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Standard Frame Sizes
As an artist or photographer, have you ever struggled with matching frame sizes to your prints? I know I have, until I learned that the frame size actually relates to the inside dimensions of a frame (For instance, an 8x8 frame holds an 8x8 image). With that in mind, I started making art that fit these pre-determined standard frame sizes. It saves you a lot of money, especially considering the sometimes outrageous price of custom framing. What kind of artist or photographer can afford that kind of job? None that I know, that's for sure!
Check below to see some of the standard picture frame sizes - and how you can save money while you're at it.
Most Common Frame Sizes - Quick Chart
Most Popular Picture Frame Sizes:
A 5x7 picture frame is best suited for family photography and desk display. While you can certainly add a hanger and create a wall collage, these frames will most often come with an easel backing for your desk, mantle or nightstand.
8×10 / 8.5x11
Frames of this size are often used for standing displays (much like a 5x7) with an easel backing, but are versatile enough to be used in wall display. An 8x10 frame is great for certificates and diplomas, and an 8.5x11 size is one of the most diverse frame sizes. Since it is the most widely-used size for printing, you'll find that there are limitless ways to make use of these dimensions.
11×14 frames can often include an off white mat for an 8×10 image, just like an 8x10 can hold a mat for a 5x7 frame. Both sizes are versatile, but the 11x14 allows for better wall display and Expands the look dimensions of the previous frames.
11x17 frames are one of the most popular picture frame sizes for artists who sell prints of their work. These are also effective as mini-posters: if you're into live music or theatre at all, you've no doubt seen this print size. As a frame, these are about as reliable and widely-used as an 8.5x11 and look particularly nice on the wall in landscape orientation.
Looking to hang some wall art? These dimensions are perfect for mid-sized displays of art in your home. When you want your art to take up more space than the other options, this is the way to go. In this size, you will typically find more decorative and interior design-driven art.
The classic poster size. Most posters you will buy online are in this size - plenty big enough to cover a great deal of wall space without really trying. Frames this big usually suffer from a bit of "hangxiety" - a lot of times they will break off from the wall unless you have some good support keeping it up. I also would recommend a wood or sturdy polystyrene material for the moulding material (the "shell" of the frame.) These are a great seller if you take very detailed photographs or want to show off your art skills in a large size.
Frame Size Poll
Which Picture Frame Sizes Do You Prefer?
Standard Frame Sizes Summarized
Whether you need photo frames or affordable options for selling your work, knowing the standard sizes for your frames is a critical part of increasing sales as a creative professional. Be sure to check back my future articles on other ways to save money in the photo and art industry! If you'd like any additional resources on the most common frame sizes, be sure to ask below. I also welcome any contribution to the discussion - what ways do you save money in the art and framing industry?
I'll share my first source I mentioned earlier in this article, who also made a similar post: FrameUSA.com
© 2014 Kevin Little