Acid attacks cellulose fibres causing paper to discolour, become brittle and breakdown. Acid comes from the lignin in wood. It can also be contained in chemicals used in paper manufacture, lower grade picture framing materials and atmospheric pollution.

Acid Free

This can be a very misleading phrase, sometimes used to describe materials that have acidic content but which have in reality been highly buffered to raise the pH value. We use 100% cotton mount boards that contain absolutely no Lignin.

Adobe RGB (1998)

The RGB working space created by Adobe Systems. Adobe RGB’s gamut is reasonably large; it encompasses most of the colours that can be reproduced by common output devices today, and is considered the standard colour space for converting and storing images.


Materials with a pH level more than 7.0 will contain alkali, neutralising (but not removing) acidic content.


Archival quality is a non-technical and unenforced term that suggests that a material or product is permanent, durable or chemically stable

Artist's Proof

Artist's Proofs are a special subset of the regular limited edition. In the modern day, they are usually created to view how the final image is going to print and are typically the same in quality as the numbered prints. Artist's Proofs usually sell for 10-30% more than the regular edition.



Angled edge cut into a mount aperture or into part of a frame profile.


When an image is printed to the edge of a piece of paper, it is said to bleed to the edge.

Box Frame

Frame designed to house an artwork using fillets (spacers). Generally quite contemporary and glazed.


The addition of an alkaline substance usually Calcium carbonate in order to help neutralise, prevent (or even disguise) acids.


A high shine, smooth finish applied to gold leaf frames by hand polishing with an agate quartz stone.



Acronym for Cyan (process Blue), Magenta (process Red), Yellow and Black, the primary colours of ink used in professional printing process to which Black is added for enhancement or for true Black. Not to be confused with the primary colours of light which are Red, Green and Blue (RGB).

Conservation Level Framing

The Fine Art Trade Gild is the UK trade association for the fine art framing industry and has defined five professional levels of framing which are recognised around the globe. Conservation level is the 2nd highest level designed to visually enhance artwork and offer a high level of protection for approximately 20 years under normal conditions.


Deckled Edge

Paper with uneven, feathered edges which should be float-mounted so that the whole sheet is on view.


Dots Per Inch/Pixels Per Inch. The resolution of an image or how many pixels are defined in the boundary of a square inch. The more correct term is pixels per inch, however dots per inch is often used instead.

Dry Mounting

Bonding paper entirely to a substrate keeping it permanently flat, using a heat activated adhesive on acid free tissue with a flat bed press or rollers. This is very effective on Cibachrome photographs with a 1.5mm Aluminium sheet acting as the backing.



Pronounced zhee-klay the French word giclee is a noun that means a spray or a spurt of liquid. The term giclee print connotes an elevation in printmaking technology. Images are generated from high resolution digital scans and printed with archival quality inks onto various archival substrates including canvas, fine art rag paper, and photo-base paper. The giclee printing process provides better colour accuracy than other means of reproduction.


The highly skilled and delicate application of laying gold-leaf onto a surface.



Used to secure an artwork into a mount along one edge only, so that the artwork can be lifted and the back inspected


Used to describe a material that releases and absorbs moisture to and from its environment (as dictated by conditions)



Term used to describe fixing the corners of a frame together - splicing, screw plug, underpinning, butt join are a few references.



A naturally occurring polymer in wood-pulp paper (e.g.newsprint) that rapidly degrades, typically turning yellow and producing significant levels of acids and other VOCs. Lignin is removed from conservation level mount boards and other conservation framing materials.


Migrating acid

Acid contained within a poor grade mountboard or frame component for example will eventually move into the artwork. Similarly should an artwork already contain acid this will infect a poor grade mountboard.

Museum Level framing

The Fine Art Trade Guild is the UK trade association for the fine art framing industry and has defined five professional levels of framing which are recognised around the globe. Museum is the ultimate level designed to visually enhance artwork and offer the maximum level of protection for up to 35 years under normal conditions.


Rebate Size

The rebate of the frame is the inside of the frame where all of its components rest. Rebate size is the internal measurement which will tell you how big the glazing, backing, fillets etc need to be.


All methods of artwork hinging should be fully reversible. That is to say, if they are removed the object should be able to be returned to its original state prior to application.


Red, Green and Blue. The three colours to which the human visual system, digital cameras and many other devices are sensitive; the colours used in displays and input devices. They represent the additive colour model, where 0% of each component yields black and 100% of each component yields white.



This is a corresponding length of wood used to marry a sub frame to the wall, providing a secure hanging system


Is the backing onto which an artwork is applied or created.



A decorative line drawn around a mount aperture, using a special ruling pen with watercolour paint or ink.

Window Mount

A mountboard cut to the rebate size of a frame with a central aperture (window) created through which to view the artwork image only.