Who Wore It Better? Custom Framing Newspaper Articles
Custom framing sometimes feels like a game of “Who Wore It Better?” Instead of a celebrity and fashion, you have art decked out in matting and framing. One mat/frame combination will make the art look modern and sleek, while another gives it a funky and colorful vibe. A simple change in matting or the frame will completely change the overall appearance and feeling of the piece.
It’s one of our favorite aspects of framing – dressing the art and giving it an uncommon look. No two combinations look the same, and the final design reflects both the art and the owner’s personal style.
Recently, a client brought in a few aged newspaper articles featuring their family members. They were models in the photos years ago, and our client wanted to create a collage of the articles for themselves and as a gift to a family member. Both pieces required unique looks – one to complement the décor of their home, and one to flatter the style of their family member’s home.
Developing the Design
Both designs had to highlight the art, but because the newsprint articles were multiple pieces varying in size, developing a layout was tricky. Our client was fortunate that a family member had saved multiple copies of the articles, but a few had already been cut unevenly with scissors or were roughly handled. We chose the best pieces for the frame while staying true to the original handling and created a layout that was both easy to read and visually balanced.
Keeping in mind that newspaper is designed to degrade, the art needed stabilized. We de-acidified the articles for longevity. Each piece was mounted to a conservation backing that prevents the back ink from bleeding through and helps further stabilize the piece. In our design, we kept as much of the article edge and text as possible. In order to maintain the rough scissor cut edges, we opted to float the individual items on the mat giving it dimension and intrigue.
Raw and Modest vs. Sophisticated and Crisp
Our first design needed to be simple. We chose a polished, dark wood frame and a gray mat that matched the ink on the newspaper. With the articles floating on the mat, the final design is clean while conveying a raw, simple, modest feeling. By keeping the mat and frame neutral, the piece is versatile and can go in any space or with other art.
The second design was created with intention as well. The burl wood frame and double matting create a display that gives the art some “oomph.” The buff mat compliments the background of the newspaper, and the darker gray mat makes the article print and images pop. The overall appearance is sophisticated and crisp, but it does not overwhelm or upstage the art.
We don’t care who wore this better because we love both designs. While the newspaper and layout are the exact same for both pieces, they look completely different because of the matting and frames chosen for each piece. Custom framing is subjective – it is a reflection of both how the owner views the art and the style they project.
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