Wednesday, January 16, 2019

The Stylish Way to Give Art

The holiday season is in the books. But at American®Frame, we know gift-giving opportunities pop up all year long. And whether you’re giving your own art or photography, or purchasing a frame or tool for your favorite artist, we make it easy to send gifts.

First, select “Yes” under “Is this a gift?” during checkout. Then, you’ll see two options.

Standard Packing with Digital Gift Message: This free option allows you to provide a message up to 150 characters, which we’ll print on the enclosed packaging slip. We’ll also omit pricing on the packaging slip. Your order will be packaged with care using our deluxe packaging materials and arrive in an American Frame branded box.

Deluxe Gift Packaging with Handwritten Card: This is the perfect choice for an impressive gift presentation. We’ll pack your items in our deluxe, branded packaging, beautifully wrap them and finish the package with a bow. We’ll then handwrite your personal message on a high-quality card and include a packing list without prices. The charge for this option is just $5.00.

Next time you print and frame your art as a gift or purchase another framing gift from us, don’t worry about wrapping and delivering it yourself. Count on our gift wrapping service to add ease and elegance to gift giving. Not sure what to send? An American®Frame gift card is a great option.
Sending your artwork to a customer? We offer white label shipping as well.

Have a question about your gift? Our framing experts are just a phone call away.

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Add Flair with Frame Stacking

Frame stacking, or using a frame within a frame, is exactly what it sounds like – using multiple picture frame mouldings together in one frame treatment. You might choose this treatment if you wanted an extra-wide frame for an oversize piece of art, or to add drama to your frame treatment. It’s also an easy way to add extra color, texture, and depth to your work. Here are some creative ways to experiment with frame stacking from the framing experts at American®Frame.

A Float Frame and a Wood Frame
This type of frame stacking draws the eye to two places the art and the frame surrounding it by layering a float frame and a standard frame. It adds width to the entire framing treatment without overpowering it. It’s a sophisticated way to display photographs but requires that the inside frame be wood for the effect to work.

A Metal Frame Inside a Wood Frame

Stacking a metal frame inside a wood frame, or vice-versa is an easy way to add a pop of color or texture to your frame treatment. In this display, the inside frame acts like a liner, accenting your artwork or adding space between the work and the frame. For this type of treatment, ensure the “R measurement,” or rabbet depth, of your outside frame is greater than the height of your inside frame. Then, frame your art in the inside frame as normal, and add the outside frame. If your outside frame is wood, we recommend using a point driver to secure it, instead of spring clips.

Layer Frames of the Same Color
Sticking to one color can also create extra visual interest. Just choose frames that are the same color in different size profiles. For example, AF206 and 206 are both natural maple frames with different heights. You can stack these frames together to create a wider natural maple frame. Your outside frame rabbet depth just needs to be greater than the inside frame height. Frame your artwork in the inside frames as normal, and secure it into the outside frame with either spring clips or a point driver.

When ordering a stacked frame treatment, use our framing engine to order your inside frame first to accommodate your artwork with or without mats. While in the framing engine, note the outside frame dimensions under the preview of your frame design. You’ll use these to order your larger outside frame. After you add the inside frame package to the cart, order the outside frame, using the outside frame dimensions from the inside frame. We recommend the mounting board and acrylic be the same size as the inside smaller frame to help keep your artwork secure and protected.

If you’re planning on frame stacking, please leave a note in the ‘Order Instructions’ box at checkout to let us know your intentions. That way, we can make sure the frames will fit inside each other correctly.

Have questions? Our expert framers are happy to help. Give us a call. Or, stop by our Maumee, Ohio showroom and we’ll show you the techniques in person.

Get Professional Results with Canvas Printing

Treat your favorite shots or most-loved artwork to a professional display. Canvas printing creates a modern look that pulls eyes to your art. American®Frame offers a variety of options to print and frame canvas works so you can let your creativity run wild.

Types of Canvas

We offer four canvas printing options: Unstretched, Standard Stretch, Museum Wrap, and Gallery Wrap. Whatever option you choose, you’ll get a bright, white canvas that stands out beautifully against our exceptionally vibrant ink, featuring deep blacks and a wide color spectrum perfect for any type of art, from Giclee fine art to photo printing. Learn more about our printing technology here.


·         This type of canvas comes flat or rolled and is a great option for those who wish to build their own frame or ship their work a long distance.

·         Unstretched canvas features a high tensile strength, meaning it can hold up well to stretching without tearing or cracking, and a non-reflective, uncoated surface.

·         395gsm, 23 mil Cotton-Poly Blend

·         Acid free, Lignin free

·         Minimum size 1” x 1” –Maximum wide 40”

Standard Stretch

·         This type of canvas is the artist standard for framed canvas, and is recommended if you intend to frame your canvas print.

·         The image is centered on ¾" stretcher bars and stapled to all 4 sides.

·         395gsm, 23 mil Cotton-Poly Blend

·         Acid free, Lignin free

·         Lamination is required. Choose from UV protected Matte or UV protected Luster finish

·         Minimum size: 8" x 8" – Maximum size: 38" x 48"

Museum Wrap

·         Featuring a centered image with white borders on the sides of the wrap, the canvas in a museum wrapped is wrapped around 1 ½ inch stretcher bars and stapled to the back.

·         It’s recommended when you want viewers to see elements of the image close to its edge, as it won’t obscure them.

·         395gsm, 23 mil Cotton-Poly Blend

·         Acid free, Lignin free

·         Lamination required. Select UV protected Matte or UV protected Luster finish.

·         Minimum size: 8“ x 8" – Maximum size: 36" x 45"

Gallery Wrap

·         A gallery wrap has no white border on the sides, meaning parts of your image will be visible only on the sides of the display. This works best for images with a lot of background on all sides. A wide-shot photograph of a child in a grassy field, for instance, would work well in a gallery wrap, because some of the flowers and grass would be wrapped on the side of the display. If your art includes important details around the sides of the image, a museum wrap is a better option.

·         When designing your canvas package on our website, the portion that will be wrapped around will be highlighted in red.

·         The image is centered and wrapped around 1 ½" stretcher bars on all 4 sides and stapled

to the back.

·         395gsm, 23 mil Cotton-Poly Blend

·         Acid free, Lignin free

·         Lamination is required.  Choose from UV protected Matte or UV protected Luster finish.

·         Minimum size: 8“ x 8" – Maximum size: 36" x 45".

Framing your canvas 

Canvas wraps look beautiful on their own, but some people like to add an extra dash of drama by framing them. American Frame offers multiple frame options specifically designed for canvas wraps. Available in wood and metal, traditional and contemporary, these frames are the perfect finishing touch for canvas art or photography.

Canvas Float Frames

These wood and metal frames are designed to give the appearance that your stretched canvas is ‘floating’ within the frame. The face of the frame does not touch the artwork. If you would like a float gap (small space between the edge of the canvas and the frame, typically measuring from ¼” to ¾”) add it into your measurements when you order.

Offered in a variety of finishes, from trendy metallic to classic solid maple, cherry, and walnut, wood canvas frames come pre-joined. Just attach your canvas with the provided screws by inserting them through the pre-drilled holes in your frame, into the back of the wooden stretcher bars. If you’re printing your canvas with American Frame, we can attach it for you so it is ready to hang when you receive it.

We also offer a metal canvas float frame in a matte black or German silver anodized finish. This metal frame kit will come with the corner brackets necessary to assemble the frame, as well as the screws needed to attach the canvas through the pre-drilled holes in the back of the frame.  They can also arrive pre-assembled around the canvas if ordered in conjunction with a printed canvas.

Canvas Depth Frames

Offered in both wood and metal and an array of styles and colors, Canvas Depth frames have the deep rabbet necessary to accommodate your canvas. Choose a frame that has a ‘R’ measurement (rabbet depth) that is greater than the depth of your canvas.

The wood frames come pre-joined and include the necessary spring clips to secure your canvas into the frame. Metal frames are shipped as a DIY kit with the corner brackets and spring clips necessary to assemble and secure your canvas. All you need is a screwdriver.
Have questions about your project? Use our free Art Assistant™ service to be matched with a framing expert who can help bring your project to life.

Try a Little Texture

Mat boards blend style with function. They’re a useful element for holding acrylic off your art, allowing air to circulate in the frame treatment to prevent deterioration, and ensuring the art doesn’t stick to the acrylic. Aesthetically, they can change the scale of a piece, add depth, and accentuate certain colors in the piece.

Some mat boards, like American®Frame’s selection of Bainbridge Alphamat® Artcare™ Linen mats, can also add texture to your framing treatment. With 4-ply construction and a conservation-quality white core, they have a fade and bleed resistant linen surface, and also feature conservation-quality backing. And with Bainbridge’s patented Artcare technology, they’ll actively protect your art from harmful gases so it looks great for years.

We offer our AlphaLinen mats in seven neutral shades to compliment your artwork.
4020 White Cloud – a highly textured bright white
4091 Meringue – a tighter, more subtle texture in a cream color

4022 Seurat Sand – a highly textured dark cream color

4097 Camel – A tighter, subtle texture in a tan color

4024 Vermeer Black – a highly textured black

4427 Chino – A tan linen with light grey fibers woven throughout for a nod to business casual slacks

4428 Heather Grey – A grey linen with cream fibers woven through for a tailored look reminiscent of men’s and women’s suiting

Not sure which color is right for your project? We offer free samples of all our mats so you can ensure it will look perfect. Order one now by clicking on the mat you like then on “Add Sample to Cart” on the left side of the mat description page.
Need help choosing the right mat? Our framing experts are just a phone call away.  Or, try our new Art Assistant™ program for a free in-depth framing consultation.

Stephanie Prechter Finds Peace through Art

There’s a sense of calm that comes from Stephanie Prechter’s photographs.
The rolling waves, endlessly spiraling staircases, and dreamlike landscapes instantly instill a peaceful feeling in the viewer.
And for Prechter, that’s the goal not just in her art, but also in the rest of her life.

“I have always used art as an outlet personally,” she said. “The power of art, in general, is a bit transcendental, in that it feels as if I can dive into a different space and surface with a renewed appreciation.”

Prechter has channeled her passion for photography through projects like The Great Lakes Project, which include images of Michigan’s famous lakes and the people who work on and near them. She said the project was inspired by her childhood, growing up near the Detroit River.

“The sense of humility and also the overwhelming urge to protect our environment inspires me,” Prechter said. “Since picking up the Great Lakes Project, it feels like a natural next step to get involved with the environment and attempt to live a more sustainable and intentional life.”
When she’s not behind a camera lens, Prechter helps further her cause in other ways. She has experience working with various programs at the University of Michigan regarding bipolar research and suicide prevention outreach.
Having lost her father, a local entrepreneur and philanthropist, to suicide in 2001, then managing her own Bipolar diagnosis, Prechter feels compelled to share her own experience and offer arts as a way of healing.

“With the Great Lakes, it has been such a blessing to find something so magical,” she said. “When I go out to photograph this precious resource, I work to honor the Lakes and to stay in the present moment. The gift of presence is a form of therapy for me.”

She got a chance to see the healing effects of art up-close-and-personal when she took part in a 2016 internship offered by Washtenaw Community College in which she shadowed art and music therapists at the University of Michigan’s Cancer Center.
As part of the program, she photographed patients during their care and shared her photos with them. “I gained a deeper understanding for the cancer experience on the whole; visiting with patients and their families witnessing infusion appointments and sharing about photography,” she said. “The arts truly transport people, and I think it did just that during these extremely trying times.”

Next, Prechter plans to find a way to blend her passion for mental health with her art.
“I'm hoping to continue my work with suicide prevention as that seems to be my life's work and do so using art as a medium,” she said. “I've found that the Great Lakes Project is a vehicle for me to connect people with nature and a sense of purity. It's an ideal way for me to share about tools such as resilience and compassion in a non-clinical setting and garner a responsibility to each other and to our lakes.”

Her commitment to mental health through art is behind another partnership with PeaceLove Studios, a nonprofit dedicated to helping people create peace-of-mind through art and storytelling. Prechter was invited to share art with PeaceLove in 2010 and her story in 2016. “I love their approach to wellness and the way in which they integrate mental health with creative expression,” she said.
American®Frame has helped Prechter in her own creative expression for the last couple of years. “When clients place orders, I drive down [to their Maumee, Ohio showroom] and depend on them for all my needs from printing to matting to framing,” she said. “I choose them because they are relatively close and I have good relationships with Shelby, Christine, Lindsey, and April. They do a wonderful job, and I am appreciative of their kindness and professionalism.” She said she tends to keep her framing and matting simple, but urges other artists to follow their own instincts. “I'm learning that each image is its own,” she said. “What works for one, may not work for another.”

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Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Holiday 2018 Gratitude Message

As we begin to close out 2018, I would like to express my profound appreciation to all of you who’ve chosen American Frame.
Hope you love the brand as much as we do, at every touchpoint, from start to finish. We know that everything you decide to frame has significance – that you worked in some meaningful way to create it, to collect it, to show it and share it. Thank you for choosing our work to support yours.
As we look forward to 2019, we promise to keep bringing you museum-quality products, artist-approved services, and resources to help you follow your artistic passions. As always, we’ll keep working together and having fun while we do.
Happy Holidays!
Laura J
Generation II

Thursday, December 6, 2018

Creating a Double Mat Framing Treatment

Using multiple mat boards can add color, interest and dimension to your artwork or photography. Our “Design Your Package” system allows you to easily create your multiple mat board design.

Once you have decided on your color combination, you can create your unique framing treatment with our framing engine. With this tool, you can experiment with different frame profiles or even upload a previous image of your artwork to see how it would look with your framing treatment.

To start the framing engine, first browse picture frames from the picture frame tab, choose the one that best suits the artwork, then click “Customize this Frame” and the framing engine will automatically begin

Enter in your art size or frame size. Then, if you’d like to upload your own artwork to see how it would look in the frame treatment, choose “Upload Preview Image” from the “Size” tab and follow the prompts. If you’d like us to print and frame your work for you, click here.  If you don’t want to preview the treatment with your own art, move onto choosing mats by clicking on the “Mat” tab.

First, choose the mat board by clicking on the “Change” button. We have different types available (e.g., general purpose, conservation, 4 ply, 8 ply). From within the mat board type, choose a color. We opted for a black mat board with a black core. 

Next, choose your border sizes. We recommend 2” or more depending on the size of the work. Larger works may require wider borders. Keep in mind, the first mat board configured will become the bottom mat in your design.


To add a mat on top of the first one, click “add mat.” Decide on the offset and then choose the color for the top mat.

We chose a Spanish White 8463 to accent the black mat. If designing a triple mat, this second mat will become the middle mat and the third mat that is added will become the top mat. If you change your mind, you can click on “Remove This Mat” to eliminate mats.

Once you are satisfied with your mat board treatment, you can continue choosing glazing, mounting, and accessories and complete the order.

Finding the perfect mat board treatment might seem challenging, but with our “Design Your Package” tool, anybody can create a simple or complex framing treatment.
Have questions? Our customer service team has answers. Contact us.

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