Over the years, mats have become an extension of the artistic impression. Many people look at mats strictly for their aesthetic qualities, but mats do serve a purpose beyond just looking good. In fact, the primary purpose of matting is to keep the cover glazing (glass or acrylic) from coming into contact with the framed subject matter. This also provides an area where air can circulate. Differences in temperature between the outside and inside of the frame can cause moisture to condensate behind the glass. This moisture may damage the inks and colors and can serve as a breeding ground for mold, mildew and fungi. Placing the material directly against the glazing will result in buckles, wrinkles, mold formations and "sticking" to the glazing surface. Mats also serve to add value to reproductions and connote importance, indicating the artwork is worth that "little extra touch." Matting helps draw the viewer's eye into the picture while at the same time providing a neutral setting in which the art can be appreciated. Propper mat size will provide enough border to create a smooth transition from the artwork to the frame so as not to lose the picture among the matting.
To Mat... Or Not To Mat...
Many prints can be framed without using matting and still produce excellent finished products. This is especially true for prints which are published with colored borders and text or other elements. The colored border gives the appearance of matting, while the text often provides information about the print and the artist.
If your desired image has any additional graphics (any kind of image borders, titles, stamps or edition numbers etc.) decide if you want to see them . If you do, then that additional area may function best as your border and no mat would be necessary. This is more of a 'graphic design' look over a traditional fine art presentation. If you decide on choosing a mat, UNCOMMON Stock can mat right up to the image if your print contains a border. Simply select the "mat to image" option. Additionally we offer a format we call "letterbox" in which you get a modern look that blends a traditional mat yet keeps the poster graphics and information visable and has equal space above the image as well - remeniscient of the black bars top and bottom of a letterbox feature. These last two options offer more of a 'fine art' look, and with these options the possibilities are limitless.