blank picture frame next to flowers

It may surprise you, but frames have been a part of art for thousands of years. Perhaps not in the traditional sense of a literal box attached to the outside of the piece, but the cave paintings of the 2nd century BC and Egyptian tomb paintings all had painted borders.

These borders served very much the same purpose they do now. They separate the artwork from reality and help to contain the image. This keeps your eyes focused on one piece at a time. Nowadays, the frame also helps to protect the artwork itself.

Choosing the right frame is important so it does not become distracting to the piece. The wrong frame can take away from the image of a piece of artwork, so how do you choose the right frames for prints and photos? Continue reading for a brief guide on how to choose a photo frame.

Important Factors

You took the time to choose what prints and photos you wanted to hang on your walls, so be sure to do the same with your frames. Here are 4 things to consider when choosing the right frames for prints and photos.

1. Interior Design

Before you hang anything on your walls, take a look around. What is the theme, if any, of the space around you? Is it casual, rustic, or maybe modern?

The tone of your home is an important factor when choosing the perfect frame for your art. If you have a nautical theme going on, you would not want to hang an ornate, gold leaf style frame up. Unless that's your thing, in which case, to each their own.

2. Consider the Color

When considering picture frame colors, take a look at the colors that are within the photo or print first. Your frame should complement the piece, not scream, "Look at me!" and stand out.

Now, there is nothing wrong with a neon pink frame or flaming red frame, but it has to fit the right piece. Rock posters, especially ones from the 60s and 70s, look great with a color pop frame. Mail your posters to us free of charge, and choose the perfect color frame for your prints.

Be sure that the color of the frame is also not close in color to that of the wall it will be on. If your walls are light, try to stick with darker-toned frames and vice versa.

3. Size Matters 

There are a couple of things to consider when choosing the size of your frame. First, take a look at the space it will be hanging on. For small spaces, you want to make sure that the frame does not fit so tight that you lose the wall. For large spaces, the frame should look proportioned with the size of the wall.

It is also important that you choose the correct size frame for the piece itself. If you have an 8x10 picture, then keep the frame on the thinner side, around 1-2 inches. If the picture is more of a large-scale piece, then you can go wider, but remember, bigger is not always better.

4. Glazing and Mats

Remember that there are other important parts of framing than the frame itself. The glazing or glass is significant in helping to protect your piece. If you want to ensure the longevity of photos, then choose glass that is UV protectant.

A mat can give your art a finished look in combination with the frame and are especially great for multiple window photos. A mat will also protect your prints and photos by keeping them away from the glass. This will ensure their protection for years to come.

Types of Frames for Prints and Photos

Now that you know some of the do's and don'ts when choosing a frame, it might be beneficial for you to know and understand the different types of frames that are out there. This will help you to determine the look and style you are trying to achieve.


Modern frames are great if you want to take your prints and photos and make a gallery wall in your home. These frames tend to have more of a sleek, clean look to them.

Some examples of modern frames include metallic frames, narrow frames, shadow boxes, and float frames. Float frames can make your image appear as if it is floating off the wall, giving your home the modern look you desire. These types of frames will make your photos and prints the focal point for sure.


Traditional frames tend to be more ornate than other frames. They are a perfect fit if you want to add a classic look to your home that is timeless. Many of them have a vintage look to them, so be sure this is the look you want before choosing traditional frames for your prints and photos.

Some people might choose the more traditional frame when framing diplomas, as it gives a distinguished feel to any office.


Remember that nautical theme that we mentioned earlier? Insert Rustic picture frames here! Rustic frames will give your home more of a relaxed, casual feel that will make everyone feel welcome.

These wood frames come in a wide variety of finishes that show the grain in the wood, giving them a more natural look. Nothing says welcome home like a frame that reminds you of the outdoors.