Choosing the Right Frame Style

Choosing the Right Frame Style

Amanda King
6 minute read

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With so many framing styles available, we understand that choosing the right frame and mat combo for your  By The Horns Print can be confusing. We've outlined below some of the differences between a number of options, including tips and recommendations to help you narrow them down and finally choose the perfect frame for your art.

What does it all mean?


 Full-bleed printing is when the image covers the paper from edge to edge without any standard borders or margins. Full-bleed framing is when you frame around the full paper dimensions without any matting, with only a thin margin of the print overlapped by the frame on each side.



When your print is a full-bleed, the frame can act as the border around the art.  Any prints with a lot of negative (or white) space look great in this full-bleed frame treatment. This can also work well for large and especially oversize pieces, for which a mat may not be necessary and sometimes not recommended.

Should you add a white border?

We give an option on the website to add a white border to create the look of a mat board. This gives you a more affordable option as adding a mat board increases the cost. Adding a white border cost nothing extra but gives the appearance of a mat board. It is important to note that when we add the white border to the print, we shrink the image to allow room for the border, so the print size overall still remains the same. Adding a border is only necessary for framed prints, we don't add borders to the canvas orders. 

Lake Clearwater

Lake Clearwater

Winter Cows

Winter Cows

Mat Board

A mat is a classic way to enhance the artwork within the frame. There is an additional charge for a mat board, if this is something you would like with your order, please contact By The Horns for a quote first. Want a different coloured mat? Just ask what there is available first. 

When should you opt to add a mat? Matting can add more impact and allure to your artwork or photo, creating extra space around it and giving the eye breathing room that will naturally draw it towards the centre. It also separates the print from the frame. This can be important for limited edition prints. Alternatively you can ask your own framer to add a spacer. Mat boards are not suitable for the really large pieces as it becomes too heavy to hang!




The Frames:

We have sizes, shapes and colours for every purpose and any decor. We have a simple selection online of white, black and Oak Wood Grain. However if you are wanting something not listed online, we have many frame colours to choose from, and two mat options, black or white: 

Farmhouse Blues

Farmhouse Blues in White frame.

We can also frame BIG - looking for something larger than what is on the website? Contact us for more information. 

When you purchase a framed print, you will receive it framed and ready to hang with the hardware attached.

And sometimes it helps to see what other people are framing and the choices they've made for their own artwork and photos. Our Instagram feed may give you the inspiration that you are after. 

Frame Options - Glazing

By "glazing" we mean the glass or other material that covers the photo or artwork and protects it from handling, dirt and UV light.

The default options

  • Within New Zealand, by default we supply all frames up to and including A1 size (33.1 x 23.4in) behind standard Framers' Glass.
  • As they’re more liable to damage in transit, we offer Standard Acrylic in sizes larger than A1.
  • For the same reason we only offer Acrylic on frames shipped outside New Zealand.

Advantages and disadvantages

Glass has been used to protect photographic images for many years. 

We also offer UV70 glass for the darker limited edition prints up to size A1. The features of UV70  are that it:

  • Virtually eliminates reflections
  • Filters up to 70% of UV rays
  • Water White substrate provides crystal clear colour transmission
  • Light transmission brighten colours and contrast levels
  • Enhanced surface for better durability and easy cleaning
  • Proprietary coating is engineered for permanence.
  • Currently only available for NZ orders due to shipping. 
  • If you are wanting this glass for larger size prints, there is an additional charge and must be collected in Auckland as it cannot be shipped. 

Acrylic is lightweight, resistant to breakage (important in high traffic areas), and offers high optical clarity. The UV Acrylic option offers 99% UV protection. 

  • We recommend that framed images, however they’re glazed, never be displayed in direct sunlight.
  • Visually, there is little discernible difference between glass and acrylic.

Using your own framer

This is a great idea if you have a reputable framer close by that can customise your own needs.  As a tip, get a few quotes first as it can get very expensive and if you print is black, make sure your framer knows how to deal and frame the black prints as they require special care!

Framing your own prints

I understand you may be on a budget and would like to frame your own print. There are many stores out there that offer a variety of framing styles to suit all budgets. Be mindful that the black prints are tricky to handle and require gloves. Oils from your fingertips can mark a print very easily. You will not receive a replacement if you damage your print.


All the canvases come stretched and ready to hang. However, you can add a frame which is otherwise known as a floating frame around a canvas to give it that wow factor!




Black prints that are framed will show more reflection than the lighter ones, so this is when it is a good idea to consider where it will be positioned. If it is positioned next to a window with the light coming in, it will show more reflection. See above about the UV70 glass option above if you are looking for a high quality non reflective glass or have a chat to your framer.

Alternatively go for a canvas that shows no reflection. 




To purchase a By The Horns print -  or contact us if you have any other questions.

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