What the heck is a Digital Mat, anyway?

I have been posting lots of new art o lately and one of my big products is digitally matted prints.  It’s not something most people have seen, so I thought maybe I should show you what it is and why it’s so cool.  I think it is just about the coolest photo feature since autofocus (well, maybe not quite, but it’s still really cool) and I think you’ll think it’s pretty cool, too.

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I put digital matting on some of our art prints, partly because it’s fun and makes them look great and partly because it keeps the cost down and makes them look great.  Did I mention it looks great?

It does look pretty great, doesn’t it?  While I don’t put digital mats on my signed, numbered editions (I still think traditional matting is best for collector’s fine art prints), I think these great mats really enhance the decor prints that I sell on my site.

Digital matting can mimic a traditional mat, like in the image above, or it can be as creative as I want it to be.  With digital matting, I can make coordinated overlays, special shapes, multiple openings and perfectly coordinated colors without wasting any mat board and without spending half the day slaving away with the mat cutter.  And frankly, I have never figured out how to do this effect on a paper mat and have it look this good.

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Another advantage of digital matting is that, once it’s framed and hung on the wall, it looks virtually indistinguishable from a traditional paper mat.  I have several art prints in my home that are digitally matted and I can’t count the number of people who have felt the need to actually touch the prints to see for themselves that the mats are “not real.”  Here’s a close-up sample so you can see what a digital mat looks like.  Notice that these two samples have different textures.  With digital mats, I can select a texture that best enhances the print I am working with.

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This one here is the corner of the print below, which brings us to another great feature of digital matting.  Not only can I choose from any number of different textures for the mats, I can also select the exact colors to match the print or the room it hangs in.  this is one of my most popular prints, but not everyone wants it in a green mat.  So, I also have a beige mat and an ivory one as well, giving my customers many options for their decor

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I can also make mats in many different shapes and styles.  While I am pretty handy with the mat cutter, it’s not always easy to make different shapes or to get an exact fit for a non-standard size print.  Circles are a pretty tough cut for me, but with digital mats, I don’t have to worry about having an eagle eye.

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I do also have this one in a square because I like having options.

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And finally, what might be the very best part (for me, anyway) of creating digital mats.  I can make multi-opening double mats without ever ruining a piece of matboard.  Multi-opening mats are the bane of my mat-cutting existence, especially since I am particularly fond of double mats.  This means making two sets of multi-opening mats with exact openings.  Usually this means that I will ruin at least one mat board in the process and if it’s a particularly bad day, I may even have to wash my mouth out with soap before the project is over.  And since I sell multiples of these prints, that means lots of mat cutting.  Digital mats are definitely a sanity bonus here.

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And, finally, as you can see in most of these photos, I can create a mat in any size or shape I want.  I am not limited to “traditional” print sizing, which isn’t always the best crop for an art print.  With digital matting, I get to make a mat that fits the print instead of fitting my prints to the mat.

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And last, but certainly not least, digital mats are a much more economical way for me to sell decor prints than paper mats.  I don’t have to stock a large inventory, I’m not limited on colors or styles and they keep the weight of the finished pieces down, allowing me to ship more economically–and I pass all those great savings on to you.

So, now that you’ve seen why digital mats are so cool and how they make my decor prints even cooler, why don’t you stop on by the galleries and pick out some prints for your home or office today.

By the way, if you see a print with a digital mat and you’d like it in a different color mat or style, just drop me a note or put it in the special instructions/comments box on the check-out form and I’ll get you taken care of.

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