Common Questions About Framing

Everything you need to know about custom frames for photos, artwork and more

Many people are still under the impression that framing photos and artwork requires trekking back and forth to the mall or custom frame shop, stressing out over an overwhelming number of choices and paying inflated prices.

To shed more light on online custom framing and help you get more treasured items up on the wall, we've answered below a few of the most common questions we get asked about the process.

What can you frame?

Our bread and butter is framing art prints and posters you've collected, along with photos that we print and frame for you.

You can get started right now on one of these options, and complete the entire process online in a matter of minutes.

We can also take care of diplomas and certificates, maps, wedding programs, invitations, and other announcements, vinyl records, playbills, programs and tickets, comic books, newspaper and magazine articles, and most paper-based items. Here is a complete list of what we can custom frame.

The only limitation we run up against is size, since shipping a finished frame above certain dimensions gets quite tricky and expensive (see our guide to framing oversize prints and photos).

If you are looking to frame textiles, works on canvas, or 3D objects, reach out to one of our designers for a consult.

Do I send artwork to you, or do you send the empty frame to me?

If you would like to frame a photo, simply upload your image, customize the frame to your liking and checkout. Each frame will be handcrafted to fit your professionally produced print and arrive ready to hang.

For posters, photos and art prints already in your possession, after you provide the dimensions of your item and customize the frame online, we can build and ship the frame directly to you within a few days with instructions for inserting the artwork on your own (a quick 5-15 minute DIY project).

If you prefer, we can frame the items for you at our framing studio. Just select In Studio framing, and after customizing your frame and checking out, we will guide you through the steps needed to send your items to our framing studio. We can provide a shipping label and even packaging if necessaryt.

Each completed piece will arrive framed and ready to hang.

How much do your frames cost?

Every frame we make is unique, hand-crafted to fit your artwork or photo.

Since each one is different, the price will depend on its size as well as the matting and glaze that you select.

We’ve designed our framing interface to be dynamic and show the exact price of each option once you provide the dimensions of your artwork.

In general, prices range from $59 to frame a 5” x 7” print to around $230 for a 24” x 36” poster with 2” of matting.

That's way more than the frame I saw at Ikea!

Given the custom nature of the product and the premium materials we use, our frames will be more expensive than most off the shelf, ready-made frames you may see elsewhere online or in a craft store.

What we are offering is the same (or better) quality than a high-end custom frame shop at around half the price.

A well-made custom frame should be made exclusively from archival, acid-free materials in order to look great, last for decades and protect your artwork from fading and other damage. Watch out for cheap frames that may literally fall apart at the joints and cause artwork to turn yellow over time.

How do I decide on the frame style?

A good rule of thumb is that the frame should complement the artwork, but much of that is subjective.

We've created tools for you to visualize the frame from multiple angles and find what looks best to you. You can upload a preview image of your artwork inside the frame and easily see how it would look across different frame styles.

Custom frame colors and styles

We're also building intelligence into the frame customization experience:

The 'Golden Ratio' button will calculate the ideal mat width based on the aspect ratio of your artwork dimensions.

But if you have any questions, need advice on how to frame something or are looking for an option that you don't see on the site, we are a click away and standing by to help.

What are the matting and glaze options?

Adding a mat to your frame is a nice way to protect and enhance your artwork. It will provide some separation between the artwork and the glaze, while also creating the border of space that draws the eye into the picture.

We frame with 4-ply, acid-free, museum grade matboards from Crescent due to their aesthetic and archival qualities. White is classic and works with almost anything, but you can also select black, cream, antique white, and a few different shades of grey in our Advanced Options section.

Standard mats are 4-ply, but we now offer a thicker, 8-ply mat in black and white for a more refined and elevated look.

You can also adjust the mat borders with custom dimensions. One popular use of this feature is what's know as a bottom weighted mat.

Bottom weighting is where you set the mat borders equal along the top and sides, and then anywhere from a 1/4" to 1" bigger at the bottom.

For the glaze, we use acrylic (instead of traditional glass which can shatter) due to its light weight, strength and level of clarity. Below is an overview of glaze choices, which you can also learn about in our guide to choosing acrylic or glass for your custom frame.

An optically pure, framers grade acrylic. A fine choice for most photos, posters and prints provided you avoid hanging in direct sunlight.

UV Protection
Blocks 99% of Ultraviolet (UV) rays, preventing fading of paper-based artwork. A good choice if you plan to display the frame in a brightly lit room, or need the artwork to last more than a decade without any noticeable fading.

Non-Glare UV
Blocks out 99% of UV rays and has a subtle matte finish that cuts down on reflections from surrounding light sources. Ideal for unhindered viewing of the artwork, though you may notice a minute loss in sharpness due to the matte coating, especially if you've added a mat to your frame.

Optium Museum Plexi
An anti-reflective, super light, and virtually invisible acrylic trusted by the world’s top museums. You get crystal clear viewing with 99% UV protection for the absolute best in display and preservation.

What happens if my frame arrives and does not fit my artwork?

If any questions or issues come up after your frame arrives, please let us know as soon as possible. If the frame is not what you ordered or comes with any defects in craftsmanship, we will replace it immediately.

Our goal is to make sure you are completely satisfied with each and every order.

Where can I see photos of your frames?

We showcase photos of our frames and materials across the website, but have found that actual customer photos provide even better examples of custom framing projects completed with Level.

Our goal is your satisfaction and pride over the final artwork displayed on the wall, and nothing makes us happier than seeing people hit this target and then share with the world.

Have a look at these Level Frames in the wild, or check out some of our verified Level Frames customer reviews.

Let's make your walls look amazing!