What Are the Typical Framing Terms and What Do They Mean?

The Glossary of Framing Terms

Artwork Size: This is the measured size of the actual image, not including borders, mat board or paper size. Think of artwork size as the dimensions of the picture, versus frame size or finished product size. Please note: in regard to pricing, this is based on the square footage of the canvas or paper use.

Back Paper (Dust Cover): This is also called a dust cover. The back paper/ dust cover keeps dust and debris out of the frame package, as well as helping regulate humidity, therefore protecting your masterpiece. Dust covers are included in all Horizon assemblies.

Beveled Edge: If the inside edge of the mat board is cut to a 45-degree angle, it is considered to have a beveled edge, much like a table or shelf with a beveled edge. All Horizon mat board is cut at a 45-degree bevel.

Bottom-Weighting: If the bottom border of the mat board is wider or larger than the other borders, it is considered bottom-weighted. Bottom-weighting helps with finding the optical center, or the location the viewer spends the most time looking at, which is slightly higher than the geometric center when looking at a rectangular shape –
like most picture frames.

Components: This term is used to describe the different parts of a picture frame and can include the frame, glass, mat board, artwork, and mounting board.

Debossing: The opposite of embossing, this tool marks your mat with a line of indentation.

Glass: The top layer of your masterpiece or it could be a type of glazing used to protect your artwork. You have options in the Horizon Designer about which glass you would like to use.

Hanging Options: All finished Horizon projects will include the necessary hanging components.

Landscape Orientation: This is a layout that is wider than it is tall, or, a long rectangle as opposed to a tall rectangle.

Layered Matting: This artwork consists of multiple mat boards (up to three). The window, or opening, of the bottom mat goes around the image, while the other mats layer on top and cover a portion of the lower mats. You can use different colors for each of these mat layers.

Mat: This is the component, cut from mat board, that covers and protects your artwork or image. Mats have a window, or the exact mat opening, through which your art can be seen. Additionally, you can have up to three mats with our Designer, meaning you can have a top, middle, and bottom mat to enhance your artwork.

Matboard: Mats are cut from sheet of mat board. Our Horizon mat boards are available in a wide range of colors in order to allow you to truly customize your masterpiece. Horizon mat boards are archival quality to protect and enhance your artwork.

Moulding: Moulding is the material, wood or metal of the picture frame. Moulding can be very ornate and decorative or it can be simple. Look at our huge selection of moldings in the Horizon Designer and get inspired for your next project.

Mount Board: This is the board which your artwork is mounted on inside of your picture frame. Think of this as the base on which sits your image, mat, glass, and the frame.

Multi-Opening Mat: A mat with more than one window opening, or more than one place for your artwork is called a multi-opening mat. Multi-opening mats are often used for collages. You can choose from Horizon’s templates with multi-openings or create your very own in our Designer.

Portrait Orientation: This is a layout that is taller than it is wide, or, a tall rectangle as opposed to a long rectangle.

Poster: A poster is a printed illustration that is usually mass-produced and intended to be framed and hung as decoration for a pop-culture icon, movie, music, or event.

Project Size: Remember how artwork size is the size of the art, not the finished product? Picture frame size is the size of the full masterpiece, including the matted and mounted artwork, and glass. As a note: please consider the width of your moulding in order to get the external size of your project.

Rabbet: This is the inner lip of the picture frame, which holds the frame’s components, including the glass, mats, artwork and backing.

Reveal: The reveal is a term used to describe the small bottom or middle mat border left visible in a double or triple mat application. Essentially, it is how much of a certain mat can be seen. Horizon follows the industry standard of .25 inch reveal, however, you have the power to change your reveal to your desired custom width in our Designer.

Single Mat: One mat whose window, or opening, surrounds the image.

Triple Mat: This consists of three mats, the top, middle, and bottom, and is the maximum mat number used in our Horizon Designer. Our professional recommendation is to use a single, double, or triple mat for your masterpiece to keep it clean yet personalized.

V-Groove: A V-groove is a beautiful accent on the top mat. It consists of two intersecting 45-degree cuts which create a V-cut in the mat in order to enhance the image and expose the mat’s core color.

Wall Bumpers: These are small, felt-covered or rubbery-plastic adhesive-backed disks that provide a cushion between the back of your frame and your wall. Bumpers can help your frame hang flat against the wall as well as prevent scratches or damage to your wall from frame movement.

Window: This is also called the ‘exact mat opening.’ The window is the opening in a mat through which your image can be seen.

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