Classic black frames, standing the test of time
With well over 600 different types of moulding across the whole spectrum of colours available from our picture frame website, it still might not come as that much of a surprise that our best-seller is that perennial non-colour black. Similarly, amongst our range of made-to-measure or readymade frames, it's the black ones - whether square, multi-aperture, small or stand-up - that always top our sales charts.
Year after year, black stands the test of time, despite passing fashion fads and style magazines' PR, black remains a firm favourite in the world of picture, print and photo framing. So we've packed our moulding racks with a comprehensive array of wood and aluminium, narrow and wide, flat and domed, stained and painted, ornate and sedate - but all with the common thread of being as black as the night.
Why choose a black frame?
The choice of a black moulding for your frame can arise from a number of considerations. Black is incredibly adaptable and will fit with almost any pre-existing colour scheme. It cannot be pigeon-holed as either traditional or modern - black neatly stands astride both camps.
Where black is almost the default choice in interior design is to frame black and white photos, or movie or rock concert posters. Think of the last themed restaurant or trendy diner you went to - chances are the wall decor was exclusively or predominantly black framed pictures! It's a strong choice without any risk associated with the choice - and black has the priceless attribute of complementing the artwork being framed, rather than competing with it.
'I see a red door...
...and I want it painted black'. The seminal Stones song, Paint it Black, uses the word 13 times (14 including the title!) and describes a relentless urge to turn the world black, whether it's a red door, green sea, girls' summer dresses or a line of cars. They couldn't have been Model T Fords, as they were only ever produced in black according to Henry Ford's famous statement 'You can have it any color you like as long as it's black'.
These days you really can have any colour you want in picture frames, but as with cars, you'll sell many more in a classy, versatile, practical black than a risky, flighty purple or pink!
Degrees of Black
It seems there aren't any. Every other colour is routinely described as light blue, dark green or mid grey for example, but never black. It is resolutely an absolute, with no room for mealy-mouthed shades such as light or dark black. Even white, the non-colour at the other end of the spectrum is carefully classified in our choice of mountboard as off white, iced white or chalk white.
Our best attempt at qualifying the colour black is resorting to earthy geological terms such as anthracite, charcoal or jet black. In desperation, Jagger and Richards try to describe the density of blackness as '.... black as night, black as coal...' in the song's last verse.
Getting to the finish line
In the absence of shades of blackness, the way we differentiate the myriad of black moulding and mountboard options available is with texture and finish. Here is where the copywriters go into overdrive if we're honest. There are choices of stained or painted black wooden mouldings, with reflective, gloss lacquer or matte black finishes, even black bamboo or ebony. Aluminium mouldings, which are so popular in a contemporary context, are distinguished by terms like high gloss, matte or polished finish, cross-hatched finish, even anodized black.
Being the UK's No 1 online picture framer, we are continually asked for how small, how large or how wide we can make a black frame - and although there are some theoretical limits, it's not often we have to turn down an enquiry (unless someone is mistakenly looking for a door frame!). As a rule of thumb, from smaller than a postcard to 1m x 1.4m is bread and butter stuff to us, but even for larger sizes, call us to discuss your big black frame as we have one or two trade tricks up our sleeves.
Bear in mind with any coloured frame, not just black, that the larger its size, the wider the moulding you need. Thin wooden mouldings chosen for really large frame will not have the necessary rigidity - pick a wider moulding or consider aluminium which is inherently more rigid.