Save on Framed Art and Canvas Prints Clearance Art
Save 5% More...
How to Choose a custom mat for your art

How to Choose Matting

At FulcrumGallery.com we offer a wide selection of customization options for your selected artwork. Do you want the print to be laminated, framed or transferred to canvas? Your final product will be one of a kind and not a mass produced item. If you decide on a framed option there are 3 basic choices you need to make:

For framing tips please refer to the How to Choose A Frame guide. Once you have decided on a frame, the next major choice to make is whether to include a mat, how many, what color and what size. Here are some guidelines for choosing a mat.

Choose the Number of Mats

As a rule of thumb, one mat is the standard and most popular choice for framed art. A mat helps to define the artwork and prevents the plexi-glass/glass cover from resting directly on the print. Small prints benefit greatly from a mat as it makes the overall size of the piece more substantial and draws your eye to the artwork. On the other hand, oversized or very large prints may look better without any mats.

choosing a no mats
with mat option
wrong option
best option

Adding a second or even a third mat creates an interesting dimension and can provide contrast, especially when colors are introduced. As an example, in a black and white print with a mostly white background, adding a white mat makes the print blend into the mat. However, introducing a second mat in black provides an outline that frames the print and makes it stand out.

choosing a no mats
with mat option
wrong option
best option

Multiple mats can be used to emphasize some of the key colors in a print. In the example below, a light blue middle mat and brown bottom mat are a perfect combination that complement the colors in the print and provide contrast. The combination is visually more interesting than just using two mats - white top and blue middle mat.


Choose a Mat Size

At Fulcrum Gallery we offer top mats in varying widths, ranging from 1 inch up to 12 inches. The customization tool only displays options that make sense for the size of the selected print. Middle and bottom mats are considered accents and are available in one width only. When choosing a top mat size it is important to maintain a proportional balance between the size of the artwork and width of the mat. A very wide mat on a small print will dwarf the artwork. Similarly, a very thin mat on a large print will appear odd.

a mat that is too big
perfect sized mat
wrong option
best option

If you are looking for your final product to be a specific size and your selected configuration falls shy by an inch or two, increasing the width of the mat by half an inch can help build out the dimensions to reach the preferred size.


Choose a Mat Color

Our mats come in a variety of colors with white being the default and most common color for the top mat. Colored mats can help to create visual interest and enhance the artwork. There are some basic rules to follow when selecting colored mats:

1. Try to avoid using the same color for your frame and mat (white mat with white frame; brown mat with brown frame). More often than not the colors won't match exactly and the overall look could be disappointing.

a mat that is too big
perfect sized mat
wrong option
best option

2. Pick a color that complements those of the print to avoid creating an eye sore.

a mat that is too big
perfect sized mat
wrong option
best option

3. Consider the colors being utilized in your room's decor and pick one of those colors for your mat to create a unifying look.

4. Make sure that the mat does not act as a distraction, drawing your eye away from the artwork. For this reason, a white mat is a safe choice.

However, at the end of the day, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. It all comes down to what you like and what speaks to you personally.

Using Fulcrum Gallery's customization tool, you can try several mat options to arrive at the perfect size and color for your print. If you need help with the process, please call our customer service representatives who will be eager to guide you through your selection and give you some useful advice.

© 2017 FulcrumGallery.com.
All rights reserved.
Call: 1 (800) 644-1278
9AM - 6PM EST Monday through Friday