Professional and semi-professional artists and photographers must effectively market their images. This market is very competitive, and keeping costs down while using quality materials is of prime importance. Thoroughly professional ways of presenting your product in an effective manner is essential. In some instances an image can be marketed by itself, but more often an art mat is used, and at times a frame is added.
Some of common places to marketing matted images are through retail stores, street markets, art and photography exhibitions, craft shows and find raising projects. You will find a lot of competition with any of these alternatives, so you must be prepared to provide best possible product at least price. Assuming you have a photo or artwork that is readily sellable, there are ways to present that product to end user in a highly attractive manner.
Using art mats: Try putting your artwork behind several different mats. This can be done at most photo stores, or use corner samples at a custom cutting counter. It becomes readily apparent that perception of image changes radically with different combinations of colors. Most will enhance image, and some will stand out immediately as excellent choices. In most cases double mats will work best, but images without bright colors will often work best with a single mat. Adding a single or double mat will usually be cost efficient, as most end-users will appreciate added value.
Here are some fundamental ideas when considering using art mats.
Single mats: If a single mat is used, it is often safest and most desirable to use a neutral color, such as off white, Cream, light Grays etc. These go very well with most images and fit into most home settings. If you wish a stronger color, try to match mat color with a dominant color in image. i.e. Lots of dark green trees in picture, use a dark green mat. For black and white photographs, off-white mats with a black core are very effective.
Using a double mat: Double mats add considerably to richness of presentation. The safest method is to use a neutral outer mat, and a color for inner mat that matches a dominant color in image. The amount of inner mat that can be seen is called “reveal”, and varies with size of mat. A reveal of 3/16” is close to being an industry standard, but use your own judgment. When using a white mat over another white mat, a reveal of 1/2“ or even much more can work very well. Double mats are usually twice price of a single.
Adding decorative cuts: Closed and open “V-grooves”, decorative corners and graphics can be attractive, but often unnecessary. A closed v-groove is very common, and can be quite cost effective especially with larger artwork. The extra cost can be recovered by a higher retail price. Closed v-grooves can be especially effective on single mats of conservation quality.
Types of Mat Cuts:
1.Open v-groove, 3/16” reveal
4.Message box, 3/16” reveal
5.Double opening, 3/16” reveal
10.#246 Walnut frame
11.Double mat, light blue outer, dark blue inner.
Visit: http://www.matshop.com/cuts.html for a reference image to list above.
What type of mat to use: The two common types are regular mats and conservation quality (rag) mats. It would always be nice to use conservation quality, but this market is very competitive, and price is important. Regular matboard is still of very high quality, and we suggest they be used for any image that does not have a high value in itself. Example: Photos and printer copies. Conservation mats should be used for original artwork, high quality prints, Limited editions prints or any image that has a high value in itself. Price wise, a presentation using regular mats will cost less than half that of using conservation quality. Technical information on mats can be seen on pages of two largest mat companies, Crescent and Bainbridge.
Size of mat: Use standard sizes when possible, allowing your customer to buy a frame easily. Non-standard size mats mean an expensive custom frame is necessary, and most end-users recognize this when purchasing matted images. Standard sizes are 5 x 7, 8 x 10, 11 x 14, 16 x 20 and 20 x 24. The borders around image should be a minimum of 1 1/2 inches for small images, and up to 3 inches or more for large images. A 5 x 7 image in an 8 x 10 mat will give borders of 1 1/2 inches all round.
If you plan to provide a frame with mat, keeping to standard sizes is not important.