Tips & Tricks
For framing related questions and advice, explore our answers and suggestions to maximize your experience with us.
Acid-Free: The high pH levels of acid-free paper products delay discoloration and deterioration over time. The standard matboard that pictureframes.com offers is buffered to an acid-free pH, lending it stability over time. For those doing conservation framing, however, we recommend choosing our rag matboard, which, at 100% cotton, provides the greatest longevity.
Archival: Archival framing materials have conservation quality set by the standards of the Library of Congress, indicating their ability to last a lifetime and beyond. Pictureframes.com uses archival ink, offers rag mats and several different types of print surfaces that are archival.
NOTE: Even the finest materials can be compromised by extremes in temperature, moisture and exposure to sunlight.
Archival Ink: These advanced pigments last a lifetime. The Epson printers at pictureframes.com use only archival inks to delight our most selective customers.
Archival Paper: These special papers are professional grade and always acid-free -- often made entirely of 100% cotton rag. Choose from Premium Archival Matte, Crescent Satin, Crescent Velvet, Crescent Cold Press Watercolor paper, both our Fredrix Canvas surfaces and our Hahnemuehle Photo Rag, when seeking archival quality print surfaces. For those seeking conservation quality papers, our 100% cotton rag surfaces are the perfect choice.
Digital Images: Digital images are produced from scanned images or photographs taken with a digital camera. Uploading your digital images via our Print & Frame portal is the most efficient and least expensive way to begin.
Edition: The reproductions printed from one image are collectively called an edition. Editions can be open or limited.
File Format: A file format indicates how a computer document is encoded. Pictureframes.com accepts digital files in two different file formats -- .jpegs and .tiffs.
High-Resolution Image: A digital image containing a large amount of data. Typically, images are considered high-resolution if they have a minimum of 300 d.p.i./p.p.i., when set
at the desired print size (NOTE: for example, a digital file that is 300 d.p.i. at 5"x7" won't contain enough data to print at 16"x20"). These images produce the most stunning results.
Pixel: Pixels are the building blocks of a digital image. Each represents a single dot of color (or the absence of it).
Rag Mat: Rag mats are made entirely of cotton fibers, which makes them ideal for conservation framing. At pictureframes.com, we carry 5 different colors of rag mats.
Resolution: In digital terms, resolution refers to the density of data in a digital file. In general, the higher the resolution of a digital file, the more information it contains and the more stunning the final print will be when creating enlargements. In print terms, resolution refers to the level of detail in a print that's been produced, measured in d.p.i. (dots per inch). A highly detailed print has high resolution – and a tight dot pattern – while a print with little detail has low resolution – and a looser dot pattern.
Scanning: A process used to change transparencies, negatives, prints or originals into digital files. A lamp illuminates the original and reflected light passes through an array of lenses, mirrors and filters (where it's broken into component colors) onto a CCD (charge-coupled device) which is sensitive to different intensities of light. The CCD records packets of image data which are reconstructed into a whole image by the scanner software.
Substrate: The substrate is the material upon which a print is created. At pictureframes.com, we have several different fine-art quality papers and canvas, in stock.