Customer Information : 1. Picture Mounts
when your order arrives- tips for new users:
You should never use sellotape or similar to attach your picture behind the window. Likewise you should never use masking tape. It is designed only to be temporary – these type of products designed for other applications will quickly damage your picture and not stay stuck for as long as you think. Gum tape is best.
Fix the picture at its top only (the correct way). This way it will fit and stay flat behind the window of the mount, You should not fix it all the way round.
If putting it in a frame You should put a “barrier layer” behind the picture to protect it (between the picture and the frame back)
If you are reselling your pictures you should fit a backing to the mount, the usual method is with double sided tape. This both protects your picture and tidies up the product. Cellophane or a good fitting clear plastic bag are recommended to keep the item clean, vital if it is going into a shop display browser.
Daylight and strong sunlight (in fact any light) will fade your mounts! Keep this in mind when placing the price stickers etc if putting them in shop windows, and rotate the stock regularly!
Conservation mounts ? Acid Free? Standard?
For clarification: We supply two main brands of conservation/acid free board. Arquadia and Colourmount. Both are ACID FREE and both have a WHITE core. The make of board will depend on the colour ordered.
Arquadia is BWS 3 conservation standard. Slater Harrison Colourmount Is Conservation or acid free
Our standard (budget) boards will be Neutral pH - some sellers would pass this on to you as "acid free" - they have a slightly cream core.
Introduction - Buying the right type of picture mount.
First of all you need to know what you want from your mounts, then you can choose the right mounts at the right price. So we'll deal with that first. What is your priority? Cheapness, best appearance, conservation, long shelf life? Are they for re-sale, or for your own use?
Mounts - what are they for?
Well, depends which side of the shop counter you are stood on.... But the long and the short of it is that a mount's main purpose is to space artwork off the glass in a frame, to protect it. Its next purpose is to enhance the look of the artwork, to make it look better.... or sell quicker. That's the perspective from the art establishment, and the picture framer.
For the customer it can be a different story.... A mount is also an economical way of fitting a non-standard picture fit into a standard sized (off the shelf) frame, or it can be used to crop a photo/picture.
Standard Boards vs Premium boards (Conservation)- opinion:
If you are only re-selling cheap photos, prints or items of small value etc, as a picture framer I am going to stick my neck out and slap one of the "rules" around a bit - If you are a budget item/ebay/low value item re-seller, then you want the mounts at the right price, without bells and whistles, and in a board that helps the item sell, looks fairly good, and lasts reasonably well..... thats why they make budget boards in the first place! So ask yourself do you really need more expensive mounts for low value items, or even when the picture framer is going to change the mount later anyway? (imho) as a framer, for almost 15 years, with a shop making upwards of 15,000 frames a year with mounts I reckon I'm not far off the mark saying you can count on any framing counter worth its salt recommending to the customer to have an acid free mount if the job warrants it. Given the choice, when they see them side by side, the retail customer will always choose the white core acid free mount, many will also come into the shop and ask if they are conservation quality or acid free nowadays.
Unless your item is easily replaced, you should opt for the acid free mount option. Now, in the 21st century, there is a much greater awareness of the benefits of acid free framing materials, so standard (budget) boards should be for budget items. Many board manufacturers have dropped, or are planning to drop their "standard" neutral ranges.
So It depends on the artwork in question, standard neutral ph mounts will do the job for the average cheap replaceable photo or print, no worries, and for everything else you should be ordering the Acid free white core (conservation) board. There is very little difference in price. The conservation boards DO look better, they are a little thicker, and most importantly if you are reselling from a shop they last better on display, the bevels do not go brown, the colours do not fade, they look that bit sharper, and they even feel that bit heavier (perceived value from the customers perspective). You cant go wrong using conservation standard mounts for everything considering the small difference in price compared to budget boards.
If you are re-selling its almost always best to stick to the tried and tested colours, the buying public is not brave or adventurous, and you don't want to lose a sale because the mount wont go with their animal print wallpaper and dungeon themed purple MDF kitchen. The telly has a lot to answer for.... Our best sellers are textured white or textured cream, plain cream or white. And for photos its almost always black or white (textured or smooth white and smooth black). This is not just tradition, the fact of the matter is that photographs contain a lot of detail compared to many prints and pictures, so a plain coloured dark or light mount does focus the eye onto the object in the mount. Many photographers like a very wide border, and recommend a plain frame that does not distract from the picture, often black, plain wood, or metal. Dark blues and bottle greens for mounts are great on the right items too, particularly trading cards, cigarette cards etc. When framed these colours look particularly "rich" behind glass.
If the mount is for your own picture, for your home or office, the choice is purely one of personal taste, you can be conservative, or as wild as you want, there are colours of board to suit every taste. What will suit your environment, your personal choice of colour, or a colour that will enhance the picture, or do you want to match it with another you have already. Perhaps you have seen a mounted picture somewhere and you want to match the "look". Whatever you need, we should be able to accomodate.
Double mounts The difference a double mount can make is fantastic. Well worth the extra (well, double actually) cost to enhance the look of any picture. Added benefits are that once framed the picture is further from the glass, and the mounting can give an effect of depth. Always worth thinking about. Or why not a triple mount, or more!
Backing Boards Budget backing boards or liners are cut from 1100micron (1.1mm) cream coloured woodpulp board, 1000 or 1500 micron greyboard, or 1200 to 1250 micron mountboard which we buy in specially. Cheap, tried and tested, does the job. We also cut smaller liners (which double as backs) from neutral PH or acid free mount board 1200, 1250 or 1400 microns.
For larger mounts we invariably specify one of the products from "Art-Bak". Art Bak has been known by many names in the past, and due to the sort of litigation and mind numbing tales of lawyers that will make you want to lose your will to live we wont go into the various trade names here, but sometimes we ship the same product from the same factory and it has "corricor" on the back. Sometimes it has nothing printed on the back. But suffice to say its formaldehyde free, guaranteed for 300 years, and 99% of the jobs (both framed and just mounted) in our workshops are backed with this product. Using this you just cant go wrong. Customers like it, its lightweight to post and deliver, its durable, and looks good.
Hardboard? it can be full of acid, and will damage your artwork.
There is also Foamcore (great) and for some items we also used plastic correx® board - we have them all in stock most of the time. As a rule of thumb we use whichever backing is most suitable for the item. For the purposes of mounts you are ordering online we'd suggest standard liners for smaller mounts, and art-bak for larger mounts. And if you intend putting the items straight into a ready made frame, and they are of low value, then the liners are optional, and the art-bak is not necessary as the frames will have backs anyway.
The best unbiased and sensible guidelines to mount board specifications can be found on the website of the Fine Art Trade Guild
three tiles surface mounted with a spacer mount to create a box-framed effect in a 1" wide limed pine frame