Picture Frame Sizes: All You Need to Know

laura gardiner - tribeca printworks studio manager06/5/2023
by Laura Gardiner
Studio Manager, Tribeca Printworks

Selecting the perfect photo frame sizes can be simple and exciting if you have the correct information. Whether using them to brighten your living space or capture special moments with your loved ones, you can find customized frame options to match your specifications and style. The trick is to know the size and type of the image and pick a frame that matches these characteristics. Additionally, consider where you want to place the picture and whether you’ll need to adjust the size of the frame because of matting.

Standard Frame Sizes

In most instances, the best way to get the perfect fit for your photos or prints is by purchasing a custom frame. The art print frame sizes that we offer range from 6×8 to 60×96, but we specialize in custom projects. If the size of your artwork lies outside of the common ready-made frame specifications, a custom-made frame provides the ideal fit. When you order a handmade frame, you have the assurance that it will fit your artwork style, size and specifications. Because we make our frames in-house, you can view our different frame styles to match your budget and taste and we can easily accommodate your deadline.

Typically, photo frame size is measured according to the size of the glass that fits into the frame. Also, frame size focuses on the inner dimensions because the outer dimensions will usually be greater. For example, if you have a 5×5 photo and choose a frame with a 2-inch wide moulding, the label on the frame will likely still say 5×5, even though the outer dimensions are 9×9.

The most preferred dimensions are 4×6, 5×7 and 8×10, particularly for home and office applications. However, 5×5 picture frames have gained popularity recently because they allow you to print your square Instagram photos without having to crop them first. The small size also gives you excellent picture quality.

Small Frame Sizes

Small picture frames are ideal for limited spaces, especially when you have many pictures and memories to share. Smaller frames allow you to display more photos on the wall or arrange them strategically on floating shelves. Small frame sizes are also perfect for making collages surrounding a larger central image. Our smallest frame sizes start at 6×8.

Medium Frame Sizes

There is a wide variety of medium picture frame sizes. These are perfect for display in various areas, including walls, desks and bedside tables. The 20×30 size is a common medium-sized frame — however, we can custom-make your frame to match the sizing of your picture.

Large Frame Sizes

Large frames allow you to make a bold statement if you want to enhance your office or living space. They are visible from several feet away, especially when the image inside is attention-grabbing. Large frames may be used for fine art pieces, movie posters, concerts, musical instruments, collages and sports memorabilia. They are great when used as a focal point.

Some standard large frame sizes on the market are 20×24, 24×30 and 24×36. If your picture is larger than this, our custom-made frame will ensure you have the right fit. We’ll create a beautiful frame that perfectly fits your large photo at a fraction of the cost.

Frame Sizes FAQ:

If you do not add matting, you can purchase frames in the same size as your image. This will keep the image looking closely cropped in the frame. However, matting helps add more dimension to your frame. If you add matting, you’ll have to account for the extra inches when you purchase a frame. For example, if you want 2″ of matting for a 16×20 print, you may need a 20×24 frame.

Let’s address some frequently asked questions to help you purchase the right frame:

What Size Frame Should You Use for a 5×7 Print?

When you add matting to a 5×7 print, you may need an 8×10 or 11×14 frame, depending on the thickness of the matting. These prints are ideal if you want a person or a pet to be the focus — 5×7 images are often used for portraits. They’re a little larger than the 4×6 frames, which translates to better visibility. These frames are unique and small enough to fit on shelving yet big enough to see the whole picture.

What Size Frame Should You Use for an 8×10 Print?

The best frame sizes for an 8×10 image with matting are 11×14 or 16×20. You can arrange several 8×10 photos together to create a beautiful gallery wall in large areas instead of using one large piece. This size may be used for family portraits, wedding photos and other professional pictures. Depending on the space you want to fill, you can use larger or smaller mat sizes.

What Size Frame Should You Use for a 9×12 Print?

For a 9×12 print with matting, you’ll need an 11×14 or 16×20 size frame. This size may not be as common as the others, but they add a unique feel to your space. These prints are ideal for capturing events and small group photos.

What Size Frame Should You Use for an 11×14 Print?

To frame an 11×14 photo with matting, you’ll need a 16×20 or larger frame. You may need a larger frame if you choose thicker matting. These are ideal for college diplomas and awards, certificates of achievements and corporate recognition honors.

What Size Frame Should You Use for a 16×20 Print?

The ideal size frame for a 16×20 print with matting is 20×24. These are usually mounted on walls instead of placed on top of tables — you can consider them similar to small posters. This larger size allows for excellent resolutions.

Tips for Choosing the Right Frame Size

Here are five things to do when selecting a frame size:

  • Look at the space: The space you’re working with is crucial when finding the perfect frame. For example, you’ll have different parameters when redesigning the space above your desk compared to the living room wall.
  • Consider the photo type: Different photo types usually have different preferred frames. For example, a family photo may require a thin, minimalistic frame, while a simple scene with a single focus may be placed in a thicker and more detailed frame.
  • Consider the matting: The matting you choose directly impacts the frame size. Typically, photos with thick matting require bigger frames.
  • Measure the space: Measure the area where you plan to hang or place the photo. You may also measure the matting you want the picture in to ensure a perfect fit.
  • Take the picture along: It helps to take the image along when going to the store to select your frame. You can pick a copy of the picture with similar dimensions if carrying the actual image might be problematic. This will give you a better idea of which frame to choose. It will also help you match your frame to your image.

Learn More From Tribeca Printworks

Tribeca Printworks has nearly 40 years of combined experience in the art industry, helping people make the perfect decisions for printing and framing their artwork and photos. We collaborate with you to bring your dreams to reality at competitive prices. Our team is ready and waiting to help you select the right printing materials, frames and treatment options for your project. Contact us today, and take advantage of our free consultation!