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Q: How To Professionally Mount Digital Prints? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: How To Professionally Mount Digital Prints?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Visual Arts
Asked by: nerv-ga
List Price: $15.00
Posted: 01 Apr 2004 17:57 PST
Expires: 01 May 2004 18:57 PDT
Question ID: 323850
Hi...I would like to know how to properly mount and frame digital
prints.  The prints will be for sale so the method needs to be
permanent.  I know that inkjet prints react differently to traditional
mounting techniques than chemically developed photographic papers, and
I want to make sure to use the correct procedure so as not to damage
or reduce longevity of the prints. I have heard that one should use
non-buffered mat board (is this true?), and that one should also NOT
use the heat press method to mount, but other than that I'm at a loss.
 Should I use mounting corners?  Acid free Linen tape hinge?  Cold
mounting tissue?  Other?  Will I need a press?  Is the procedure
different for glossy paper VS matte/watercolor type paper?  I will
need to mount/frame Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper, Epson Archival Matte
Paper and Epson Premium Semigloss Paper.  Size of prints will be
approximately 11" x 14".  They will be going into Nielsen metal do I finish off the back?  Do I need to?  The prints will
be sent to a gallery to be offered for sale.

Thanks so much!  I look forward to hearing your answer.  :-)
Subject: Re: How To Professionally Mount Digital Prints?
Answered By: denco-ga on 01 Apr 2004 21:51 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Howdy again nerv-ga,

Archival methods are the way to go, which means 100% kozo paper hinges,
100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free, alkaline pH buffered 4-ply mattes,
and conservation glass or Plexiglas.  That is going to be the most lasting
way to do it.

You can also go with plastic corner mounts and hinge the top matte to an
acid-free foam core backing with acid free linen hinges, if you wanted to.

There is some back and forth on buffered and nonbuffered matte board, but
it would appear that the concerns about general acidity of the air, etc.
makes using buffered matte board the more conservative method.

I have always found Japanese paper hinges (using rice starch paste) a real
pain to work with, so I would probably go for the middle ground:

- acid-free linen tape hinges
- 100% cotton rag, acid and lignin free, alkaline pH buffered, 4-ply mattes
- conservation glass or Plexiglas
- acid-free foam core backing

For something that you want to be long lasting as well as reversible (so
the owner can have the print rematted, etc. if so desired) you will want
to avoid dry/cold mount methods.  It appears you can use those techniques,
but why chance it?  This means you won't need a press as well, so some cost
savings by not going down that path.

You want to make sure that you follow Epson's own advice on "outgassing" of
your prints.

"Ink jet printer users may occasionally notice that an ink jet photo framed
behind glass has fogged the inside of the glass surface. This fog, which may
look like a ghost image, is a film caused by ink solvents that have not
completely 'cured.'"

To view the above document, you will need the Adobe Acrobat Reader.  If you
do not have it, you can download it free from the Adobe website.

Here are some references for all of the above.  They should be examined in
detail for all the specifics.

"Presentation and Care of Digital Prints" from the The Digital Art Society
of Hawai'i (DASH) web site.

"Mattes are also alkaline pH buffered, offering extended protection from
environmental pollutants (the air has a slightly acidic pH).
Ultraviolet filtering glazing is available blocking up to 97% of the harmful
ultraviolet spectrum, significantly reducing fading due to light exposure."

"HOW TO DO YOUR OWN MATTING AND HINGING" by Mary Todd Glaser, Director of
Paper Conservation, from the Northeast Document Conservation Center web site.

"When matting paper artifacts, using the right materials is essential.
Cardboards for mounting must be chemically stable with good aging
properties. These are the so-called archival-quality or acid-free boards
sold by conservation suppliers. They are free of lignin and are pH neutral
or, more often, slightly alkaline."

All sorts of good tips on making your prints, as well as mounting methods
can be found on this "shutterbug" web page.

"Like most dye-based applications the ink that flows from your printer to
the paper needs time to "flash off." In other words, the solvent in the dye
needs to evaporate into the air.
Even when your print is totally dry to the touch it has a lot of flashing
to do. I have a couple of old 16x20 Agfa Brovira paper boxes that I use as
drying boxes."

These next two are various postings from the forums.  Additional
searches there might prove useful.

Although it deals with photographic prints, there is some interesting
information within this "Buffered vs Non-Buffered Mat Board" thread.

"These are 100% cotton. You can usually see the 4 layers of board in the
bevel. That's why they're also called "4-ply" boards."

"How to display digital prints" thread.

"For permanent mounting I would consider the use of a linen-based archival
tape to make hinge-mounts."

As for finishing off the back, it always looks nicer if it's finished, at
least in my opinion.  It also can keep the dust out of the frame.  You can
go the traditional Kraft paper route if you want, but something about using
white frame sealing tape appeals to me.  If you use a foam core backing, the
white-on-white effect would appear nice and clean.  This "Sunshine Artist"
message base has some discussion on different approaches.

"I use a frame sealing tape. It is a heavy white tape that you put over the
gap between the [frame] and the foamboard or mounting board to seal the back."

You might want to check with your gallery to see if they have any preferences
as to the matte thickness and backing, etc.

If you need any clarification, feel free to ask.

Search Strategy: Personal knowledge as a former Art History major.

Google search on: mounting "digital prints" "how to"

Google search on: "how to finish" back framed prints

Google search on: "digital prints" buffered matte

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher
nerv-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
denco-ga, thanks much for the answer and nice doing business with you
again!    Your personal knowledge, researched info, and links were
very helpful.  I'll be putting together my list of framing goodies to
buy real soon and am hoping the gallery will be able to sell my
pieces!  Thanks again.  :-)

Subject: Re: How To Professionally Mount Digital Prints?
From: denco-ga on 04 Apr 2004 18:44 PDT
Thanks for the 5 star rating, nerv-ga.  Always a pleasure!

Really interesting to see that I have gone from a Commenter to
a GAR (Google Answers Researcher) and you have gone from being
"relatively new to the digital arts" to having your work placed
in a gallery for sale, all since October of 2002.

Don't mind saying that I am pleased for both of us!  Good show!

Looking Forward, denco-ga - Google Answers Researcher

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