A custom picture frame with a text message around a photograph, drawing, painting, certificate, or document can add drama and emotion to the item being framed. The choice of font and placement of text depends on the size of the frame and mat and the feeling that you wish to convey. There are many design options to consider when choosing a custom picture frame that is personalized with text. 

Wood Frames - Wood frames are always a great choice to display images because the warmth and texture of the wood compliment an image without taking any focus or attention away from it. Frame shops can personalize a wood frame with the names of people in the photograph, the date of the event depicted, and even the words of a poem or the lyrics of a song. Words can be added to a wood frame in the following ways:

  • Etched, Carved and Engraved Wood Frames - Words can be laser etched, carved, and/or engraved, onto a wood frame which allows them to be recessed deeply and create a sensual texture that can be felt with the hand. To give the words more prominence, the interior of the etched, carved, and engraved letters can be painted with an oil-based or acrylic paint in a contrasting color to the frame and mat. 
  • Painted Wood Frames - Words can be printed onto the frame and then hand painted or stained in a prominent color to facilitate reading the text from a distance. 

Metal Frames - Metal frames are simple and can look very cool and official. Text can be added to a metal frame by these methods: 

  • Etched Metal Frames - Words can be chemically etched into a metal frame for a very precise and hard-edge effect. 
  • Painted Metal Frames - Words can be painted on a metal frame with a custom-cut stencil in the size and font desired. 

Printed Display Mats - A wide mat surrounding an object being framed offers another opportunity to add personalized text. A mat gives ample space for written text so it is very conducive to song lyrics or poems. One very personal and effective presentation is to print a message to someone depicted in the image in a friend or relative's own handwriting. The handwritten message can be digitally scanned and then permanently printed on the display mat. 

Text Placement and Font Choices - There are many design options available when you write text on a custom picture frame. Here are some options that you have regarding text placement and font choices: 

  • Straight Text - In English, one method of writing on a custom frame is to choose an attractive font and place the text in a straight reading order going from left to right, starting from the top and progressing to the bottom. Other languages can also be written in their own direction and orientation.  
  • Collaged Text - Another method of writing on a custom frame is to collage the words in different sizes, fonts and orientations so that there are no discernible sentences but only appropriate words that describe the feelings and emotions contained in the image framed. This is currently a very popular look in printed materials.    
  • Font Choices - It is best to choose a font that reflects the feeling and emotion of the item being framed. If it is a quiet and contemplative image being framed, a script font would be appropriate to the image. If the image being framed is memorializing a sporting event or other physical activity, then thick, block letters would look best.  

Discuss your framing and matting ideas with the frame shop of your choice and ask to see examples of other picture frames that they have customized with text. In that way you and your framer can come up with a personalized frame and text choice that exactly reflects what you want for the image being framed. 

For custom picture frames, contact a company such as Frame It On Bloor Inc.