Packaging & Matting Prints

Oh, the banality of it all. But this is what goes into packaging one print. One tool, the sock filled with pennies, goes back to my darkroom days. I used it as a weight when I was doing drymounting which I no longer do. And now, 20 years plus later, the same dirty sock with pennies is used to position the print while attaching the adhesive hinges.

The Best and The Worst

The easiest packaging are large unmounted prints. They just go into a tube.

The worst is when someone orders say 5 matted 20 x 24 matted prints. It always ends up being a custom job – where I take a very large box and with a zip knife cut it down to fit the prints, and here some origami comes into play.

But the absolute very worst, the ones I hate the most, an order for 15 matted 5 x 7s. Each print needs to be signed; authenticity cards need to be printed and signed; the print still needs to be carefully matted and signed; as well as signing the mat; but the packaging part isn’t bad.

One more complaint is that I don’t understand why Epson doesn’t make 8 x 10 sized paper rather than 8.5 x 11 paper. What it means is that when I print a 5 x 7, I need to cut each print to 8 x 10 so that it will fit in a regular sized frame. Also, the cardboard comes in 8 x 10 pieces, not 8.5 x 11.


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My name is Dave Beckerman. I am a fine art photographer working in New York City.

One thought on “Packaging & Matting Prints”

  1. Dave, Thanks for giving us a little insight into your workflow. I print the image smaller than the paper leaving a border around the image. We all did this in the darkroom, it’s very easy in the digital darkroom. For example, on an 8.5 X 11 paper, I will print a 6 X 9 image with 1″ borders on the top and sides, leaving more border on the bottom for title and signature. By creating a print with borders, I then cut the matte opening larger than the image area, which leaves a view of the image, title and signature. Thus, the print is the only thing signed, not the matte. By doing it this way, the photographer can get creative with edges or borders on the image area. –Brent

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