Color mats

If I use a black mat for my image then what color frame should I use?

Hi Jim. Welcome to NPN. That’s a heck of a good question and one I don’t think I’ve seen posted before. I’m far from an expert on framing, but what little experience I’ve had says it all depends on the colors of the image itself (and, of course, your personal taste). Most people use the matting itself to pick up a tone that’s already in the image, then pick a frame that’s unobtrusive with respect to the image, but contrasts a bit with the matting so it actually acts as a visual frame.

You could play with virtual frame colors in your photo editing software to see what seems to work. I’m sure there are “rules”, but I’ve always taken a print into the frame shop and played until I found what I liked.

While I typically almost always use a white/whitish mat for my prints the odd time I’ve used a black mat I’ve gone for a simple, modern black frame.

We ran a lot of large prints through our studio back in the day, with folks taking their pick of mats and frames. Black was far down the popularity list, but for them people almost always chose a gunmetal gray frame.