All of your hard work, patience, and time have paid off and you've finally been sent your official diploma, acknowledging your accomplishment with fine golden text and shiny seals. But what should you do with it now? Certainly, you could leave it inside its puffy leather folder, but it's not exactly easy to display like that, is it? Your other option would be, of course, to frame it, allowing you to not only display your hard-earned document on the wall of your office or study, but also protect it from the elements.
When preparing to have your diploma framed, there are a few things you may want to consider:
1. Are there other elements you'd like to frame?
In addition to framing your diploma, it is possible to combine other items that have significance to you. For example, you could include the tassel from your graduation cap, or a photo of yourself receiving your accolade, or your Summa Cum Laude honor cords. One of our skilled framing consultants would be more than happy to help you figure out the best possible way to include all elements!
2. Are you choosing archival materials?
Diplomas are one-of-a-kind. You want to create an environment for your document that will preserve it far into the future. There are many reasons to use archival materials (acid-free materials which are specially designed to slow paper degradation) and we always recommend them for diplomas.
3. Do you want your document to be mounted?
Mounting is the process (usually using heat activated adhesives) of permanently attaching your diploma to a board. The advantage is that the paper will always be flat, however, some diplomas can be ruined in the process, like those with gold seals or those printed on real vellum or sheepskin. Mounting can be a great aesthetic choice, but is not always necessary, and sometimes it's just a bad idea! Make sure to work with a framer who is informed and experienced -- like us! -- to help you determine if mounting is right for you and your diploma.
4. Types of mats?
We've already discussed the option of using archival quality materials, but you'll also want to think about the color and texture of mats that appeal to you. For instance, do you want to incorporate your school colors? Do you want to use mats wrapped in fabric to give the piece a little extra oomph? Do you want to have only one mat, or would you like to stack several, or perhaps have a creamy mat with a blue-painted bevel? There are many different ways to mix and match mat elements to achieve the perfect look!
5. Type of glass?
You will definitely want a protective layer of glass or plexi-glass over the face of your document. You have options concerning whether or not the glass has a UV barrier coating, and whether or not the glass reduces reflection/glare. UV glass blocks 97% of harmful UV rays, protecting your diploma and mats from fading, and is a hot recommendation from this framer! Whether or not you need glass that reduces reflection/glare is something you'll want to consider, especially if you already know where your framed piece will go -- if it's in an area with strong light, anti-reflective glass may be a welcome component for you. You could also have the best of both worlds and choose the Cadillac of glass: Museum Glass, which is both UV-protected and anti-reflective.
6. What's your frame style?
Your diploma doesn't have to look like everyone else's! One of the truly wonderful things about custom framing is that you can combine elements to create a specific look that is unique to you. Do you prefer a frame that is streamlined and smooth, or one that has more traditional decorative details? Do you want a bright color or something more neutral? Do you want a thinner frame that will sit quietly around your diploma, or something wide that will have a strong presence on your wall? There are thousands of frames to choose from, and with the help of a framing consultant, you are sure to find the one that compliments both your document and your style.
So now what? Well, grab your diploma and come on over! Here at Artists Frame Service our knowledgeable staff of framing consultants are always on hand and happy to help. We even offer a smart deal specifically designed to make your diploma look great without breaking your bank account! It's our Diploma Frame Package, and it's yours for only $80! Please click for more details.