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How to Display Your Map on the Wall

Discover the differences between plaque mounting, traditional framing, and foamcore mounting

as methods of displaying artwork, including cost, aesthetics, and practicality.


Overview of Plaque Mounting, Traditional Framing & Foamcore Mounting

Plaque mounting, traditional framing, and foamcore mounting are essential techniques in art display, each serving distinct purposes and catering to different needs. Plaque mounting involves adhering a print to a sturdy substrate like MDF or hardboard, offering a sleek and contemporary appearance suitable for various artworks. On the other hand, traditional framing encompasses a more elaborate setup that includes matting, glazing, a frame, and backing to provide comprehensive protection and enhancement for the artwork. This method is preferred for valuable or sentimental pieces that require archival-grade preservation and a classic presentation.

Regarding foamcore mounting, it stands out for its versatility, cost-effectiveness, and lightweight nature, making it a popular choice for temporary displays and projects with budget constraints. This method involves securing artwork to a foam board for support and presentation, often used for posters, temporary exhibits, and presentations. By understanding the nuances of plaque mounting, traditional framing, and foamcore mounting, individuals can make informed decisions based on their specific requirements, ensuring that their artwork is displayed beautifully and safeguarded effectively.

Plaque Mounting: Explained

Plaque mounting is a versatile method that uniquely showcases artwork by securely adhering a print onto a sturdy substrate such as MDF or hardboard. This process results in a clean and modern presentation that eliminates the need for a traditional frame. One of the key advantages of plaque mounting is its lightweight nature, which makes it a practical choice for various settings, especially in environments where the risk of breakage is a concern. For instance, in high-traffic areas like office spaces or children's rooms, plaque mounting provides a stylish yet safe solution for displaying artwork without the fragility of glass commonly found in traditional framing.

Moreover, plaque mounting is known for its frameless design, giving the artwork a contemporary edge that can enhance the aesthetic appeal of modern interiors. By forgoing the use of glass, plaque mounting also eliminates the risk of glare or reflections that may detract from the viewing experience of the artwork. This method is often favored for photographs, posters, or prints that do not necessitate the protection of glazing, allowing the colors and details of the artwork to remain vivid and uninterrupted. Additionally, plaque mounting offers the convenience of easy maintenance, as the surface can be wiped clean without the need for special cleaning solutions, making it a practical choice for busy households or commercial spaces. Plaque mounted maps are easily displayed with a keyhole hanging system to attach to screws in the wall. 

Here at Metsker Maps, we plaque mount a variety of different maps and posters that we stock and have ready for same day purchase. 

We also can have almost any of our maps or prints plaque mounted to order. Turn around time is typically two weeks, and the plaqued maps can be shipped to you (add another week for delivery).

We are more than happy to provide a cost estimate in person, over the phone or by email!

Traditional Framing: Overview

Traditional framing is a time-honored method encompassing various components to safeguard and elevate the presentation of artwork.

In addition to providing protection, using glass in traditional framing protects against dust, moisture, and potential physical damage, ensuring the piece's longevity. For example, when framing a delicate watercolor painting, the glass in traditional framing prevents the artwork from being exposed to environmental elements, preserving its colors and quality over time.

Moreover, traditional framing offers a high degree of customization, allowing art enthusiasts to tailor the framing elements to their liking.

This customization extends to selecting various frame styles, mat colors, and glazing options. For instance, a vintage photograph may be best complemented by an ornate gold frame with a classic white mat, enhancing the nostalgic feel of the image.

The flexibility in design choices within traditional framing enables individuals to create a cohesive and visually appealing display that resonates with the artwork's aesthetic and the surrounding decor.

In the store we have a dozen or so framed antique reproduction maps that are displayed on our wall and can be purchased in store only.





Foamcore Mounting: Key Points

Foamcore mounting involves adhering artwork to a lightweight foam board for support and display. This method is known for its versatility, accommodating various types of art and designs, from posters to photographs and artwork for presentations. Due to its lightweight nature, foamcore mounting is ideal for situations where the weight of a frame is a concern, such as hanging artwork on walls that may not support heavier materials. Foamcore mounting is also an ideal solution for those wanting to mark past travels or future destinations with map pins!

Moreover, foamcore mounting is favored for its cost-effectiveness, making it a practical option for individuals looking for affordable framing solutions without compromising display quality.

For example, in educational settings where student artwork is frequently showcased and changed, foamcore mounting offers a convenient and budget-friendly way to exhibit these pieces.

Additionally, the ease of handling foamcore makes it a popular choice for DIY framing projects, allowing individuals to mount their artwork with minimal effort and expense.

Metsker Maps also has a large number of maps on display in the store that are foamcore mounted (and some with a black edging that gives it a more "framed" look). 

We don't resell the foamcore mounted display maps, but we can have any map in the store foamcore mounted for you, with a quick two or three day turnaround. 

However, due to its lightweight nature, no shipping of foamcore mounted maps is done...only in store pickup.

Pros vs. Cons Comparison

When considering different framing options, weighing the pros and cons of plaque mounting, traditional framing, and foamcore mounting is crucial. With its contemporary and frameless appearance, plaque mounting is ideal for showcasing modern artwork or photography. For instance, a minimalist black and white photograph can look striking when plaque mounted, enhancing its clean and sleek aesthetic. However, it's essential to note that plaque mounting might provide a different level of protection than traditional framing, leaving the artwork more susceptible to damage over time.

On the other hand, traditional framing offers a timeless and sophisticated presentation that complements a wide range of art styles, from oil paintings to vintage prints. Imagine a delicate watercolor painting with sentimental value - traditional framing with UV-protective glass can safeguard the artwork from fading due to sunlight exposure, preserving it for generations. Despite its elegance, traditional framing can be heavier and costlier than a plaque or foamcore mounting option, making it a better choice for valuable or irreplaceable pieces requiring utmost care and protection.

In contrast, foamcore mounting stands out for its lightweight nature and budget-friendly appeal, making it a popular choice for showcasing temporary exhibits or children's artwork. For example, a vibrant poster promoting a local event can be readily displayed using foamcore mounting, allowing for easy transportation and setup without compromising visual impact. Nevertheless, it's essential to consider that foamcore mounting may offer different long-term preservation benefits than traditional framing, especially for artwork with significant archival value.

Suitable Uses for Each Method

With its sleek and modern look, the plaque mounting is perfect for contemporary spaces that aim for a minimalist aesthetic. For example, a series of black-and-white photographs in a trendy urban loft would benefit from plaque mounting, enhancing the overall modern vibe of the room. On the other hand, traditional framing shines when showcasing valuable pieces with sentimental value. Imagine a delicate watercolor painting passed down through generations; the archival protection provided by conventional framing ensures its longevity and preserves its sentimental worth.

Foamcore mounting, with its lightweight and cost-effective nature, finds its niche in situations where temporary displays are required. For instance, a university poster presentation featuring various research findings may opt for foamcore mounting due to its ease of handling and budget-friendly characteristics. The versatility of foamcore makes it an excellent choice for educational purposes or short-term exhibitions where artworks may need to be easily transported or changed frequently. Each method caters to specific needs in artwork display, offering a tailored solution based on durability, aesthetic appeal, and budget considerations.

Cost Comparison

When considering the cost aspect, it is essential to note that plaque mounting is typically a more economical choice compared to traditional framing. This cost-effectiveness is primarily due to excluding glass and intricate framing components involved in traditional framing processes. For instance, if you have a series of family photographs that you want to display in a budget-friendly manner, plaque mounting would be a suitable option. This method lets you showcase your photos with a modern and frameless look while keeping the expenses reasonable.

On the other hand, traditional framing costs can vary significantly based on several factors, such as the quality of materials used, the style of the frame selected, and the overall size of the artwork. For example, if you have a valuable piece of art that holds sentimental value and requires archival protection, traditional framing would be the preferred choice despite the potentially higher costs. This method provides a classic and elegant presentation for your artwork and ensures its long-term preservation. The durability and timeless appeal of traditional framing make it a worthwhile investment for cherished pieces that deserve special attention.

Conclusion: Key Differences and Considerations

In conclusion, when considering plaque mounting, traditional framing, and foamcore mounting for displaying artwork, it is crucial to understand each method's unique characteristics and benefits. Plaque mounting provides a sleek, frameless look for contemporary spaces or settings with high activity levels. For instance, a vibrant digital print of a cityscape can be beautifully showcased through plaque mounting in a modern living room, adding a chic touch to the decor. On the other hand, traditional framing offers a classic and elegant presentation, making it suitable for valuable or sentimental artwork that requires archival protection. For example, a vintage oil painting passed down through generations can be preserved and displayed using traditional framing, emphasizing its historical significance and aesthetic appeal.

Moreover, foamcore mounting is a lightweight and cost-effective option for temporary displays or projects with budget constraints. Consider a series of promotional posters for an upcoming event that can be easily mounted on foamcore boards for a professional and affordable presentation at the venue. By understanding the pros and cons of each method, individuals can make informed decisions based on their preferences, the nature of the artwork, and the intended setting. It is essential to weigh factors such as durability, aesthetics, budget, and long-term preservation to choose the most suitable framing option that effectively complements and protects the artwork.