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Mat Printing
Old 02-04-2006, 10:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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I want to print a set of photographs with a wide white border around each one, similar to a matted photograph. Are there any gudielines, rules-of-thumb, etc., regarding the width of the border vs the size of the paper or the size of the image? Also, I have read that the border should be wider at the bottom than at the top - but I can't find a reference as to how much wider. Any advice would be appreciated.

Mike
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Re: Mat Printing
Old 02-04-2006, 11:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I don't know about generally accepted sizes of matted borders but it is typical when laying out a page to place a full-page image slightly closer to the top margin than the bottom. For a picture in the 11x14 category between 1/4" and 1/2" more space at the bottom is typical. A matted border on that same image could be anywhere from 1/2" to 4" wide with 2" to 3" being typical.

You can always go to a custom frame shop and pick some brains to see what the current fashion is.

Really, it gets down to your eye and how you want the composition to look. You can develop your own standard and it becomes one of the things that characterize your indicidual style.

Chip
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Re: Mat Printing
Old 02-04-2006, 02:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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[ QUOTE ]
Also, I have read that the border should be wider at the bottom than at the top

[/ QUOTE ]

Yep, that's what we were always told in school. Often, say if we were using a 3" border on the top and sides, we'd use 4" at the bottom. It could vary on the class. I don't think there's necessarily any rule for it, just as long as it's not grossly dispraportionate, I'd think.

Sam
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Re: Mat Printing
Old 02-05-2006, 03:33 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I usually make my borders 1/6th. of the long edge of the print and round to the whole inch. So 8x10 & 11x14 = 2" border, 13x19 = 3" border, etc. I like the look of a 4" border on a 16x20, but otherwise the math holds (for me) up to 30x40.

There are no hard and fast rules, but in general how you position the image in the mat depends on how high you're going to hang it in relation to the viewer position. I think an image viewed at or above eye level looks fine if it's centered in the mat. But if the image is going to be viewed below eye level then I like to give a little more weight to the bottom of the mat by placing the image slightly higher in the mat. I use a simple geometric solution that gives me nice results.



Place the image in the top left corner of the mat. Lightly draw two lines to bisect the remaining white space for both hight and width. This gives you the border width needed to center any image in any size mat. To give more weight to the bottom of the mat, draw a diagonal line from the lower left corner of your image to the far right edge of the mat where the the horizontal bisecting line meets it. Place the lower right corner of your image at the intersection of this diagonal line and the vertical bisecting line (indicated by the red circle above).

-Chip
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Re: Mat Printing
Old 02-05-2006, 09:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks, Chip -

That is just what I was looking for. The only other guidance that I have had is to use the next largest standard photo size for the canvas, i.e., 5x7 for a 4x5 image; 8x10 for a 5x7 image; 11x14 for a 8x10 image; etc. Unfortunately, digital image sizes such as 4x6 just don't look right on a 5x7 canvas, but look great on a 6x8 canvas. I ran across similar advice on a British website, which I will forward to you FYI when I find it again.

Thanks again,
Mike
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