New Matboard Samples

Sherry Lee

SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer
Jun 25, 2002
Phoenix, Az.
Can anyone explain why we get new matboard samples in anything other than 4"???

I received the new Bainbridge "Natural Classics". They are not 4" and as a result, they get lost between existing 4" samples.
Ah, finally! Someone's talking about mats.

Incredible as it may seem, some framers still prefer the 3" samples. At one time, I think Bainbridge had a registry so you could specify whether you wanted future sample sets in 3" or 4". If you have a Bainbridge rep ask him/her about this.

Ron always bevel-cuts his mat samples, so it would be easier to make 4" samples into 3" than the other way around. However, he's fully converted to he generally cuts 4" into something like 3-7/8".

He tried to get me to do it, but I don't do windows or corner samples. Fletcher does corner samples.
The store I work for opened a new location, and we received ALL of the Bainbridge samples in the 3 inch size. I'm actually happy about that. I always get clients gasping when I put the 4 inch samples down thinking they will get a mat that size. To me, it's easier to sell a large mat with the smaller sample than vise versa.
I just think the smaller samples look better on the counter. They take up less visual space. It's nice to have some larger samples under the counter to pull out if someone is having trouble visualizing a larger mat.

I also like to use the large samples as a simulation of the wall something is going to hang on. (my counter top is grey) Someone says, "It's going on a white wall, I don't know how I will like it." and I can pull out a piece of Navaho White*, and lay it down on the outside of the molding sample, so the customer can get an idea of how it will look on the wall.

*everything around here is Navaho White. The Bainbridge equivalent is Arabian White, but I still call it Navaho White.
What about Bainbridges new ceveron samples with their own little holder. They wont fit in ANY older style rack. Seems to be just another thing to clutter up the counter.
I like the threes, too.

I would like to see all new corner samples delivered with the bevels cut, too. I hate wasting my time slicing them myself. If Ron's Mat Maestro isn't doing anything this afternoon, … (wink, nod, nudge) <font size=0>Call me!</font>

Watch out, everybody, I'm in a gnarly mood this morning!
I like the 4" samples, but I have both sizes because every time I request new samples in 4" I get the 3" ! Yesterday I was showing a design to a customer in a 3" sample and she actually asked if I had a wider sample!
Maybe we need a survey on how many like the 4 inch samples and how many prefer the 3 inch although Bainbridge went to the expense of putting out 4 inch samples largely because everyone, or at least most here on TG and on HH said they wanted them .

I personally prefer the 4 inch because it's easier to design with them and most mats I cut are four inches or even more. I've found that big mats are in, they look good on most artwork and people love the look.

Sometimes I use bevels but often use reverse bevels for design reasons. The edges of bevel cut mat samples are certainly more delicate and easily dinged.

Nona Powers, CPF
Sorry Ron
Had a customer come in and was unable to finish the post.

With wider moulding samples, wider matting is needed to keep a visual balance. A lot of my customers are willing to spend the extra on nicer moulding, but then they try to save money by making the matting smaller. It makes for a strange look. Kinda like Less after he has been in the Unseal. With the wider samples it is easier to show the difference. You can always let the moulding sample overlap the mat sample. If you move the moulding 4in away on a 3 in mat sample, you see the counter top.

Come on Ron, give 5 more post.
Wow! I find this amazing! I thought I was the last one to acquire and implement 4" matboards! And here there are some that are still using 2"ers.

I must say, there is certainly a positive response to the use of wider mat samples - it DOES sell wider mats!

I LIKE that!!
I'm with Ron on this. "Don't tell".

We show 3" samples, people keep putting the frame sample up on the mat sample to see a 1" mat.
I don't mislead them or redirect them. I punch into the computer 3" or 4" or 5" which ever is the right size.

It's only on the chineese scrolls that I let them know that the mat will be 6"top 12" bottom and 2 1/2" sides. Just like down top Peking.
All the rest is dealers choice.
Once in 3,489 frame jobs, a lady came back and wanted a smaller mat width. I did it, and she brought it back and admitted that I had been right the first time and paid me for all three frame jobs. . . she insisted. She now just drops off the work and says call her.

I'm with Baer. I think when you ask "What size mat do you want?" you have just added 3-5 unnecessary minutes to a process that most consumers hate, anyway.

I know, I know, all your customers love the process and would spend hours needed. Not ours

Two problems with 4" sized samples:

The exact same response as Sharon-Wow, does it need to be that large? creating the aforementioned 3-5 minutes of unnecessary process

and,putting down a 4" sample with a 3" sample as a top mat (see: 3-5 minutes of unnecessary...)

I have to suggest that we just never seem to have much problem simply advising the proper size mat (according to us, anyway). Didn't have the problem with 3" samples, don't have much of a problem 4".

On a staff level, most of the designers think the 4" samples are not as easy to handle, to fan out, etc. Something about their hands being smaller and more delicate. The female designers say the same thing (c'mon, folks, that's humor for me anyway)

4" or 3"
Chop or length
Boxers or Briefs
The list goes on

If the intent is to sell wider mats (and as the argument goes, bigger frames, larger glass, etc) then simply set the default on mat sizes on your POS to a larger size.

98% of your clients rely upon your judgement, don't they?
3 please

The suppliers can send me 3 inch or 4 inch - doesn't matter. I'll cut the 4's to 3. But please print all the information on the back as if it was a 3 so it's easy to cut down and still have the needed information.
C'mon. I do get that we will each have our own preference, and Bob makes a good point.

But really, how many customers say 'does it have to be that big'? 10% ? 5% ? My expirence has been less than 1 in 150 people (.5%).

Aren't we just remembering those that fuss and forgetting about the other 80/90/98% of those that didn't. I will not make business decisions based on that kind of reaction from a few people.

I like the 4". I keep my old 3" downstairs for reference and back-up. I am 6'2" and even I had a hard time adjusting to the bigger size.

Everything you do on the design counter will look better with the 4" samples IMnotsoHO. ;)

"adds 3-5 minutes of unnecessary process"

Reply with "No, we will make it any size you want, let's pick the color first." 10 seconds flat. Who's in control of the process?

Bottom line for me is that I can't remember selling a 2" mat in the last 12 months. Was that because of the customers eye being conditioned by the 4" sample?

Hmm, maybe it was MY EYE being conditioned.
This whole conversation is so funny in light of the postings from a few years ago. The majority of the framers were rabid about the 4 inch mats, that's why Bainbridge came out with them. When I mentioned it to Debbie, the marketing manager, she was not in favor because it would cost so much money to make 4 inch samples, retooling, extra matboard, etc. but people on the internet were so convincing she finally said yes, and Bainbridge did the first 4 inch mats and others then followed. Because of you all!!! Oh well, maybe companies should not listen to you in the future????

Nona Powers, CPF
Don't pay any attention to them, Nona. We sell bigger mats more easily with the 4" corners. If we went back, I'd have to cut my own 4 inchers and what would be the chance I would ever get around to that?
The 4" are the way to go as we are selling "UP" the bigger the mat the more profit as well as the art looking better!!!!! The design process works better with the 4" as people can visualize it better. The 3" I have left get "LOST" in the better 4" so I hope to complete the change to ALL 4" soon.
Yeah, even I have succumbed to the lure of 4" mats. They just look so much better. The 3"ers now look kind of anemic. If 4" is waaaay too much color at the corner, I just turn another sample upside down over the area I don't want to show.

Yep, bigger is better in this case.

Well, when i ordered new mat corners a few months ago, i decided to go ahead and suffer the consequences and get the 4" instead of the 3". They ARE "OK"... I don't see any difference in the width if mats customers choose.


I think you answered your own question:

<marquee><font color=red><font size=5> 4" 5"
2 7/8" 4" 1" 3" 4" 5"
2" 4" <font color= blue>3 1/2" </font> 5"
1" 4" 2 1/3"

baer :D

When Bainbridge first started sending out 4" samples they enclosed a return card where you could affirmatively designate yourself as a 4" sample customer. Call them to correct your status in their database.

Pat :D :D
Gee Pat......I did not know Bainbridge 'registered' us as to our preferences. I will look into that myself because in my case, they either guessed or have me listed incorrectly.

Thanks for the info!
Originally posted by Ron's Mat Maestro:
At one time, I think Bainbridge had a registry so you could specify whether you wanted future sample sets in 3" or 4". If you have a Bainbridge rep ask him/her about this.
Gee, Sherry, it really pains me that Pat has more credibility than my Mat Maestro. No wonder he's been acting up.
Mercy me Ron.....I did skip right over Ron Mat Maestro's registry comment. And I know WHY I did!! I was shocked reading that "Ron always bevel-cuts his mat samples"! I was so astounded by that.....I wondered who's got that kind of time!

So...thanks Pat for reiterating! And to Ron for pointing out my cease to be a marvel! And apologies to Mat Maestro
Sherry, don't be too impressed.

I had my daughter come in and bevel cut all those samples for minimum wage. After her carpel tunnel syndrome surgery, I can get some NEW samples. (That's a joke. 16-year-olds are resilient.)

One way or another, I've always shown bevel-cut mat samples. Maybe that's why I use so many solid rag mats.
Ahhhhhh! How wonderful of you Ron to gainfully employee your sweet daughter! That extra change for clothes, makeup or car insurance comes in handy as I remember!

Actually, make that clothes and makeup....I walked! Yep....through snow and rain, sleet and ice...... :( ........
4" for me. I am selling many more wide mats with the larger samples. Just the other day, I disigned a piece 4.5 x 6.5. It had a 4" top mat (thanks to my samples), 6.5 drop bottm, fillet, v-groove with drop bottom, nearly 3" wide frame. The results were stunning. The customer has not come in yet to pick it up, an I have used it as an example of what mats really do. I have sold two more pieces this week almost identicle off that piece. (I guess I should make a sample).

Yes, 4" are the way to go. I don't even have any trouble handling them anymore, even with my small hands.