16x20 prints: what size mount board?

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Doug Bennett

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I'm finishing up work for an art show next weekend. For the first time, I've made some 16x20 prints. They came out well, and I'd like to take them to the show.

When it comes to mounting and presentation, 8x10s and 11x14s are easy. There are generic sized window mats, mount boards, and bags for these sizes.

When you get to 16x20, nothing is generic anymore. I'm not sure what size board to mount them to.

I've thought about mounting them onto a 20x24 board, but that doesn't seem to be a common frame size. 22x28 is much more common. It seems that staying with an off-the-shelf frame size would be wise, but maybe not.

Ideas? Experiences?
 

Mateo

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Go with the 22x28. Crystal Clear bags are available in that size. And your customers will appreciate not have to pay for custom framing.
 

Tom Stanworth

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bespoke or fixed format depends on the price and market. I personally am not prepared to compromise either the image or border proportions and I think it looks cheap if these compromises go too far, which they often do. I would not expect a customer paying decent money to whack it in a cheap frame. Custom framing is not that expensive in any case. a 22x28 board gives a total of 6 inches between the top and bottom and IMHO this is not enough. Assuming you go for more at the bottom than top you are down to less than 3 inches at the top. Whats more the side borders will be 4 inches, larger than the bottom border. This IMHO looks simply awful.

What you could do is mount it in oversize board which you can cut down yourself to a standard size, say 4 inch border all round giving 24x28. The customer can then decide to chop it down to fit a standard frame or go bespoke and have the framer cut it down to the deeesire proportions. Cutting down your own board having bought it in bulk is FAR cheaper than pre-cut board. You can then use offcuts for you smaller images etc.
 

Ed Sukach

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For some unknown reason (possibly just to be a PITA) I've been framing 16" x 20" in 20" x 28" frames - somehow, the 5 x 7 aspect ratio seems to work for me.
 

jd callow

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Tom Stanworth said:
I go bespoke and add for a 16x20 about 3-3.25 inches top and sides and about 1/2 inch more at the bottom, depending on the aspect ratio
I would go with Tom's recommendation or even larger if there is intense detail in the shot -- 4" left, top and right with as much as a 5" bottom. I would not go less than 3" and 3.5" for an image this large.
 

roteague

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Tom Stanworth said:
I go bespoke and add for a 16x20 about 3-3.25 inches top and sides and about 1/2 inch more at the bottom, depending on the aspect ratio

Interesting thread. Something I had not give a tremendous amount of consideration in the past. What would you recommend for a 24x30 print? I have all my prints custom framed.
 

Tom Stanworth

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ooooh thats getting big (Bigger than I have framed). I have put a lot of thought into it as I conservation frame all of my own. It is worth noting that the size of the borders does not increase in direct proportion to the image size. ie, the border for 24x30 will not be that much larger than a 20x16. Maybe a inch or an inch to two more at the most. PLay around in photoshop with pasting a grey 'image' onto a white 'mount' with the borders you are playing with. Gives a rough idea on final proportions (stubbiness, balance etc), but you cannot beat some Lshaped mount cards and a bit of frame. Doing what I have suggested will not show you 'scale' in that it may not reveal that very big 24x30" prints should not have 10" border.
 
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