'French' matting question

Framing Goddess

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jul 18, 2000
Cleveland, Ohio
I need some design ideas today.
I have a mat to do that is BIGish, vertical 28" x 35", 6" wide and accomodates a title opening 4" x 7" in the bottom margin. It is for a 1960's color portrait that will be prominently placed in a new administration building. I plan to do a traditional 'french' mat with ink lines and two marble paper panels, perhaps a watercolor panel. It is, however, what I call an updated traditional mat- it is yellow and I plan to use a deep bevel covered in a marbled paper and maybe one of the paper panels will be a textured paper.
What has me baffled is how to incorporate the title opening in the design. Should the lines and panels encompass both openings? Should there be some lines in between the openings? Or could the main photo be surrounded with one treatment and the title opening be a 'secondary' type?

Has anyone done anything like this that they especially liked? Nothing flashy and no v-grooves, please.

Edie the havingtroublevisualizingtoday goddess
Edie, have the main panels cut through the title opening, and have the outlines follow the around the title opening.

If you're doing a french mat, it MUST be white, as in surrender...

Now, back to Edie's original thread, already in progress.
Whatever you decide to do will be great, I'm sure! We better get to see a picture of it!
I second Dave's suggestion. I would avoid too much going on around the text panel. You just want to draw attention to it, but not make it a distraction from the main image.
Perhaps you could have the title text on an engraved plaque or print it out, mount it and reverse bevel it into a little printed plaque. Then do a deep-bevel opening a bit bigger than the size of this, and float it within that opening above a small block of 1/8" foamcore.
Maybe you could post a photo of your finished project for us.
:cool: Rick
Here you go Edie. Free of charge. All done.


Couldn't help myself. I was just in THAT kind of mood. Did 3 french mats this afternoon.

One technique that can work is the use of a
scaled down set of lines that enclose the
legend, with, perhaps, an rectangular element
in the space between legend and the design, if
that space is too large.

If you're doing a french mat, it MUST be white, as in surrender...
Sorry Charles, I have to disagree!

Yellow is a perfectly acceptable color indicating a loss of bladder control.

... we shall now resume our normal broadcasting …
Having done thousands of what you call 'French Mats' I definitely think that the principle of Baer's design is the way to go. I am a little concerned that the variety of line and colour decoration may be a little too much. As we say over here, you may be in danger of 'over egging the pudding'.
I didn't see any mention of the moulding that you are using. Why not let the frame indicate the importance of the image and let the picture and the title information be placed into this setting,in the same way as a jeweller will provide the right setting for a gem and,in the process, not try to outshine it.
Harwickman makes a good point. If you have a frame
that has elegant, antique lines, copying those
lined can give you a good decoration and one that
will tie the parts of the frame together.