Pricing is always an important factor when you are making a decision about investing in something. The same goes for framing, so whilst I can’t provide a price list for you to look at on-line (explained below), I can provide you with a free consultation to look at the options and then give you a price before you make a decision.
Understanding the pricing of Bespoke Framing
Many people misunderstand the pricing of bespoke picture framing because it is natural to associate frame prices with the ready-made frames which you can buy on the high street (for astonishingly low prices). Bespoke framing is different and lets not beat about the bush, it costs more. The price of a bespoke picture frame is driven by the design choices made, the level of framing required and the quality of materials used. Bespoke picture framers are specialists in their field, with the training, knowledge and experience to provide appropriate guidance and deliver exactly what you need from your framing package.
How your framing is priced at Pure Framing
In order to give you a price for your framing I will need to see the piece you would like framed and discuss what you need. I will then run through the options with you. Once you have made your choices I can give you a price. This is why I offer free, no obligation consultations at my workshop. Give me a call or drop me an email to make an appointment and we can take it from there.
The variables involved in pricing your framing package
Before you start reading the section below let me re-assure you that although it can seem complicated, I will be there during your consultation appointment to guide you through the process and help you to make the right choices. At the end of the page there are some case-studies to illustrate the prices of some framing commissions that have been done by me over the last couple of years.
Level of Framing
The Fine Art Trade Guild (of which I am a member) defines the quality of framing work in five “levels”. At Pure Framing I only offer framing at commended level and above.
- Minimum (the lowest level of framing, putting economy first)
- Budget (visually pleasing but offering no long-term protection)
- Commended (guarantees a degree of protection, with design playing an important part)
- Conservation (helping to preserve your artwork for future generations)
- Museum (the highest level of framing offering the ultimate protection for your artwork)
The techniques and materials required tend to increase in cost as you go up the levels because they become more specialised.
What are you having framed?
Flat, paper-based items for framing (e.g. photographs, prints or original art on paper) are usually straightforward to frame using standard techniques. Fabric and textiles need to be supported and sometimes stretched using an appropriate method before they can be mounted and framed. Canvasses will need to be stretched onto support bars (if they are not already) before framing. Three dimensional objects (3D) will need to be fixed to the backboard appropriately so that they can be displayed effectively. The time required to correctly present your item in the frame will have a bearing on cost. Items framed at conservation or museum levels will be mounted using reversible techniques so that the artwork or object can be removed unchanged from the frame in the future.
What size is the piece you are having framed?
As a framing package increases in size, greater quantities of materials will be required which will have a bearing on cost. However, this is where the “bigger costs more” logic stops. The process for producing a standard-type picture framing package is the same whatever the size. This means that the labour for producing for example an A3 size frame, will not be twice that of an A4 frame which is half the size. Customers are often surprised when they visit with a large piece and a smaller piece to be framed similarly that the larger piece isn’t significantly more expensive than the smaller one.
Mouldings (the frame surround)
The mouldings available to choose vary widely in cost – anything from £2-3 per meter up to over £50 per meter. When choosing a moulding the depth of rebate to house the framing package will be a factor. I will advise on the most suitable mouldings for your project in this respect. You also have the choice of a range of pre-finished mouldings which can be ordered in, or you can choose a “bare-wood” moulding of the profile and proportions of your choice. I then finish this by hand to your specification using a range of products (paint, wood dyes, waxes) and techniques.
I would define a “standard frame” as one made with four pieces of moulding, glazing, backing board and the mounts/spacers, plus the fixings to hang or display the frame and finish it off. A “non-standard frame” would be one that has to be specially designed and constructed for the item to be framed (e.g. a deep box frame). Construction of a non-standard frame will require more time and materials which will add to the price.
There are several grades of mount board available and your choice will depend on what you need from the framing package.
- Standard board (not used at Pure Framing as it discolours and fades more easily over time).
- White core board (classed as a standard board, but the backing and core of the board are conservation standard. The facing paper is not)
- Conservation board (chemically purified and buffered to prevent acids forming within the board and attacking your artwork) and with good levels of colourfastness).
- Museum board (naturally pH neutral cotton board) with high levels of colourfastness).
There are many colours and finishes to choose from so that we can come up with the ideal combination to meet your needs and present your artwork nicely. As with all materials, the price increases as the technical specification increases.
Depending on how you would like your artwork or object presented there are a number of design options for the mount which can be used either on their own or in combination including:
- No mount (“close framed”)
- Single window mount
- Double window mount (or more) where mount boards are layered to give a border of a different colour from the main mount around the artwork and / or more depth.
- Multiple aperture window mount (to display more than one piece within the same frame)
- Decorated window mount (options include wash lines, wash panels, v-grooves, marbling etc.)
- Float mount (where the artwork is displayed on top of the mount board to see the whole piece)
- Shadow float mount (as above, but the artwork is raised above the mount to give a sense of depth and “floating”)
All require different processes and amounts of material, so the prices will vary.
Some subjects for framing do not require glazing at all (e.g. oil or acrylics on board or canvas). Others require the protection of glazing. The most commonly used types of glazing in framing are:
- Standard 2mm float glass
- Anti-reflective glass
- UV protective glass
- Diffused glass
- Any of the above options in specialist acrylic glazing where size/weight or safety may be an issue.
Sundries to finish the framing package
These are fairly standard for most frames and include a backing board which is taped around the edge of the frame, appropriate hanging hard-wear and cord or wire and bumper pads to provide an air gap behind the picture to prevent build-up of condensation.
Pricing Case Studies
Click on the image for details