A print should be placed in a frame to protect it from damage, dust and dirt. It should also not come into contact with the frame's glass or plexiglas. Condensation can form on the inside surface and negatively affect the print.
Placing your print in a matte is one method to prevent moisture damage. It gives the print a small buffer of air space from the surface of the glass. The matte also offers an appealing amount of white space surrounding the print. (White space around the print enhances the viewing experience and allows you to closely place many pictures on a wall.)
The diagram on the left shows a modest formula for creating a matte with an eye-pleasing amount of white space. The proportions shown are excellent for prints around 16 x 20". Smaller pictures may require a greater percentage of white space. (For instance a small image of about 5" requires about 3" of white space around it so that the picture doesn't get visually "lost"on the wall.)
A matted print can be framed very inexpensively with a sheet of glass and simple euro-clips or thin molding. Ask your local frame shop for assistance.
Another method to secure prints from damage is to have your print mounted on to archival board with acid-free hinges. The glass is then placed in the frame with a spacer in the moulding to seperate the print and glass.
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