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Framing a diploma is a great graduation gift

How to Frame a Diploma: A Great Graduation Gift

As graduation season approaches, soon-to-be-grads are preparing to commemorate their well-deserved academic accomplishments. If you're a loved one of the honoree, you might be searching for the ideal gift. A diploma framing treatment strikes the perfect chord, encapsulating both the beauty and significance of this milestone occasion, making it a thoughtful and practical present.

Your loved one has dedicated themselves to earning their diploma, so it deserves more than to be tucked away on a shelf or forgotten in storage. Providing the proper framing treatment allows them to proudly showcase and safeguard their remarkable achievement for years to come. For a truly special graduation gift, consider offering a custom frame crafted with conservation materials, ensuring their diploma is presented with pride and professionalism.

Why Conservation Quality Matters

Diplomas are typically presented at graduation ceremonies in leather diploma covers embossed with the school's name. These covers furnish the iconic aesthetic for receiving one’s documented credentials, and they include an acetate sheet to help protect the diploma. Unfortunately, these materials contain potentially harmful acids that can turn the diploma paper yellow over time. Obviously, that is not a well-deserving way to preserve and display such a worthy accomplishment.

When choosing a custom diploma frame for the graduate in your life, be sure to opt for archival materials, such as conservation mat boards that are acid- and lignin-free. At American Frame, we carry mats from Bainbridge that feature ArtCare™ technology, and Peterboro Conservation  mats with a PPFA II designation. These are  different from products simply labeled “acid free,” as these offer only passive protection—meaning that although they won’t contribute to the acid mix of the frame treatment, they won’t resist it either.

To mount a diploma to an acid-free mounting board, we highly recommend using clear, archival polyester corners so the diploma can slide in without coming into contact with adhesive. If the diploma is printed on paper, linen tape can also be used. But especially on vellum or parchment paper, adhesives should be strictly avoided.

Diplomas can get acid-burn when framed in the incorrect materialsDiplomas can get acid-burn when framed in the incorrect materials
Diplomas can get acid-burn when framed in the incorrect materials.

Weighing Your Acrylic Options

Acrylic is an essential component of the diploma framing treatment, as it finishes the framed look and offers exceptional qualities. With custom framing, you have the freedom to choose from different variations of acrylic (aka plexiglass) sheets—from standard to museum grade. Each type of acrylic comes at a different price point and features varying attributes.

Because different environments pose different challenges, it’s necessary to consider where the diploma is likely to be hung. For instance, in a room with lots of sunlight and a high risk of fading, it’s smart to invest in a high-grade UV acrylic glazing for maximum protection. Unlike glass, all our acrylics are lightweight, distortion-free and shatterproof. They’re also porous and allows for air flow. Keeping circulation within the framing treatment is essential to slow down the acid buildup that can occur over time and negatively affect the diploma.

Valuing the Ultimate Investment 

Your loved one's dedication to earning their diploma reflects the profound investment they've made in themselves—devoting time, effort, and financial resources to achieve this milestone. This document, seemingly humble, embodies the immense labor and sacrifices essential to their academic success. Thus, it holds profound value and merits a framing treatment that not only safeguards it for the long haul but also enhances its visual appeal and significance when proudly showcased.

As you peruse custom frames and framing options for their cherished diploma, prioritize selections that honor the commitment they've poured into their achievement. Options such as 8-ply mats, metallic mat boards, or double mat board treatments can elegantly complement diplomas, enhancing their presentation with sophistication and style.

Choose frames and products of exceptional quality that reflect the significance of the achievement. Prioritize preservation when making framing choices. Incorporate colors that accentuate the school's iconic hues or opt for timeless whites, blacks, and neutrals for a refined, chic look. 

To start browsing American Frame’s wide span of diploma framing options, check our curated collections of wood or metal diploma and document frames. As always, you can get in touch with our experts for any help you may need with your framing project, including design assistance, samples, instructional information and more.

Diploma framed with a triple mat treatmentDiploma framed with a triple mat treatment
Diplomas framed with a triple mat board treatment creates a sophisticated elegance.
April 7, 2023
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