5. Tap into Available Resources
Acquiring high-quality frames online doesn’t have to be an effort that goes unsupported. It’s best to use all of the resources at your disposal, and to opt for a partner that provides support in a myriad of ways—from phone and email to online tools.
Take, for example, services that streamline the process and offer expert guidance, like American Frame’s Art Assistant™. This is our personalized custom frame service that helps make your artistic vision a reality. You tell us about your project using an online form or by contacting our customer service team, and we assign a design and framing expert to be your guide. Your Art Assistant ensures your satisfaction from the concept stage through the project’s completion.
You might also look for preview tools that make choosing your framing treatment a more tangible process. Find an option that enables you to upload your image and preview it within each frame treatment as you browse the selection of frames and mat boards.
And don’t take for granted the opportunity to order samples of frames and mat boards, especially while you’re still preparing your artwork. Simply go online and see what direction you want to go in. Framing samples should be free, aside from a small shipping fee that’s well worth it in the end.
6. Watch Out for Red Flags
There will be some clues that can signal a particular store is not the right fit. One such example would be any company that only provides approximate sizes, as opposed to precise ones. Or that implements an upcharge for materials that don’t fit. It’s paramount to work with a partner that takes your measurements—and theirs—very seriously. American Frame cuts to 1/16th of an inch for the most precise fit.
Another red flag might be the fact that a company doesn’t specify exactly what product you’re purchasing, instead generalizing with a term like “white mat.” Premium framing specialists will carry in the ballpark of 30 different white mats and indicate exactly which one you are buying.
In the end, it’s about getting a feel for each partner and seeing whether they are the type of company you’d like to do business with. Are they relying on an outdated website with old technology? Does their lack of selection and/or transparency make you feel limited? Do they seem more transactional than attuned to the unique needs of artists? Is the browsing and shopping experience an unpleasurable one? Or is it one you can really enjoy?
Get comfortable with asking these types of questions to steer clear of red flags and find the premium custom framing partner that truly speaks your language.