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Bottom weighted matboard

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shayla

WOW Framer
Hi, Alexander. Welcome to the Grumble!

For most mats between 2 to 3 1/2" wide, I weight the bottom 1/4". There are exceptions, but this is most common. The narrower the mat, the less I weight it, but there are also exceptions to that. :)
 

tedh

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
My default is 3, 3, 3, 3 1/2 unless the customer wants otherwise. With oriental subjects, I weight the top. Something I learned long ago.

Only regular exceptions are when a customer wants a window cut for a subject that really doesn't fit the frame they brought in, then the borders are centered each way, and then if there's an opportunity to weight it and keep it looking good, I'll do it.

We have lots of art on the walls, and when a customer hesitates on border sizes, we have enough examples to help them decide.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I generally weight portrait format mats a tad more than landscape. It's all a question of perceived stability. 😉

Also depends on the nature of the image itself. Something that is often overlooked.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I always weight the mat at least 1/8" to account for any settleing in the frame otherwise the top will be larger than the sides and the bottom. Many images are naturally bottom weighted already... for example if it is a signed and numbered print with the signature on the bottom margin.
 

Rick Granick

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
If a print has a bottom margin with a number and signature, I will show enough white at the bottom within the opening to provide for that, but somewhat less white border around the top and sides. In this case I always bottom weight it. If not, the bottom mat border appears too small by comparison to the wider white showing.

I generally bottom weight most things 1/4", sometimes more for special purposes. Occasionally I will use even borders all around.
:cool: Rick
 

Joe B

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Probable 1 out a 500 - I have a couple samples on the wall showing a weighted bottom but most customers want a balanced border on all sides. I have never thought of the 1/8 like Dave suggest - I will have to check that out with my next few framings, it makes alot sense.

By the way, if I do a weighted bottom I do charge a little extra for the design.
 

alacrity8

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
I personally hate weighted mats.
They always look wrong to me.
If a customer wants one, then we do it.
Probably about 1-2% of our projects get them.

They look especially wrong to me on horizontal pieces, and I will advise against them in those cases.

That all being said, on Asian scroll style pieces, I will sometimes recommend doubling the mat width in the longer dimension.

Brian
 

artfolio

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I used to weight the bottom matt on most of my frames and the only "rule" I applied was that the weighting had to be enough that it looked deliberate - not a sort of "is that wider or not?" distraction. Typically I would add around 20%.

The reason I was given was that, traditionally pictures were hung high on walls which tended to make the top matt look narrower but with modern, low ceilings that hardly holds water. I still believe it looks better and most of my customers agreed with me so that was the way I rolled.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I personally hate weighted mats.
They always look wrong to me.
If a customer wants one, then we do it.
Probably about 1-2% of our projects get them.

They look especially wrong to me on horizontal pieces, and I will advise against them in those cases.

That all being said, on Asian scroll style pieces, I will sometimes recommend doubling the mat width in the longer dimension.

Brian
I agree in cases where it been overdone. The idea is to add enough to make it look as if the margins are equal even if they're not.
Most of the time I add 1/4" and and maybe 3/8" on portrait format.
If you can tell by looking that it's weighted then it's really got too much weight. If you know what I mean.😉

Sometimes I do quite narrow mats for small snapshot frames. My default is 30mm all round. In cases like this the mat
relates more to the frame than the image. You'd never bottom weight a frame. Although I have been asked to. 😕
 

Blackcat

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I also bottom weight nearly everything, usually a 1/4" but I will adjust the amount based on the general mat width. I always let a customer know that I am intending to bottom weight their work to give them the opportunity to request I keep the mat even if they prefer or to give them the chance to ask about the purpose of bottom weighting.

I was told the main purpose of bottom weighting was to create an optical illusion to make a picture feel more grounded, and by this I mean that people looking out at the horizon will subconsciously perceive the ground to be heavier, so creating a heavier bottom mat feels more balanced to most people. It also helps a picture look more upright when hanging on a wall, rather than appearing to be as tilted forward as they naturally do from hanging on the wire. It also has the benefit of keeping the bottom of the mat from appearing thinner than the top of the mat if the work ever does shift down in the frame. I have heard other reasons given over the years, but these were the ones that made the most sense to me, so they are the ones I remember and tell my customers about if they question the purpose of the bottom weight.

On the rare occasion that someone wants to frame a tiny picture (as in something about 2"x3" or so) to go on a wall, I will offer the option of using a much wider mat with a very exaggerated bottom weight (as in a 4" mat top and sides and 6" bottom. The idea behind this is to let the framed picture have more presence on the wall and a better proportion to the wall the way a larger picture would, rather than looking like some itty bitty spec of a picture on a great big spacious wall. But again, I merely offer this to the customer as one possible option available and wait to see if they like it first, but I never push them towards this choice since it is not especially common.
 

neilframer

PFG, Picture Framing God
Usually we don't weight the bottom.
Unless... the print or artwork is an original or limited edition and the print itself is weighted at the bottom.
We would never cut an image like that so after consultation with the client, we will make the mat weighted to accommodate the client and not cut the image.

Another time I might use a weighted mat is if the image has a signature and/or edition number.
The mat reveal on the top and sides might be 1/2" but it needs to be 1" or so on the bottom to show the signature and edition number or sometimes a seal.
In a case like that I might weight the bottom of the mat to compensate and balance for the wider reveal at the bottom because of the signature and edition number.

Other than situations like those, I usually cut the mats equal on all 4 sides.

That said, There are really no set rules on this, in my opinion.
It's more about what your eye sees and keeping original artwork from being trimmed without permission from the client.
 

MATTHEW HALE

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
almost every time. usually no more than .25". it's almost imperceptible and most client's who don't know to look for it don't even realize it's there but to me, it looks odd without it.
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
From a designer's standpoint, the optical or visual center of a framed picture is not the same as the geometric center. It's normally located slightly above the geometric center. This is another reason that bottom weighting often looks better because it raises the image to the optical center.

Optical Center
 

Attachments

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Interesting experiment....

Asks someone to draw a triangle. They will always draw it apex-up. It's a subconscious thing.
Inverted it looks unstable and therefore unsettling. A drawing can't fall over but nonetheless.....

:rolleyes:
 

Mike Drury

CGF, Certified Grumble Framer
We weight 100% of the time. If your client wants even borders you still have to weight the bottom to allow for the frame that is cut 1/8" larger than the art/glass package. We take the time to explain this to the client and also mention that the lip of the frame will cover approx. 1/4" of the top mat. This is part of design patter which helps the client understand you are the pro and they are at the right shop. By the way, patter is magician speak for dialogue with the audience. Mike
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Um...
The Apex is always at the top.
That's how the Apex is Defined.

Brian
Doh!🙄🤪😆🤣 Well you know what I mean...... ^ not v


Anyway, what if you are in zero gravity and there is no up and down. They would still draw the base of the triangle nearest the themselves.

I'm going for a little lie-down now. 😴


This never happens.....

Mobility-IMG-1 (1).gif
 

Dave

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
Austrailian pyramids?

:beer:
 

cjmst3k

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
The rare times when a customer asks "what about a bottom weighted mat?" I say "That was a very popular thing many decades ago, and has wained in popularity ever since, except for extreme bottom weighting for dramatic effect".

If they want my opinion, in practically all cases "No, I don't believe a bottom weighted mat looks good. It actually somewhat defeats the purpose of a custom frame, where all the proportions are designed to fit the art". Then I tell them "Having said that, I want you to be happy with this piece and if bottom weighting it is what you would enjoy, that is my goal".
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Interesting to read the different approaches here. With a standard 1/8" frame allowance, I would at bare minimum weight the bottom 1/16", so it would be even with the top width. Even if it's someone who wants it equal all the way around (because that's the way to do it). But still, generally weight about 1/4" for things between 2-3 1/2" wide. Should also note that, while we generally cut mats with 1 1/2" - 3 1/2" borders, we choose width based on each design. Do plenty smaller and wider than this range, but most fall into it. Some places use a standard width on everything, by habit, which we don't do.
 

Grey Owl

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
I used to weight the bottom matt on most of my frames and the only "rule" I applied was that the weighting had to be enough that it looked deliberate - not a sort of "is that wider or not?" distraction. Typically I would add around 20%.

The reason I was given was that, traditionally pictures were hung high on walls which tended to make the top matt look narrower but with modern, low ceilings that hardly holds water. I still believe it looks better and most of my customers agreed with me so that was the way I rolled.
1. As I understand, the information about the pictures on the walls was first written by a company that sold pre-cut mats with equal margins, and published it as an excuse to sell mats with equal margins. A very biased source.
2. If framed, the bottom edge of the mat will fall to the bottom of the rabbet so it will be narrower, unless you bottom weight [1/8] to make them look equal.
3. According to my CUSTOMERS, bottom weighted art looks better [unless the art has no bottom. This is based on two samples; one with no bottom weight, and one with about 1/2 [equiv to 3/8 because it drops in the rabbet]. I asked customers which they liked better without mentioning bottom weighting, just what they liked, and all [99%] have preferred the slight bottom weighting.
4. I bottom weight almost all of my work, except for Asian, and those that are square designs [but on these I do 1/8"].
5. When I see a piece that is not bottom weighted [excluding the 1/8" and Asian], I wonder if the art was framed by an amateur, the customer specifically asked for no bottom weight, or if the framer didn't know about bottom weighting.
 

i-FRAMER

MGF, Master Grumble Framer
One of the reasons i also heard for bottom weighting was that years ago as everything was cut by hand, they could sometimes be out od square. And as our eyes naturally scan the horizon, and an opening could easily be seen to be cut crooked close to the bottom. Therefore more distance from the horizon so to speak, it would be less noticeable. Not sure how true this is, or where i heard it. But is somewhat believable.
 

prospero

SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God
I think we should distinguish between adding weight to the bottom so it is noticeable. And compensating
for the optical illusion that makes the window look nearer the bottom, even though it's not.

The latter is nearly always called for. But the object is to make the window look central and the margins appear equal.

In the former case, bottom weighting is a deliberate design element and is appropriate in some cases.
 

Lafontsee

CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2
I can usually go either way. The case where I will always suggest a weighted bottom is when you have a print that has a signature or text below the image. You set up a visual pattern when you show less on the top and sides, and more on the bottom around the print to show the text. That pattern should continue into the matting or it will look strange.

James
 

cjmst3k

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Having thousands and thousands of customer projects with symmetrical matting, I have never once had anyone question or complain about the matting being even (or looking odd for being even). So this approach is doing something right for my customers.
 

shayla

WOW Framer
Having thousands and thousands of customer projects with symmetrical matting, I have never once had anyone question or complain about the matting being even (or looking odd for being even). So this approach is doing something right for my customers.
Love this. Just goes to show that we can have different ways of doing things, and it still works fine. :)
 
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