What size frame for a3 print?

Choosing the Right Frame Size for an A3 Print

Selecting the appropriate frame size for your A3 print can significantly enhance its presentation and ensure it complements the artwork or photograph effectively. A3 prints, with their dimensions of 297mm x 420mm (11.7 x 16.5 inches), are popular for various types of artwork, including posters, photographs, and fine art prints. Here’s a guide to help you choose the perfect frame for your A3 print.

Understanding Frame Size and Matting

When framing an A3 print, you have two primary options: using a frame that matches the print size exactly or incorporating a mat (mount) to add a border around the print, which can enhance its visual appeal.

  1. Exact Size Frame (A3 Frame)
  • Dimensions: 297mm x 420mm (11.7 x 16.5 inches)
  • Pros: This option provides a clean, modern look with the print fitting precisely within the frame. It’s a straightforward choice that works well for minimalist aesthetics.
  • Cons: It offers no additional space around the print, which might make the presentation feel tight or confined.
  1. Framing with a Mat
  • Frame Size with Mat: To add a mat, you’ll need a larger frame. A common choice for A3 prints with a mat is an 18 x 24-inch (45.7 x 61 cm) frame. The mat itself typically provides a border of 2-3 inches (5-7.5 cm) around the print.
  • Pros: Using a mat can enhance the artwork by providing a visual buffer between the print and the frame, drawing attention to the artwork. Mats also prevent the print from touching the glass, which can help preserve it.
  • Cons: This option can be more expensive and requires careful selection of the mat color to complement the artwork.

Choosing the Right Frame Style

The style of the frame is as important as its size. Here are some popular styles:

  1. Modern Frames
  • Characteristics: Sleek, clean lines, often made of metal or smooth wood.
  • Best For: Contemporary art, photography, minimalist prints.
  1. Classic Frames
  • Characteristics: Ornate designs, often with gold or silver finishes, and detailed carvings.
  • Best For: Traditional art, vintage prints, and formal portraits.
  1. Rustic Frames
  • Characteristics: Natural wood finishes, distressed or weathered look.
  • Best For: Nature photography, landscape art, or artwork with a rustic theme.

Practical Considerations

  1. Quality of Materials: Ensure the frame and mat are made of high-quality, acid-free materials to protect the print from damage over time.
  2. Glass or Acrylic: Decide between glass or acrylic glazing. Glass is scratch-resistant but heavier, while acrylic is lighter and shatter-resistant.
  3. Hanging Mechanism: Check the frame’s hanging mechanism to ensure it is sturdy and easy to install.


Selecting the right frame size for your A3 print is a balance between aesthetics and practicality. An exact size frame offers a sleek, modern look, while framing with a mat provides a more classic and enhanced presentation. Consider the style of the frame to complement the artwork and ensure the materials used are of high quality to preserve your print. Whether you choose a minimalist frame or an ornate one, the right frame will elevate your A3 print and make it a stunning focal point in any space.