Why I recommend a 2mm styrene backing on my prints

A few years back, I decided to make a collage of our blended family for a Christmas gift for my husband.  My step daughter got married earlier that year and all the kids were in the wedding. They all looked so handsome and gorgeous, I decided to use the pictures from the wedding to make the family collage.  I put the final product together in Photoshop, sent if off to the lab to be printed on a very high quality Kodak paper.  

When I received the print, I was very, very happy with the final product!  I took the print to be framed, picked out a lovely mat and frame and put down a deposit.  For anyone who has had a print matted and framed, you know this is not a cheap process.  I payed over $280, and that was 12 years ago!

I was thrilled when I finally received the framed print!  I was so excited to wrap it and put it under the tree.  On Christmas morning, when my husband opened the gift, he was a little emotional, so I knew this was a winner.  I was so happy I did this for him.  We talked about where to hang the print and decided to hang it in our foyer so it could be viewed everytime we came down the stairs.  There was no direct sunlight, so it seemed to be the perfect place.

A couple years down the road, I was coming down the stairs and I noticed something weird with the print.  I looked at it very closely and noticed the print was starting to buckle in the frame.  I was not happy about this!  That is when I hit the internet and started to research the reason for the buckling.  As it turns out, even though I was very careful not to hang the print in an area where sunlight would hit it (that would cause discoloration and fading of the print), I found out how humidity and temperature affect the framed print.  Paper expands and contracts with changes in temperature and humidity.  The glass in the frame causes this process to happen quicker because the glass transfers heat faster than air.  As a result of this transfer, the edges of the print will react quicker to the temperature and humidity changes than the middle of the print which then results in buckling.  Once the print buckles, there is no restoring it back to normal.

So, when I started to sell my prints, I decided to offer the prints with a 2mm styrene backing.  I could have chosen the gator board backing (which was slightly cheaper) but I picked the styrene because it was sturdier.  The cost of the backing adds to the price of the print but it is well worth spending the extra, it will add to the life of the print. Unless you are the type of person that changes out their artwork frequently, I would highly recommend purchasing the prints with some sort of backing.  If you like to change up your artwork frequently, then the added expense of the backing would be a waste of money.  The print will probably get change out before any buckling would occur-1-2 years of being framed.  Or if you don't want to be bothered by this, just order a canvas or metal print, more on these two later!!!

 

Thanks for reading!!!

Judy

P.S  I am offering a 30% discount on all prints and merchandise on my website for all who take the time to read my blog!!!!  one time use code  BLOG30  expires 3/23/23!