Graduation season is coming up soon and there are diplomas to be framed. Even if you graduated years ago, it’s never too late to frame your special memory. Recent graduations are a great reminder to get your diploma framed.
Diplomas are different from other artwork we frame for two reasons. First, it is the most expensive document most people are ever likely to frame. Second, most of them are rather dull. That’s not an insult; there is only so much you can do with cream paper and black printing. Here are some tips for framing diplomas from both a design standpoint and a technical standpoint with those things in mind.
Diploma Frame Design Ideas
Most people want a classic look for their diplomas. Classic doesn’t have to mean boring, though. Liven up traditional finishes with exciting profiles. Even a “basic black” finish is more interesting with some detailing or undertones in its finish.
School colors are a popular choice in matting, but some color combinations can be distracting on what is basically black-and-white art. Instead, try presenting a more neutral top mat with school colors as the smaller accents, or ruled lines, or marbled paper panels. They will undoubtedly age better.
You should also consider your degree when designing and picking a frame. A lawyer or accountant is likely to want a classic design that can be displayed in an office setting. An architect may be attracted to very simple, clean lines. If you have a degree in a creative field, it may be best to opt for more creative, less traditional designs. Don’t hold back.
If your field is of the professional variety, such as a doctor or lawyer, special certifications may go along with the diploma. It’s also common to earn additional certifications as time passes in a professional career. Trying to match the framing of the original diploma years later can be a challenge as mats and moldings are often discontinued. Instead of matching everything exactly, I suggest sticking to a theme. For instance, try using wood with red tones or cream or white mats to match the paper and a black accent. With these criteria, many different frame and mat combinations can be used that all coordinate, and future frames can easily be designed to fit in.
Tips for Framing a Diploma
Framing a tassel along with a diploma is a popular option but keeping them under control can be a challenge. Optium Museum Acrylic® not only offers 99% UV protection with virtually no reflections, but it also holds less static than even glass. As a result, it’s a great way to avoid wayward strands.
If the diploma is printed on parchment, it may come with instructions for wet mounting. My advice is to ignore them. The process is permanent and high-risk. Instead, try the following:
- Mounting the diploma with edge strips
- Using a platform mount
- Consulting your online framer to find a non-invasive, non-permanent mounting method.
No matter how you choose to mount them, avoid heat!
Genuine parchment paper is rarely used for diplomas, and it can be difficult to tell the difference between it and some paper. Parchment will have a slightly oily or waxy feel and will show small pores when held up to a bright light.
It’s also best to avoid dry mounting diplomas. The pressure in the press can crush embossed seals, and signatures or additions to the diploma, such as a cum laude designation. These additions may be applied with a thermal process and will be damaged by heat.
Dark mats, especially in fabric, can be a rich and dramatic choice for diplomas, but they can enhance reflections under glass. Museum Glass® is the perfect choice to allow the best display of your hard-earned diploma with no distracting reflections.
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This article is intended for educational purposes only and does not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the author(s) individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of Tru Vue or its employees. Tru Vue does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented.