FATG Framing Levels

Framing your artwork should enhance its visual appearance and equally importantly help protect it from the harmful effects of the environment. The Fine Art Trade Guild (FATG) has established the FATG Framing Levels; Minimum, Budget, Commended, Conservation and Museum. The level of protection for your artwork increases dramatically as you progress along these framing levels below.

Commended or better stillĀ Conservation level framing is recommended for original artwork or artwork that has any significant financial and sentimental value.

Minimum Level

Provides a basic frame at minimal cost. The price of the frame overrides visual appearance and quality. Ready-made often frames fall into this category though many ready-made frames fall below this standard in terms of build quality.

Budget Level

Provides a good looking frame at a budget price. No real effort is made to protect the artwork. Frames are likely to be plastic or MDF wrapped in sticky-back plastic to give a wood effect, but are generally well made. This is a reasonable method of framing for artwork like posters or photos that have little or no value or can be re-printed readily and cheaply.

Commended Level

Provides framing which visually enhances the artwork and offers moderate protection from airborne pollution and handling for around five years. Framing materials will be of a higher quality, solid woods or woods with a more appealing and stylish finish, than at the lower levels. The methods of framing should ideally be reversible so your artwork can at some stage be safely removed from the frame for reframing. This level of framing is suitable for artwork of limited value and/or moderate sentimental value.

Conservation Level

Provides framing which visually enhances the artwork and offers a high level of protection from physical damage, airborne pollution and acids generated by framing materials. Protection from harmful UV light could be considered at this level. High quality conservation grade materials are used throughout and the framing methods are fully reversible so the artwork can be removed from the frame intact. This level of framing is suitable for original artwork and limited edition prints of moderate to high value as well as items of high sentimental value that cannot be replaced. Framing at this level should protect your artwork for up twenty years, but we recommend you have the framing serviced every five years to ensure everything is as it should be.

Museum Level

Provides framing which visually enhances the artwork and offers the ultimate level of protection from physical damage, airborne pollution and acids generated by framing materials for up to thirty-five years.


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