mat cutting equation

Discussion in 'Photography Beginners' Forum' started by wesnile1224, Aug 18, 2010.

  1. wesnile1224

    wesnile1224 TPF Noob!

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    i had a bunch of 16x20 frames given to me and have a prints that are size 10x15. i cant seem to figure out big the opening of the matt should be so that i dont loose an inch or so of the borders. anyone got a clue?:confused:
     
  2. Josh66

    Josh66 Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    ...Just make the opening 1/8" or so smaller than the print?

    If you know how big the print is, figuring out how big to make the opening should be pretty easy...
     
  3. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    do you want to "float" the image or overlap? that will make a difference also what does borders mean to you? on the print or the mat board?
     
  4. ann

    ann No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  5. Christie Photo

    Christie Photo No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    What I would do:

    Presuming the prints are (or will be) dry-mounted, I would make the opening 9½" x 14½". That will provide ¼" overlap all the way around.

    Then it's simple math:
    16 – 9½ = 6½. 6½ ÷ 2 = 3¼. The sides will be 3¼" wide.
    20 - 14½" = 5½. 5½ ÷ 2 = 2¾. The top and bottom will be 2¾" wide.

    This will make the opening absolutely centered. Since in nature we are accustomed to seeing more weight at the bottom of objects, this approach is likely to result in a mat with an opening that appears too low. I prefer to "visually" center the opening by making the bottom border slightly wider than the top.

    So, I suggest:

    top – 2½"
    sides – 3¼"
    bottom – 3"

    These dimensions are, of course, for vertical prints.

    If the prints are not mounted and you intend to hang the prints by taping the tops of them to the back of the mat, you might consider a slightly smaller window to help prevent ripples from occurring over time.

    I hope this helps.

    -Pete
     

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