There are five different levels of framing standards as set by the Fine Art Trade Guild. The standards have been set out in order to achieve:

  • A consistent bench-mark of standards
  • An informed choice of different levels of framing to suit customers' individual needs
  • To enable customers to compare quotations on a 'like-for-like' basis. It is essential to demonstrate why a job may be priced above that given by a competitor and why a framer is recommending a particular level of framing
  • A marketing tool; to show customers there is more to framing than meets the eye
  • To educate framers
  • To assist the Guild when arbitrating in disputes revolving round whether a given specification has been met

Conservation Level

With this level of framing we aim to visually enhance the artwork and offer a high level of protection from physical and mechanical damage, airborne pollution and acids generated by framing materials, for approximately 20 years, under normal conditions. These times are given as a guide.

This level is suitable for collectable artwork that is to be kept for the future, this would include original paintings and limited edition prints of moderate to high value, including items of sentimental value. Each process in this level of framing can be reversed ensuring that the artwork is not damaged during any of the framing process.

Molding is checked and ensured free of blemished, we try to matchup patterning where possible, although this is not always possible. We always try to work with you to ensure that the molding is the correct depth so that the glazing, mount, artwork, acid barrier and backing board can all fit into the molding that you choose. If this is not possible we will discuss possible solutions with you.

We often recommend that a mount or slip is used to help visually enhance the artwork and distance it from the glazing. The mount used will be of an acid free and archival specification, if close framing is required, then we will use an acid free and archival spacer to separate the artwork from the edge of the frame. Mounts and spacers are used to protect acid leaching in from acid carrying materials such as wood. These acid blockers are often referred to as Conservation or Cotton Museum quality mountboards. Conservation quality or Cotton Museum mountboard is at least 1100 microns thick and conforming to the Fine Art Trade Guilds standards. We often provide a free sight-lining service for our customers, these are coloured lines that can create a link between the art work and the mount, again to help enhance the art work and not to distract from it.

Acid barriers are also used underneath the artwork to create an additional layer of protection from the backing material. This acid barrier will be made from Conservation or Cotton Museum quality mountboard of at least 1100 microns thick.

Float glass or better will be used, this will be check for any blemishes and ensured clean to give a clear window to your artwork. We will often advise a glass with high UV protection, but this will be discussed and looked at during the frame selection process. Glass will be kept from touching the artwork directly. For large items and for items that will be hung in areas accessible to the public, safety should be considered eg laminated or acrylic sheet may be advisable.

The backing board used will be rigid and flat to protect the artwork from damage. pH neutral boards are used where available.

Commended Level

Providing visual enhancement to your artwork and offering a moderate level of protection from airborne pollution and handling for around five years, this level of framing is perfectly suited to replaceable artwork with limited commercial and/or moderate sentimental value and for when visual appearance is important. Processes used in this level of framing will be fully reversible where possible. Should there be any concerns regarding this we will discuss them with you during your framing selection process.

Moulding patterns will be matched where possible and appropriate, with a rebate deep enough to hold the glazing, mount (if applicable) artwork, barrier board and backing board.

We often recommend that a mount or slip is used to help visually enhance the artwork and distance it from the glazing. We would always recommend an acid free mountboard where possible, although with this level of framing non-acid free mountboards can be used. Again this is something that we will always discuss with you during the framing selection process. Mountboards we use are at least 1100 microns thick and conforming to the Fine Art Trade Guilds standards. We often provide a free sight-lining service for our customers, these are coloured lines that can create a link between the art work and the mount, again to help enhance the art work and not to distract from it.

Float glass or better will be used, this will be check for any blemishes and ensured clean to give a clear window to your artwork. Glass will be kept from touching the artwork directly. For large items and for items that will be hung in areas accessible to the public, safety should be considered eg laminated or acrylic sheet may be advisable.

Budget Level

This level of framing is used to create a visually acceptable frame at a budget price. This is often used for replaceable artwork of no commercial or sentimental value.

The molding used is checked for any blemishes, as with all of our framing levels we will try to match patterns if applicable and where possible.

We would recommend a mount for most artwork to help aid in the enhancement of the artwork, although not all customers will choose a mount. Mountboad options are vast offering a wide selection of colours and different textured. The mountboard can have an impact on the cost of the overall job, depending on the different options chosen during the selection process.

Float glass or better will be used, in some cases the glass may touch the artwork, if a mount is used the risk of this will be reduced.

Minimum Level

Providing a basic frame at minimum cost. With this level of framing price overrides visual appearance and quality. Many of the frames that will fit into this level of framing will be well below the standard's of the Fine Art Trade Guilds minimum level.

This level of framing is often used for temporary display or to display an inexpensive 'cash & carry' style product. This will provide a method for hanging low value or non-sentimental items on the wall at minimum cost.

With this level of framing you will receive an unblemished molding cut to size. We carry a very wide variety of moldings that you can use in this level of framing.

Protection from acid is not included, some moldings are acid free, although many wood based moldings are still prone to acid damage.

Artwork can be held in place with a variety of way, including dry mounting the artwork to a board. This is however not a reversible process and would only be used by expressed permission from you, our customer.