Commercial & Contract Picture Framing: An Expert Guide

Get our essential tips for successfully navigating the process of contract and commercial picture framing. Whether you're looking to find a reputable framer, request quotes, or manage your project, this guide has got you covered.

Commercial and contract framing services allow artists, designers and businesses to frame artwork and photographs at scale.

We’ve supplied thousands of quotes to professionals for framing artwork, ranging from simple requests for basic A4 frames to highly detailed quotes where we need to consider international deliveries and artwork installations for corporate clients.

Ordering many unique frames for large projects can be complex, so choosing the right framer and understanding the process is important. Whether you’re a seasoned art consultant or a business looking to start selling framed posters, this guide will help you to get complex or wholesale framing projects off to the right start.

Find the best framer for your project

As somebody looking for reputable contract picture framers in your area or online, it’s essential to consider various factors such as their experience, portfolio, customer reviews and capabilities.

You’ll want to start by creating a shortlist of potential framers.

First, research and gather information on framers with experience handling projects of the type you have. You can use search engines, review sites, and word-of-mouth recommendations to identify potential candidates. Collect contact information and make a note of any relevant details, such as their location (if you want to visit) and availability.

Next, review each framer’s portfolio to understand their capabilities and working practices. Again, focus on those who specialise in your required type of framing, and compile a list of potential candidates.

Ensure potential framers have the qualifications and certifications to handle commercial and contract framing projects. For example, eFrame is a member of the Fine Art Trade Guild. This ensures we have the necessary training and expertise to handle your project. A reputable framer, will typically display a portfolio of their past work on their website, allowing you to assess the quality and variety of their work to ensure they possess the necessary skills and experience for your project.

The framer you choose should be responsive to your inquiries and able to communicate clearly throughout the framing process. Consider sending an email or making a phone call to gauge their level of responsiveness using their contact page.

Finally, schedule a consultation with each framer on your shortlist. This is an opportunity to ask questions, review samples of their work, and get a sense of their professionalism and expertise.

Customer spotlight - commercial framing
Make sure to check out the picture framer’s experience and case studies

Top questions to ask when looking for the best framer

Along with the above, the best way to find a trustworthy contract framer is to ask questions.

  • What is your experience with commercial framing projects?
  • Do you have the production capacity to manufacture the volume of frames I require?
  • Can you provide references from previous commercial clients?
  • What materials and techniques do you use?
  • Do you offer delivery or installation services for commercial projects?
  • What is your policy on returns and defects?
  • Do you offer guarantees on your work or materials?
  • How do you ensure the safety and security of valuable or delicate items during the framing process?
  • Can you provide itemised quotes that break down the costs of materials, labour, and additional services?
  • Can you provide a clear timeline for the project and milestones for reviewing progress?
  • How do you handle unexpected issues or challenges that may arise during the framing process?
  • Do you offer any additional services or resources that I find useful?

Asking these questions can help you identify a reliable framing partner who can meet your needs and provide high-quality work.

Make sure you check out the framers website for information about their commercial and contract services and case studies.

Request quotes

When preparing to contact your shortlist of framers, it’s important to provide a clear and comprehensive project brief.

What does the framer need to provide a quote?

  • How many pieces need to be framed? Count the number of pieces you need framed and provide an estimate to the framer.
  • What are the dimensions of the pieces? Measure each piece’s height, width, and depth (if applicable) and provide this information to the framer. If you need the frames making to an external size rather than internal size, make this clear.
  • What artwork or objects are being framed? Identify the type of artwork or objects you need to be framed, such as paintings, prints, photographs, or certificates, and let the framer know.
  • What is the desired frame style? Determine the style of frame you want, such as ornate gold frames, sleek modern frames, or wooden frames with a rustic finish.
  • What glass or acrylic glazing type do you prefer? Decide on the type of glazing you want for your frames, such as non-reflective glass, UV-protective acrylic, or museum-quality glass. We have a handy acrylic vs glass guide to help you choose.
  • Do you prefer any special materials or finishes? Determine if you have any special material or finish preferences, such as matte black frames, hand-painted frames, or distressed wood frames.
  • What is the project timeline? Decide when you need the project to be completed and communicate this to the framer, so they can assess their availability and ensure they can meet your deadline.
  • What is the budget for the project? Determine your budget for the project and communicate this to the framer, so they can provide a quote that fits within your budget. They might tell you up front that the budget is unrealistic given the requirements and offer advice to bring the cost down. There are lots of things that affect the cost – we have a guide all about how frame prices are calculated.
  • How do you want the frames packed? Discuss the packaging and delivery of the finished framed artwork or object to ensure that it arrives safely and in good condition.
  • Are there any special requirements or considerations? Identify any special requirements or considerations for your project, such as international shipping and delivery, installation services needed, or conservation framing techniques required for valuable items, and communicate this to the framer. This will ensure that the framer’s quote covers all aspects of the project, reducing the chance of surprising costs later .
Contract and commercial framing quote request template
Our contract and commercial framing team can provide bespoke quote templates

What else to include

Besides providing the framer with a clear project brief and scope of work, here are some additional suggestions to help make the framing process easier and more successful.

If possible, provide high-resolution images of the item to be framed and any visual references for the desired frame style. This will help the framer better understand the project and offer a more accurate quote.

When requesting quotes from framers, ask for an itemised quote that breaks down the costs of materials, labour, and additional services. This will allow you to compare quotes more easily and understand the value offered by each framer.

Finally, inquire about guarantees and aftercare. Find out if the framer offers any guarantees on their work or materials, as well as their policies concerning returns and defects. This information will help you choose a framer who can provide the level of service and quality you require.

Evaluating the quotes

After receiving the quote, you should review it thoroughly to ensure you understand all the details. Pay special attention to whether the sizes are correct. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the framer for clarification. Remember, although the cost is an important factor, also take into consideration the materials, turnaround time, and any additional requirements specific to your project when making your decision.

Once you’re happy with the price and confident of the framer’s reputation, request samples of the materials used in the project, such as frame mouldings, mount board, and glazing. This will allow you to assess the quality and ensure the materials complement your artwork or object. We offer free-of-charge samples for all project and commercial clients, including fully completed frame samples.

You should take the opportunity to discuss the project together one more time in greater detail to ensure you both have a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations. This should include discussing specific techniques or conservation methods for delicate or valuable items.

The quote usually includes a timeline and schedule, but before ordering, it’s always worth checking that their estimates are still accurate. This will help to ensure the project runs smoothly and is completed on time.

Top tips for managing your commercial framing projects with your framer

Once the order is in production, it’s important to maintain regular communication with the framer to ensure the project stays on track and meets your expectations. This can be done through phone calls, emails, or in-person visits.

Early on, you should try to establish a point of contact to liaise with. By maintaining contact with a particular individual within the framing company, it’s easier to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding project goals, timelines, and expectations. This also allows you to address any unexpected issues or challenges that may arise during the project, such as delays in materials delivery or changes to the artwork specifications.

We offer an account managed bespoke and high-volume contract framing service.

Check in regularly with the framer to see how the project is progressing. This will help you identify any issues or challenges early on. Promptly address any concerns or issues to prevent delays or problems.

Provide feedback to the framer throughout the project to ensure that the framing meets your expectations. This can include feedback on the materials used, the framing style, and the accuracy of measurements.

Establish a timeline for the project that includes milestones for reviewing progress and a completion date. This will help you and the framer stay on track and ensure the project is completed on time.

Conduct a final inspection of the framed artwork or object before delivery or installation.

By maintaining regular communication and addressing any issues promptly, you can effectively manage the project with the framer and ensure that the final product meets your expectations.

Finally, after everything has been completed, consider providing a testimonial or feedback to the framer. This can help build a positive and lasting relationship with the framer, which is vital to ensuring the successful completion of complex commercial projects.

Find a contract framer

For 25 years we have a provided businesses with world-class framing products and services. Our capability and flexibility allow us to tackle even the most demanding framing projects with ease.