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How to... Sell Your Work

We offer some suggestions on how to present your image for sale. These are based partly on the "norms" of framing, and partly on our experience of wholesaling art cards and other images to the retailer.

Selling your Art or Photography
in the Retail Marketplace

Suggestions on Matting and picture framing for retail sale

We offer some suggestions on how to present your image for sale. These are based partly on the "norms" of framing, and partly on our experience of wholesaling art cards and other images to the retailer.

  • Double matting: Usually adds to the richness of the presentation, but also doubles the cost. A "safe" bet is to use a neutral outer mat and match the inner mat color to a dominant color in the image. Example: Lots of dark green trees, use a dark green inner.
  • Decorative cuts: The most common is a "closed" V-groove. This certainly adds to the presentation, and is very common in galleries for higher end matting. Should only be considered for 11 x 14 or larger mats, and is best used for higher end prints. Decorative corners may be effective in certain instances but should be used sparingly.
  • Regular mat or Conservation quality: Conservation quality will cost more than twice as much. Use it when your image is an original, a limited edition, or any highly valued product. Regular mat keeps your cost to a minimum and is the product normally used for product which does not have a high monetary value.
  • Backings: For regular matboard, use manila board, white one side cardboard, or regular foamcore. We strongly recommend manila board for mats 11 x 14 or smaller, and regular foam core for larger than 11 x 14 mats. For Conservation quality mat you must use an acid-free backing, such as acid-free foamcore or acid-free mat board. This is to maintain the conservation package. Note: An acid-free tape is also required.
  • Packaging: Polybags with re-sealable flaps are manufactured for this express purpose. They present the package of mat, image and backing in a very attractive manner that allows re-use of the bag. Shrinkwrapping also works, but requires equipment. It is also time consuming and finicky.
  • Assembly: Tape the image to the back of the mat, but only on one of the long sides. This allows the image to "breath" under differing atmospheric conditions. Photo corners can also be used, and usually come acid-free. They do take a little more time to assemble. For regular matboard, any "scotch" tape will do, we use clear magic tape. Remember to use acid-free tape for conservation mat board.
  • How much should you charge for the product? A general rule of thumb is to add the cost of your mat, image, bag and backing together, add some for labor and multiply 2 to get a ballpark figure. If you are entering a show, add some costs for this. If you sell through a retailer, the "norm" is for them to double whatever you charge them to get the minimum retail price.



 
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