Properly Sizing Your Artwork for Print: Leaving a Relief for Signing

Just as there are special steps that need to be taken if an additional white border is wanted around a print, similar steps must be taken to add a border to a piece of artwork if a relief is desired around the print (when matted) or if the artist would like to sign it.

Follow these steps to size artwork with a relief:

1. Open the image in the photo editing software of your choice (we’re using Photoshop Elements).
2. Decide how much relief is wanted on each side. We suggest 1/8 – ¼ of an inch for the sides and the top, then add a little extra to the bottom so there is room to sign. Or, if you don’t like that look, you can make the relief on all sides equal, just make sure it’s large enough that you have room to sign the paper. We decided on adding ¼” to the top and sides and 5/8” to the bottom to leave a little extra room for the signature.
3. Go to Image-> Resize -> Canvas Size
4.  Note the current size (ex- 9.625” x  9.625”). Take 9 5/8” and add ¼” (side) + ¼” (side) to get the width dimension. Enter 10 1/8” into the width field. Since there will be extra relief on the bottom, adding borders to the height dimension needs to be done in two steps.  Take 9 5/8” and add ¼” (top relief).  Enter 9.875 into the height field and set the anchor to the bottom, by clicking the middle lower arrow, so the  ¼” border is added to the top. Be sure Canvas Color Extension is set to White and click Ok.

adjusting the width of the image in Photoshop Elements

5. Go back into Canvas Size and add 5/8” (bottom relief) to the 9.875 to get 10.5. This time, set the anchor to the top by clicking the top middle arrow. This adds 5/8” to the bottom of the artwork. Be sure Canvas Color Extension is set to White and click Ok.

add the top border relief in Photoshop Elements

add the larger bottom relief in Photoshop Elements
6. Save the image by clicking File – Save As.
Now we can order our frame package for this print. This is where it can get a little confusing. Normally, when ordering a frame for a piece of artwork, you would measure the artwork and enter the exact dimensions in the framing engine. However, since the print is going to have a relief when matted, enter the new measurements of the art, including the borders we added, into the framing engine. 
7. From the picture frame tab, navigate to the frame you want to buy. Once you get to the frame detail page, click “buy this frame” to be taken to the framing engine.

click 'buy this frame' to begin ordering

8. Make sure “enter art size” is selected. Enter the dimensions, figured above, into the appropriate height and width field. Here, it’s 10 1/8” x 10 ½”.

click 'enter art size' and add in proper dimensions
9. From the mat tab, select a mat board and enter the desired border sizes and change mat overlap to 0. We do not want a mat overlap in this scenario because we want the white space around the artwork to show, not be covered up by the mat board.
change mat overlap to 0

10. Continue placing the order as normal

The end result will look similar to this –

framed artwork with relief for signing

framed artwork with relief for signing

AubreyK | 2/25/2015 11:26:42 AM | 2 comments
American Frame

Any photo editing software will work!
3/3/2015 8:55:25 AM

What if I don't have Photoshop Elements?
2/27/2015 12:04:52 PM

About this blog

Mike Cromly
So, who’s Mike? He is the man behind the mission of getting your picture frames produced and out the door quickly, correctly, with custom frame shop quality. Once your order is placed, it is in the hands of Mike and the many people he has trained over his 35+ years with the company. A natural teacher, he loves to tinker and experiment. Of course he has a nice office, but we rarely find him there. Working in the plant and improving our processes is his passion. Outside of American Frame, Mike is an outdoorsman, avid fisherman, devoted family man and Ohio State Buckeye fan. Mike's Twitter
For more tutorials and articles, take a look at our other blogs - A Good Frame of Mind or At Your Service

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