clients in selecting a simple, contemporary wooden frame with an angled profile, making it appear slightly recessed. To add to that effect, we chose a 12ply warm white mat with generous margins, and painted the bevel a dull gold with a red rub underneath.

The warm white mat brought out the highlights of the piece, while the dull gold and red rub of the bevel worked to accentuate the sienna, ochre and vermillion washes, tying them to the mahogany finish of the frame.

The end result was a simple, elegant and contemporary piece, perfect for the young couple’s new home.

Raise Your Artwork!

Want to give your two dimensional artwork three-dimensional qualities? Raise it up!

For this cut paper piece by Marco Gallotta, we chose a simple, white shadowbox frame and a matching white mat. To emphasize the layers of cutouts, we floated it island-style and used tiny circles of archival matboard to lift it off the backing mat. This created a slightly offset shadow that adds dimension and dramatically enhances the intricate cutwork.

Simple, elegant, timeless…

See more artwork by Marco Gallotta at

frosted acrylic frame

Frosted acrylic frame

This small black and white photograph of a sweet moment between a boy and his dog is a calm and bright image that could easily be overpowered by a bold or weighty frame. As the subjects are the only dark details of the image, we matted the photo with a broad bright-white mat.  The mat allows the piece to have enough breathing room while complimenting the white background of the photo.  The deep bevel of the mat guides the eye of the viewer, directing them right to the subjects.

This frosted acrylic frame is a bright and peaceful design choice for many works.  These frames pick up light, as sources shine through the clear faces, and accent the color of the wall on which its hung.  The clean, glacial appearance works perfectly for this photo as it creates a wide border to enlarge the piece while remaining soft and light, creating a lasting serene and radiant effect.


Framing an object

Often times people have objects that they would wish to display mounted on the wall as a piece of art.  By framing an item in a deep frame, creating a shadow box, a three dimensional piece can be hung on the wall as if it were a picture or painting.  Framing an object within a shadow box ensures that the piece remains clean and protected behind glass.

This Korean scroll has been inset within a 1 ¼ inch deep shadow box.  The silky off-white tone of the back matting helps to brighten the details of the piece while emphasizing the deep olive and red shades.  The antique silver gilding of the frame compliments the earthy tints within the piece while maintaining a sleek and contemporary effect.  As this scroll is made of paper, it will now remain free of stains and tears while it is presented as a work of art.

deep bevel

A bright side of deep bevel frames

Deep bevel frames are a popular and attractive design, but can often add shadows to a piece as the bevel can block out light.  This can be useful when someone wants a tint of moodiness added to a work of art.  But a touch of shade doesn’t work with all pieces.  How then does someone get the attractive look of a bevel while keeping their piece bright and undramatic?

This painting contains almost no black as the artist chose to use bright blues, turquoises, and yellows to fill the canvas.  The handcrafted frame bordering the piece is of a honey-colored wood that compliments the warm tones of the painting.  The ½ inch wide wood face shoots down to become a sharp, ¾ inch-deep bevel.  The bevel has been painted with a white gold that shines instead of absorbing light.  The white gold reflects the image back outward with even more brightness.  This technique adds both depth and a lively effect to any work of art.

multiple float

Floating Multiple Pieces in a Frame

Framing more than one piece in a frame is a popular way of presenting smaller art.  This works best for a series or pieces that are related to each other.  But window matting, when the mat cusps over the edges of the art, doesn’t always suit the art to be framed.  Floating the art above the back mat creates a unique and overall clean presentation.

These bright and contemporary Japanese prints have been cropped so the ink comes right to the edge of the paper.  We floated these pieces, side by side in the same frame above a white back mat, to allow the works to be completely exposed and play off each other.  The ½ inch shadow box within this frame paired with the raise of the art creates dimension within the frame while bringing the art forward in a unique and contemporary style.  This custom, hand-crafted wood frame has a gold unlaying finish that is exposed by the scraping of the top silver finish.  These two metallic tones work to highlight the gold and silver hues in the prints.  The brightness of the matting and frame helps to amplify the brilliant red and vermillion colors of the works.  All these elements together form a polished and vivid final presentation.


Framing with Flare

For more fun and flirtatious projects, we at Paris Frameworks offer a number of bright and flashy frames.  Whether you desire high gloss, fun and unique designs, or rich colors we have a profile to catch your eye.

This photograph featuring a shimmering display of rouge lipstick is a glamorous piece that our client wanted to energize with a frame to match.  With a 1 ½ inch white mat border we chose to emphasize the highlights of the image while giving the piece room to breathe.  This slim, glossy frame catches the light as the molding has a rippling effect, making is appear almost liquid.  The deep red of the frame mirrors the hue of the lipsticks, giving a sense of allure right to the edge of the piece.  A fabulous overall effect!

marco galotta

Marco Gallotta: New York artist

Italian born Marco Gallotta is a New York based artist who’s unique stylings set him apart from any other.  Marco’s technique of creating imagery by cutting paper, using both the negative space and remaining material, forms powerful works of art.  The meshing, cutting, and overlapping of his works simulate a depth that draws in the eye of the viewer while encouraging them to explore the piece.  Marco’s inspirations are derived from landscapes, urbanscapes, and the physical forms of people.  He moved to New York in 2000 to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology and continues to find the urbanscape of the city and diversity of its population an inspiration.  Marco uses a vast number of mixed media techniques including drawing, painting, and printmaking.

This piece by Marco features a female portrait.  The figure is formed by weaving a collage of images.  This work has been mounted on a white mat board, allowing the piece to stand out from the neutral background.  This mounting mat board has been mounted on a backing board, bringing the image forward to meet the viewer.  This mirrors Marco’s technique, as materials are layered in this framing style.  The frame used is a glossy white wood frame.  These layers of white add many different levels to the presentation, while remaining neutral.


Framing with shadowboxes

Not all framing methods need to use the window mat effect, or when the mat opening frames a piece within the frame.  When framing an object or something that has mass and texture, depth is needed to support the piece and keep it away from the surface of the glass.  This is a shadowbox, as the depth within the frame creates a dramatic effect that forms a shadow inside the frame.  This method is not only used when framing objects.  An alternative to using the window mat style when matting a piece is called floating the work.

This gives the art a raise above the back matting, drawing the piece forward to the viewers eye.  This raise can be slight or severe depending on how deep the client wants the shadowbox to be and how much dimension is wanted inside the frame.  The effect of receding and then raising the piece back up to meet the viewer can be an interesting and unique method.  Not only does this style create depth, but it also allows the edges of the work to be exposed.  This is ideal for art on handcrafted paper or art that extends to the edge of the surface material.

flemish realism

In the style of Flemish Realism

This photograph of a flower still life is stylized in the tones and arrangement used in Flemish Realism paintings.  Flemish refers to the Dutch and North Belgian region of Europe and the art movement Flemish Realism spanned across the 17th century, depicting domestic scenes as well as the materialistic still lifes seen in everyday life.  Floral paintings were common in this era, usually painted before a dark background and illuminated by a bold focal light source.

Frame styles of this era and region tend to be in black or dark shades with a repeating pattern of simple and almost a skeletal resemblance.  We honored the traditions of Flemish art and framing by presenting this photograph as if it were a painting.  This black Dutch style frame has been dusted with mat grey to accentuate the pattern of the frame, while giving it and aged look.  The charcoal linen fillet separates the photo from the dark frame, adding a tone that prevents the photo to be overwhelmed by the black of the frame.  These linen wrapped, wood fillets were commonly used when framing paintings of the Flemish region.  Both the fillet and the photo lie beneath non-glare museum glass to further the illusion that the piece could be a painting.  This homage to the style of painting accomplished within a photograph shows how styles of art remain inspiring and respected centuries after the era from which they came.

Work of local artist Ivette Urbaez

Ivette Urbaez’s work depicting dark messing trees beneath a blue gradient sky is an energetic yet folkloric piece.  This is the original of which has been used as a print design for fabric.  The piece’s rugged edges are beautifully emphasized by floating the art above an off white back mat.  The creamy tones of the mat highlight the starker white of the paper of the work, sharpening the dark lines.  The dusky grey and olive stained wood creates a simple yet intense border for this piece, complimenting the severe shades of the ink.

Ivette Urbaez is a Manhattan-based artist.  She works both manually and digitally in her design techniques.  Her designs are used for clothes, accessories, as well as interior design.

“About/contact.” Ivette Urbaez. N.p., n.d. Web. 28 Sept. 2015.

small pieces

Framing Small Pieces

This antique Mughal painting has dimensions of only 2 5/8 inches by 5 ¾ inches.  As a method to create a larger outer frame dimension and a more impressive final presentation, a 4 inch border of antique white mat radiates outward from the piece.  The antique white shade of the mat offers a neutral border without an overly stark effect, complimenting the aged quality of the art.  The deep bevel of the mat creates dramatic dimensions within the frame by creating an angle that draws the eye inward to the painting.  The simple and deep bronze frame adds a glow to the final product as well as degrees of complexity to compliment the elaborate details of the Mughal art style.



Delicate cut out art

This fragile piece of art uses the design of cutting the paper to create intricate shapes and patterns.  Therefore the backing of the piece is exposed and it is necessary to take that into account when framing the art.

We chose an acid free mat that matches the paper color of the art, ensuring that the piece does not become overwhelming to the viewer.  With an even border separating the piece from the outer window mat, the art is expanded and given more space to breath as well as brightening the work.  The outer window mat has a 1/8 inch bevel, drawing the eye of the viewer to the detailed edges of the piece.  The antique white shade of the mat is a slightly deeper hue than the paper and backing mat of the piece, creating a warm aura.  The champagne silver of the frame keeps the piece bright while not distracting the viewer.  Overall this delicate piece stands illuminated and elated in a frame that brings out an elegant antiquity to its themes in a clean style.

dark mat

Effects of a dark mat

A dark window mat framing this vintage photograph of the Palio di Siena is an excellent way to enhance the excitement of the image.  The charcoal mat brings the eye to the dark figures in movement.  The repeating pattern of the thin smoky frame plays off the repeating patterns of the ancient buildings, suggesting the antiquity of this race.  The white edging of the photograph creates a border to brighten the highlights of the piece while broadening the image.  While the photograph’s border on the top and sides is ¼ inch wide, the border on the bottom is ½ inch.  This adds weight to the image while giving the framed piece a unique effect.

depth with frames

Add depth to any frame

With the wide variety of commercial frame profiles we offer it is easy find the perfect frame design for any piece.  But sometimes the frame is not deep enough to create the unique effect the client is looking for.

This client brought a slender and simple print to be framed, liking the style of the ¼ inch raise of the art within a ½ inch shadowbox in the frame.  The frame that he was most drawn to had an inside depth of only ½ inch.  But our craftsmen were able to deepen the frame by adding a ½ inch built back, matching the white washed wood of the commercial profile beautifully.  This ensured the frame would expertly suit the client’s specifications.

The client wanted the broad off white border of the back mat to greater expose the dramatic raise of the piece.  The shadowbox in the frame allows the piece to effectively float within the frame.

depth with frames



Subtle metal frame for portraits

These beautiful and fair ink portraits have been framed in a 3/16 inch wide champagne-silver metal frame.  The thin border created by this frame is mirrored by the soft grey border of the double mat.  Such borders draw attention to the light washing of the ink used to create the faces, filling out the forms and displaying the gradients of the tones.  The top layer of this double mat aims to match the cream tones of the portraits.  This ensures that the full attention of the viewer rests on the pieces.  The frames offer a contemporary touch to these graceful portraits with a deep recess of 3/8 of an inch from the flat face of the frame down to the art.  The overall affect is delicate and unique.


Simplicity can be the key

Modern and contemporary framing techniques aim to simply frame a piece of art, allowing the entire focus of the viewer to be absorbed by the art itself.  Our client for the framed pieces below is the artist of the works.  Her vision for her prints stand strong within the minimalistic frames chosen.

Framing a piece with a white mat and matching white frame is a clean approach which allows the art to “pop” as the colors are amplified by the plain borders around the piece.  This is a very powerful method for framing prints as every unique detail boldly stands out to the viewer.  The ¼ inch float mount for this print physically brings the piece closer to the viewer within the shadowbox of the frame. The piece dramatically creates a shadow beneath to add complexity to the white on white framing style.  The piece is given space to breathe and become the soul energy.


This print on genuine leather has been stretched and sits within a 5/16 inch wide black floating frame.  The bright shades of the piece are offset by the thin, dark border of the floating frame.  The ¼ inch space between the art and the interior edge of the frame creates a chasm that acts as an effective double border.  Not only does this enlarge the framed piece, it prevents the lacquered black frame from overpowering the print.  This is a border that creates more breathing room and adds complexity to the framing job.  This soft leather piece is protected by a ¼ inch recess into the frame as there is no glass in front of the art.

antique frame

Customer’s Own Antique Frame

Our customers are special to us and often come with unique projects.  Recently a client chose to honor his ancestor, General Eduard Totleben of the 1853-1856 Crimean War, by choosing to frame his portrait.  Our client desired the piece to be set into his own antique oval frame, then selected one of our archival mats to be cut into an accenting oval for the piece.

We are very happy to work with client’s own materials along our custom frames and mats to give the best presentation for the work of art.

Russian General Eduard Totleben is celebrated for his ingenious ideas in engineering that transformed concepts of defensive warfare.



“Eduard Totleben.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 4 May 2015. Web. 27 July 2015.