What is a Picture Frame?

This article is aimed at helping customers understand the different terminology for the 4 most common names used for the frames that display pictures.

What is a Picture Frame?

Framed Picture

By far the most common term associated with framing paper based artwork. Picture frames are used to display any type of flat artwork including prints, photos, needlework, watercolours, certificates and posters. A picture frame consists of the frame moulding(typically wood or aluminium), the glazing in front of the artwork and backing board behind the artwork. Additional elements can be added to further enhance the look of the framed picture such as picture mounts, title boxes or mount slips.

Most picture framers will buy lengths of prefinished mouldings from their suppliers and chop the lengths into 4 mitred and correctly sized pieces to manufacture the base picture frame, whilst some very high end and very skilled picture framers will manufacture from raw timber to create unique hand finished design(although you should expect to pay a much higher price for a hand finished frame). The 4 pieces are joined together by underpinning metal wedges into the corners. The wedges, in addition to the wood glue already applied, firmly hold the pieces together to create the frame. The glazing and backing board is slotted into the frame before flexible tabs are fired around the frame moulding to hold the glazing/backing in place.

So, in its most basic form, a picture frame is 4 pieces of mitred wood(or aluminium), a piece of glazing and a piece of backing board. The 3 other common terms detailed below and just variations of a picture frame.

Can I buy Picture Frames at Easyframe?

Absolutely. We have 3 generations of picture framers in our family owned and operated business who have been manufacturing frames for many decades, we definitely know how to make picture frames. Our website offers hundreds of different frame mouldings and add on items such as picture mounts, multi aperture frames, specialised glazing and much more.

What is a Photo Frame?

John Lewis Photo Frame

A photo frame is the term most commonly associated with small picture frames that stand on shelves/tables as opposed to being hung on the wall. You can purchase ready-made ones in many stores at an affordable price, but they will only come in standard sizes and will be low quality due to being manufactured overseas in plastic mouldings – not what you want for your prized photos!

Below is a list of standard photo frame sizes in both imperial and metric measurements. Most photo processing companies(Boots, Jessops) will print photographs on standard size paper. Therefore, photo frames are mass-produced in the same standard sizes to make it easier to buy a frame for the photo from the same shop.

Typical Ready Made Photo Frame Sizes
Inches Millimetres Centimetres
6 X 4″ 152 X 102mm 15.2 X 10.2cm
7 X 5″ 178 X 127mm 17.8 X 12.7cm
8 X 6″ 203 X 152mm 20.3 X 15.2cm
10 X 8″ 254 X 203mm 25.4 X 20.3cm
A4 Certificate 297 X 210mm 29.7 X 21cm
12 X 10″ 305 X 254mm 30.5 X 25.4cm
14 X 11″ 355 X 280mm 35.5 X 28cm
16 X 12″ 406 X 305mm 40.6 X 30.5cm
Can I buy Photo Frames at Easyframe?

Yes, these no difference in the way a wooden or aluminium picture frame and a photo frame are manufactured. All of our frames are custom-made to size, so you can just enter the size of your photo and select a suitable frame. Remember, if you want the frame to be self standing, you need to select the Stand Up Back option in the Extras tab when designing the frame. This option will only be available if the frame size is 320 X 320mm or smaller as frames larger than this size are not suitable for standing up.

What is a Poster Frame?

Framed Movie Poster

A poster frame is a term typically associated with larger budget frames used to display cheap replaceable posters. Poster frames can be purchased in many low-cost retailers such as Wilko’s or Ikea. You should expect low quality glazing and moulding, but this is reflected in the lower prices. The main purpose of a cheap poster frame would be to display the poster on the wall without the need to use tape or tacks and without really doing it much justice.

What sizes are Large Picture Frame?

Typically sizes for mass-produced posters that require large picture frames are:

  • 1000 X 700mm
  • 800 X 600mm
  • 36 X 24″
  • 30 X 20″

You will find posters for sale in High Street stores with the subject of the posters usually being current movies or music stars.

However, there are many vintage movie posters available to buy which aren’t standard sizes. To avoid trimming a vintage poster, and losing any value, we recommended getting a custom-made picture frame to the correct size of the poster.

Can I buy Poster Frames at Easyframe?

Yes, a poster frame is exactly the same as a picture frame. The difference with buying a quality picture frame to frame your poster from us is that you have a much bigger choice of frame styles, quality glazing that won’t look distorted in the frame and can be manufactured to the actual size of the poster to avoid having to trim it down.

What is a Clip Frame?

Wilkos Clip Frame

A clip frame is the lowest cost option when framing artwork. It is very simply a piece of cheap glazing and a piece of thin board that are held together with a few clip around the edges. They do not do the artwork any justice. You can buy clip frames at very, very low costs in some UK department stores.

Can I buy Clip Frames at Easyframe?

Definitely Not. We manufacture frames to show off your artwork and make it look better. Clip frames cheapen the artwork.