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Variety Comes into Play


Frame Materials and Sizes


By Melissa Donovan


Part 2 of 2


Graphics as small as 16x24 inches all the way to billboards are excellent candidates for framing. Depending on your needs, materials are available for the toughest environment to something a bit more forgiving. Frames are available in a number of finishes and dimensions to accommodate all types of graphics.


Sizing Issues

Framing solutions are available to fit any size graphic. If the size can’t be found right off the shelf, many vendors will custom craft as well. Luigi Cristicini, national product manager, Drytac Canada Inc., cites some of the common sizes of framing systems, any extruded from aluminum are either five or seven meters in length. For a system used in a commercial interior wall, seven meters in height is common. For fleet applications, the frame system is the width and height of the trailer or truck, usually 24 or 53 by eight feet.


“16x20 inches is the preferred choice for most PSPs, as this is perfect for a 24-inch printer,” adds Matt Kochanowski, technical marketing specialist, IT Supplies.


Alpina Manufacturing LLC creates frames in any size. The company has manufactured 300x20-foot solutions for indoor and outdoor applications. Each are made in sections and then quickly assembled at the final site. The company’s frames tightly stretch graphics so no waves, sags, or wrinkles occur.


The JetMaster Display system from Innova Digital Art comes in a number of sizes. Due to the wrapping nature of the product, a common 16x20-inch frame with a one-inch depth requires a 20x24-inch print. The company’s new direct print version, ideal for flatbed printers, features a maximum finished frame size of 24x30 inches.


ProEDGE’s hi-tech edgings are available to be installed on graphics up to eight by eight feet, in addition they can be joined together to fit any conceivable length or width for both indoor and outdoor applications. also offers custom made displays, citing no maximum.


Materials to Choose

There is variety in frame substrates. The StretchIT Gallerie Wrap from IT Supplies is made out of wood bars and plastic corner hinges. The Simply Elegant Kit’s frame is a recycled polyethylene.


The JetMaster Display system is a lightweight, adhesive-coated, die-cut board. A PSP would choose it when light weight is important to the hanging work or when breakage isn’t a concern. It’s so light, it can be hung with a tack or piece of Velcro.


Environmentally friendly options are also available. Many frame manufacturers create an entirely sustainable product from the graphic to the frame. ProEDGE is devoted to manufacturing a sustainable plastic. The hi-tech moldings are made of reprocessed ABS plastic with a thin aluminum veneer to give it color and durability. This provides a high-performance metal-lookalike used indoors and outdoors, but eco-friendly.


Other products, such as those from Alpina, are created with aluminum alloy for strength, light weight, durability, and weather resistance—particularly for outdoor signage. VersaFrame also uses aluminum to manufacture its frames, which come in a number of colors, are durable, and feature durable finishes. The most common display uses acrylic panes.


Aluminum is particularly popular for outdoor-based frames. For interior, extruded PVC is ideal. “Tension, environment, and longevity dictate the frame extrusion used,” explains Cristicini.


Options are Available

Depending on the environment in which they are placed, various framing materials are available to complement a graphic—from aluminum to environmentally friendly substrates. In addition, there is no limit to sizing as many manufacturers offer custom-made frames. Framing solutions cover the gamut of wide format applications.


Click here to read part one of this exclusive online series, Boxing Around Graphics.


Click on the link above to get more information on the vendors mentioned in this article.

Mar2012, Digital Output  DOFS1203

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