Measuring Guide - Matboard and More

Measuring Your Matboards

Introduction

Welcome to the Matboard and More® guide on measuring your matboards. The biggest challenge customers face when ordering their matboards is understanding what the different sizes refer to and how to choose the right size for your art.

Custom matting requires precise measurements, the most important dimensions are the outside size and opening size. A 2 to 3″ border is typical for most art work but it can vary. Always consider that standard outer sizes makes it much easier for you or your customers to find inexpensive frames. Matboard and More® can cut to any opening and outer size for no extra charge!

Also, don’t forget that it’s not always necessary to center your art in the picture framing. 8×10″ art is very commonly put in 11×14″ mats and either has larger vertical margins or is bottom weighted so that it is centered at the of the mat. Both are usually free of charge options!

Primary dimensions needed to order your matboard:

  • Outside Size: should match the size of the glass in your picture framing. If it’s not being framed, any outside size you like can be had. Our matboards come in sheet of 32×40 so that’s the maximium size available.
  • Opening Size: also referred to as the mat window, it is the space reserved for the art work. The opening size is typically 1/2″ smaller (1/4″ around the borders) than the art work so that there is an overlap for the art to be attached to the back of the matboard. The opening size is measured from the TOP of the bevel cut.
  • Art Work Size: this is the actual image you want to show. The art work size is typically 1/2″ larger than the opening size so you can have an overlap to stick the art work to the back of the mat.

Follow These Steps to Get the Right Dimensions

  1. Art Work Size: measure the visual area of the art work you want to mat. For example 11×14″.
  2. Opening Size: subtract 1/2″ from the art work size. For example, (11-1/2) x (14-1/2), 10 1/2″ x 13 1/2″ for the opening size.
  3. Outer Size: do you already have a frame?
    • YES: measure the outside of the glass in the frame to get your outer size. There should be at least a 1″ border for the mat, but preferably 2-3″.
    • NO: if possible, select an outer size that is standard (11×14″,16×20″,18×24″ etc.), as it will be much easier to get a frame. For example, 11×14″ art work would work well with a 16×20″ frame, 8×10″ artwork with 11×14″ frame etc.
  4. Margins: you may not want a piece that is centered, and may instead prefer a bottom weighted mat. You can request bottom weighting or top center which looks great, especially for 8×10 photos in 11×14@ frames, or 11×14@ photos in 16×20@ frames.
  5. Double Mat Reveal: the process for a double mat is the exact same, except there is another dimension called the reveal to consider. The reveal determines how much of the bottom layer of matting shows. It is typically 1/4″, but can be any size you prefer.

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