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Archival Framing – From Shoebox to Family Heirloom

May 9, 2016 / Learn

Remember that favorite B&W photo of Grandma and Grandpa? Or the one of your mom with a bouffant? Or your dad with the muttonchops? They’ve been slowly fading away, getting dog-eared in a shoebox, even though you can’t wait to break them out at family functions and eventually pass them on to nieces, nephews and children. Why not preserve those images (and family history) for generations to come? Enjoy the happiness and warmth these irreplaceable photos bring as you pass them in your hallway, where you can enjoy them and their history each day, rather than just on special occasions.

Archival Framing, Now. Generations of Joy, Later.

But we understand there’s a little wariness involved. These are cherished family photos after all–putting them on display subjects them to possible wear and tear. Never fear! There are a number of different options that go into creating a framed presentation to keep your beloved family portraits and old photos in the best possible condition. Acid-Free Mats, Paper and Foamcore Backing protect the integrity of the photos and paper, ensuring your historical photos, ancestry documents, vintage prints and everything in between, last for years to come.

And yet, perhaps you remain a worrier, like myself–you don’t have to use the original photograph at all! If you’d rather keep the original safe, or if you don’t have the original image, don’t fret! Scanning, uploading and printing an image on Archival Paper can create the same, if not a better look!

The Right SPF for Your Heirloom

When framing, select the UV Protective Acrylic & Acid-Free Foamcore Backing option. The Protective Acrylic will help block UV rays (just like how sunscreen protects your skin) and keep the colors or shadows sharp. Once framed, hang in an area where direct light is at a minimum and humidity is limited. Check out the handy image below to make sure you have everything you need to protect you old photographs and documents.

Diagram of components of a framed presentation

Caption with Caution

Many of your photographs that have been passed on from generation to generation have some sort of description on the back. “Bobby, Easter ‘46” or “Christmas, ‘72” can be seen throughout most familial photo albums. For the best care and keeping of your family photos, if you want to add some history on the back, use pencil. The ink in pens and markers can damage a photo over time or bleed through. By using pencil, you can capture the story behind the photo and still help keep it safe for a long time. Better yet, write up a short summary and create a collage to pass the family history onto your loved ones.

Vintage Family Photo Preservation

Talking the Talk

Knowing we’re doing all we can to make our photos and prints last forever means a lot to our work family. When it comes to framing vintage photos (or even new prints), whether for gifts or displayed in our own homes, members of our team we have been known to use the archival framing finishing option to keep them from fading over time.

Framed Black and White Photo in Sliver Picture Frame
Photo of Casey on Bike

“This is one of my most cherished photos. Together in this picture are four generations of my family. I wanted to keep it safe and undamaged for as long as possible. The archival finishing options are the best way to do it.”

~ Casey, our Creative Director, framed a beloved family photo so she could pass it on her son.

So we’ve shared a few tips with you for preserving your photos. Now what? Start exploring Archival Framing options so you’ll be able to enjoy your pieces of art for years and years to come.

It’s your turn! Create your own vintage piece and share it with us using #FramingJoy – we can’t wait to hear your story!