Framing Wrigley Field: Part 1

In my inaugural video blog last week, I promised that for DIY Framing Month, I would get on the bandwagon with you and finish some framing together. So here is the first project I’d like to share: framing Wrigley Field. This photo was a gift given to my husband (Reid) from one of his colleagues about 2 years ago. Reid, a Chicago native and diehard Cubs fan, wanted this piece framed for his office. Should be simple right? Wrong! Remember the tale of the shoemaker whose kids had no shoes? Apply it to framing. Our stuff gets done last.

See Framing Wrigley Field: Part 2

Framing Wrigley Field Photo

Wrigley Field Photo

Yes, I’m confessing my sin. Time to make it right. Here is an iPhone pic of the shot. Come join me as I describe my design process.

Step #1: Measure

Like with building anything, taking the correct measurements is essential to your results. We have all kinds of content on  measuring on, but it’s really a very simple task, especially with the right instrument. And here is my ruler of choice: the Alumnicutter. It has nice weight and simplifies precise measuring to the 1/16th of an inch. For this work, I plan on matting and hiding the small white border around the picture, so I measured to the exact image size as opposed to paper size.

Measuring Wrigley Field Photo

Step #2: Decide on a “look”

I tend to be a minimalist framer. I personally prefer clean lines, quality materials and wide mat borders. For this, my goal is to keep it simple and give it a look that works in both a professional setting and our home, should it eventually make its way back here. I also want to give the photograph some presence while keeping the cost reasonable. (No, I don’t get my frames for free.)

Step #3: Choose a frame

Much of the black and white photography we own is framed in Contrast Grey metal in various profiles depending on the work and matting treatment. This finish is beautifully versatile as it brings out all the tones in a black and white image with gallery style sophistication.

So I started my search by color

Search for Frame Color

and chose the Radius Colorcast, Nielsen #15 Contrast Grey. I like this profile for the subtle curve on its face, which coordinates nicely with the curve of the stadium. It also has a 1” profile depth, which adds a bit of strength without being overpowering. Here is a view of the frame detail:

Radius Colorcast, Nielsen #15 Contrast Grey

Step #4: Upload the photo to the frame engine and start designing!

Since I’m matting this work, I am designing by art size, the default setting on our site. The software automatically throws in a 2”  mat board, standard acrylic and standard backing board that can be changed or deselected as you proceed through the workflow. Look here: With all of our regular settings, this treatment is only $26.04. But of course I want to customize it further to my preferences.

configure your photo frame package

Step #5: Choose mat board and play with proportion

My “go to” mat board color is Bainbridge Spanish White, which is available in acid free 4ply, 6ply and 8ply boards. I love its smooth finish and soft white color value. Let me pause here to make a recommendation: To choose the right white for your work, stock up on free samples and keep them with your framing supplies as colors online can be deceiving, even with the most updated technology on your desktop.

Now back to the workflow. There are several different ways to find a mat board. Since I know my numbers by heart, I just plugged mine in and bypassed the search function completely. You could also use the color carousel to play with different possibilities or refer to our Handbook, available by request.

This is also where different mat board borders sizes or proportions can be tested visually. Back to my personal preferences, I like wide, simple, single high quality mat boards and designed this with a 4” border. I thought about adding a red inner mat but then thought, well, not today.

configure photo mat board

Step #6: Choose glazing

Here I decided to use a standard non-glare acrylic and here is why. The piece has a vintage feel to it and non-glare is totally appropriate for more traditional works of art. As the photo itself is a bit bent, treating it with a non-glare surface is like applying a filter as it enhances the work while softening imperfections.

Step #7: Choose mounting board

I stayed with standard board. It’s appropriate for the application.

Step #8: Place order

You will notice I did not order any accessories like wire or tapes as I’m well stocked there. At the end of every workflow we suggest accessories that would be helpful per project. Just as with samples, if you think you might be framing frequently, purchase and organize some basic supplies. I’ll blog about what’s in my toolkit at a later date.

So here is the first part of my project complete! I got the order in and I expect it to be ready in 1 business day. The order is small, materials are in stock, and I’ll be assembling this myself. So stay tuned for Part 2, which I’ll try to have posted by Wednesday where I’ll demonstrate the assembly process and try to get a candid photo of my husband to capture the look of shock when I give him his post-holiday gift.

Until next time,


Update:Check out part 2 in the Wrigley Field photo framing project to see the framed photo.

AubreyK | 1/13/2014 10:09:14 AM | 2 comments
American Frame
Thanks for your comment Adam!
7/17/2014 3:24:50 PM

Reid is going to love it Laura. Thanks for sharing.
1/14/2014 11:02:47 AM

About this blog

Laura Jajko

Join in and let’s bond over our love of art and framing. Here, I’ll be sharing design inspiration and decisions, twitter chat summaries, and happenings with the company, among other things. With more than 40 years of practical experience, I bring a unique perspective in a straight-forward style that I hope will spark lots of interesting and relevant dialog in our online community.

For more tutorials and articles, take a look at our other blogs -  Ask Mike or At Your Service

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