Have you ever noticed that–oftentimes–framing your new fabulous print/poster costs ten times as much as the print/poster itself? After suffering from this phenomenon for too many years I finally figured out what I was doing wrong. I was buying my prints FIRST and then framing them AFTER. What I SHOULD have been doing is using the frames I already have and finding print images to fit their openings.
Re-use Your Frames
Okay, we all know this, but sometimes it’s easier said than done. You take the measurements of your frame’s opening to the print shop and then sift through stacks of prints trying to find an image you like that’s the right size. You might get lucky here, but more likely you’ll have to settle. This is where AllPosters.com comes in.
The Kid in a Candy Store Phenomenon
AllPosters.com bills itself as "the world’s largest poster & print store," and, after taking a look at the site, you’ll believe it. First they have four primary categories including Entertainment, Art, Subjects, and Specialty Products. These categories then have subcategories. For example, Subjects contain Animals, Architecture, Food & Beverage, & Travel, just to name a few. THESE categories then have subcategories which also have subcategories. So, let’s say we pick on Architecture. And then Bridges. And then City Bridges. You get the picture.
Getting Back to the Point
Now let’s get to the reuse-your-frame part. AllPosters has an advanced search option in which you can refine your search by dimension. So, let’s say we have a frame that’s 26" by 20" and we want a new poster/print for it. In Step 1 we’ll pick–for the heck of it–Contemporary Art for our category in which to search; in step 2 we’ll select the dimensions 25" by 30" for our width and 20" by 25" for our height. (Or course we can run another search flipping those dimensions and make our height our width and width our height as we can rotate our frame 90 degrees.) Now we’re going to click "search" and see what happens.
All Posters has found 2,318 items that suit our criteria (and 593 more that are pre-framed.) Let’s pick Jazz Scene II by John Hillmer or Femme Etendue, 1988 by Alicia Grau, both of which measure 28" by 22". Okay, this might break our hearts, but when we get the print–shipped to us in one of those cool, hard cardboard mailing tubes, we’ll cut an inch off each side and then the poster will fit in our 26" by 20" inch frame.
Of course there will still be times when we fall in love with a print of our dreams and then have to face the consequences later. But that’s what falling in love is all about!