This is the Poster and Print Storage Solutions section.

Poster / Print Storage Solutions

The final step to take once acquiring a poster or print, after having it prepped and ready to display, is to find a frame that fits its dimensions. Below is a breakdown of the framing process, as well as storage solutions, if you choose to store your posters/prints away until further notice.

Framing

Finding the perfect frame to show off your posters/prints can be a bigger task than imagined. You’ll want a frame that compliments your piece, while not clashing or taking attention away from the piece itself. There are four categories to consider when looking for a frame:

    • Frame – The actual frame itself.
    • Mat – The colored material which is placed between the artwork and the glass.
    • Mounting Board – The back of the frame that the artwork is attached to.
    • Glaze – The cover that protects everything in a frame. Typically glass.

Below, I’ve broken out each category for more detail.

Frame

The best quality frames are made of either metal or wood.  Wooden frames usually have a warmer, more inviting and traditional look, while metal frames tend to portray a bolder and more contemporary, even industrial look. Though wood and metal are the most popular and recommended materials to use, there are also less expensive options to consider as well. All materials listed below:

          • Wood
          • Metal
          • Glass
          • Plastic
          • Cardboard
Mat Board

A mat boards primary purpose is to create space between the glass and the artwork so that the two do not become stuck to each other over time. A secondary purpose is to create a border between the frame and the artwork that draws the viewers eye inward, towards the artwork.

There are three categories to consider when matting: The quality of the grade, the number of layers, and the color(s). The grade refers to how well the mat materials will preserve the artwork over time. It’s measured by the pH-value, or amount of acid, in the mat. The more acidic the mat is, the quicker the artwork will deteriorate over time. The number of mats refers to the number of mats that are layered inside of the frame. A single mat works great, and is the standard for matting. Layering mats is just a nice way of creating or adding more color or design to your matting. It is acceptable to not use any matting at all, but you have to keep in mind that no spacer between your piece and the glass can result in the two sides sticking together due to natural moisture and temperature changes over time. Color options refer to the many mat colors you can choose from. Choose whatever color works best with your framed piece.

Mat Boards are either made with wood pulp or cotton. Wood pulp is naturally acid rich and therefore needs to be coated or chemically treated to either remove acidity or at least slow the process down.  Cotton mats are naturally acid free and provide the very best preservation quality. Wood pulp mat boards are considerably less expensive that cotton mat boards, but if you plan on conserving you artwork for a long time, cotton is the way to go.

There are three standard grades of matting:

          • Decorative – made with wood-pulp fibers that are coated with special chemicals to help slow down the damage caused by acidity. Not recommended for long term to lifetime use.
          • Conservation Matboard (Select) – made of wood pulp (alpha-cellulose) fibers that have been chemically treated to eliminate the acids and lignins that can damage your artwork and matboard. This matting is suitable for a basic level of conservation.
          • Museum Grade (Ragmat) – made of pure white 100% cotton rag core and backing paper that’s 100% acid-free and lignin-free. It’s fade and bleed resistant. Ragmat mat boards are of archival quality, and are recommended for the highest level of conservation.
Mounting Board

Once you have selected the matting, the decisions become much more straightforward.  Mounting board, also called foam board, is the back of the frame and it is what the artwork is attached to. Sometimes cardboard is used as a mounting board, but many framers recommend against this because cardboard is very acidic and will quickly yellow the artwork. High-quality mounting boards have a polystyrene core which is bonded between two paper covers. They have a smooth surface, resist warping and will cut cleanly.

There are three standard types of mounting board:

          • Standard mounting board – a foam board that has small amounts of wood pulp acid in it. This is suitable for most framing projects as the acidity is kept very low.
          • Acid-free mounting board – an acid-free foam board made of resilient extruded polystyrene, thats laminated on both sides with a white coated-paper stock. It is useful for framing pieces of significant value that you would like to preserve.
          • Self-adhesive mounting board – adhesive on one side which allows the piece that is being framed to be permanently attached to the mounting board. This is recommended for non-collectable pieces, as it is extremely difficult to separate the adhesive backing once it has been applied.
Glaze

The last step is to choose what kind of glass, or glazing, you would like for your frame. Glazing is the cover that protects everything inside the frame. As with matting, glazing is optional and certainly not required. Of course, without glazing, the artwork will be readily exposed to any temperature or humidity changes, as well as dust and dirt.

Below are the different types of glazes available:

Acrylic (Plexiglas)
            • Standard – quality acrylic which is great for average framing.
            • Anti-glare glazing – will reduce glare from natural and indoor light.
            • Ultra violet reducing glazing – will prohibit UV rays from penetrating the plexiglas.
            • Anti-glare and ultra violet reducing glazing – will prohibit UV rays and reduce glare.
Glass
            • Standard – quality glass which is great for average framing.
            • Anti-glare glazing – will reduce glare from natural and indoor light.
            • Ultra violet reducing glazing – will prohibit UV rays from penetrating the glass.
            • Anti-glare and ultra violet reducing glazing – will prohibit UV rays and reduce glare.
            • Museum Glass – will prohibit UV rays and reduce glare, along with having a nearly invisible finish.

Storage Solutions

    • Poster Bin – These will provide you with an open faced, sturdy storage area to store your posters/prints on. They’re made for easy accessibility, while not leaving you confined by the posters/prints size. Make sure not to store them in an area near lots of natural light, lots of foot traffic, or near other elements like heat or humidity, that can damage your collection.
    • Archival Binder – For smaller portfolios that need updated or are showcased frequently, an archival binder will provide good protection and easy accessibility. Allows for easy travel of your collection, while being able to display and replace prints with ease. Standard 3-ring binder design.
    • Art Presentation Book – These archival-quality books are an excellent way to store your smaller prints, ranging from 4″ x 6″ through 14″ x 17.” They provide easy access to your collection, which is displayed nicely through double-sided polyester sleeves, so you can show them off without having to remove them. The books are water and stain resistant.
    • Poster Wall Display – Similar to an art presentation book, the poster wall display houses your prints in easily, accessible archival sleeves, but allows you to mount it to a wall to permanently display your collection. Designed for posters and prints ranging from 18″ x 24″ through 26″ x 37.” Allows for extra sleeves and panels to be added.
    • Poster Floor Display – These are stand alone units that allow for poster/print display, as well as storage for rolled posters/prints. Panels with archival sleeves house your collection, and range from 18″ x 24″ through 60″ x 40.” If you run out of room, extra sleeves and panels can be added. Underneath the panels is a storage area, that can be used for rolled posters, or whatever you can manage to fit.
    • Free Standing Poster Display – Very similar to poster floor displays, but without the storage area underneath. These can be placed on the floor, as well as on a counter or table top. They’re not as big as the floor displays, so can be stored easier, in more locations. Only displays 18″ x 24″ through 22″ x 28.” Also allows for extra sleeves and panels to be added.
    • Bulletin Board/Poster Storage System – Available in many forms, including box, bag, and folder options, a bulletin board/poster storage system is a perfect way to store your posters/prints. They will provide protection from outside elements, while being able to keep your posters/prints straight and not rolled up. The storage folder can be used independently, and can also be stored within a storage box.
    • Toploader – A hard plastic sleeve that you can insert a poster/print into for extra protection. Attach a hanger kit to your toploader to hang and display. Acquire closure clips to seal off the opening at the top.
    • Archival Print Protectors – Similar to toploaders, these are meant more for long term storage, due to the archival material they’re made from. They come with a stiff black insert as backing, so your posters/prints stay flat and straight. A clear polypropylene front allows for them to be hung and displayed as well, using a hanger kit.
    • Archival Drop-Front Boxes – These archival quality boxes will keep your posters/prints in excellent condition, due to the archival materials they’re made out of. They come in multiple color options, and are 2″ to 3″ deep, so can house multiple posters/prints. Not only will light and outside elements be blocked from entering, the edges of the boxes are reinforced with metal, so they can easily and safely be stacked.
    • Archival Clamshell Boxes – Smaller than the drop-front boxes, these boxes come in a clamshell design, with a thumb cut for easier opening. Being only 1.5″ deep, these clamshell boxes are designed for smaller prints. Made with reinforced metal corners to allow for safer and easier storage.
    • Flat Poster Storage Box – Made from strong, corrugated cardboard, these flat boxes can hold up to 25 flat posters, ranging from 41″ to 29″ in length, and can be stacked. They’re 3″ deep, and have a 45 degree drop front to allow for easier access. The lid also tucks into separate pocketed sides, so the posters/prints are never jeopardized while opening/closing.
    • Mailing Tube – Rigid tubes that are resistant to bending and crushing. Used to safely mail contents, but great for storing unused posters. Only downside is the poster/print will have to be carefully rolled up, and straightened back out when ready to display.
    • Mailing Tube Box – These can be used to store a smaller mailing tube for extra protection, or can also be used by themselves as a good way to store your posters/prints.

Tips and ideas on how to store your favorite books, comic books, magazines, vinyl records, posters and more!