Ready frames have a place in the market. They are great for images of low monetary value, great for standard size photos that do not need a mount, great for family photos that might be swapped around over the years and great for their low cost at the smaller frame sizes.
When looking for a small 6 x 8 or 8 x 10 inch frame, ready frames available on the high street are cheaper than their bespoke frame counterpart. If you are looking just to slide a photo in and display the frame on the mantle-piece then you might go for them as an option.
The trade off is in the variety of molding choice. You will find a very limited choice of molding types. For gifts and presents, off-the-shelf frames give themselves away in terms of quality of materials and quality of finish.
Everyone can tell when a ready frame is a ready frame! Everyone can tell the quality of a bespoke frame!
Ready frames and price
The price differences between ready frames and bespoke framing start to narrow when you look at the larger frame sizes and the cost saving in choosing a ready frame starts loose its appeal.
When you buy a ready frame online it is very difficult to see the quality of the frame, the materials used and the corner joints. The photos of frames can look identical to their wood cousins when viewed online but only when you see them in the flesh can you their true identity be revealed.
Ready frames come in standard sizes only. This makes it tricky to fit non-standard sized art. The art of framing a picture well is the art of allowing the picture to breath and this means considering the correct amount of space to surround the artwork.
Fitting a larger picture into a ready frame can often mean limiting the picture either by not showing the entire image or changing its proportional balance.
Ready frames and fine art
Fine art that is framed in ready frames is devalued enormously. Not only does it hint that the artwork has no artistic value but aesthetically it can undermine the artwork.
Bespoke framing pricing depend on the choice of molding. If you go for a low priced frame – these are usually the narrow moldings – you might find that it is cheaper to use a bespoke framer than to buy a ready frame.
Framers always stock some quality moldings that belie their price. You just have to get your framer to present all the pricing options and not take the first pricing solution. There’s always wriggle room in a framing shop!!