I don’t usually like to start off Monday with a rant, but…it’s 2010. 10 years into the 21st century. So, why is the framing industry still only making frames and mats in sizes for traditional 35mm film prints? Seriously. Most of the big camera companies stopped making film cameras years ago. Kodak itself has killed off most of their own print film as well because it’s a digital photography world—yet when you go to buy a frame for your photos you are instantly teleported back to the 1990s when it comes to frame and mat sizing.

Who are they making these frame sizes for?

Now, I know there has to be some semi-legitimate reason for this, and I would love it if somebody from the framing industry would share that with all of us, ’cause cropping our images to fit these outdated sizes keeps us all from being able to go into Target or Crate & Barrel (where the iPhone photo above was taken), or Walmart or wherever and buy one of their good looking, inexpensive, off-the-shelf frames.

Photo Labs Get It. Why not Framers?
I’ve talked here before about using as my online lab and I love that they offer print sizes that actually correspond to the sizes of images our digital cameras actually take. For example, I can order prints in 8×12″ format, or a 16×24″ size (rather than 16×20), so it fits the aspect ratio of my digital camera images perfectly without cropping.

But then, if I want to pop that print into a frame from Target, or Walmart, or wherever, I’m out of luck. The frames, and mats don’t fit, so I have to cut it down to size. Ugh! MPIX would frame and mat my 8×12 print as it’s a standard size for them, but that’s not the point. MPIX has caught up, but why hasn’t the rest of the framing industry? I just don’t get it. Why would anyone shooting digital actually want an 8×10 print today?

Maybe It’s Time for some Marketing Spin?
Now, maybe this is a great marketing idea for some frame manufacturer. Maybe they can be “the one” to bring framing into the 21st century, and start marketing a line of “digital ready” frame and mat sizes (by the way; I’m not saying they should stop selling all 8×10 frames, but they should definitely also offer frames that fit digital cameras as well).

Anyway, just seeing that the other day at Crate & Barrel just made me once again scratch my head and wonder why sizes this outdated are still around in such abundance. I’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas (or conspiracy theories) as to why the framing industry is still in such a fog this far into the game.

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About The Author

Scott is the President of KelbyOne, an online educational community for Photographers, Photoshop and Lightroom users. He's editor and publisher of Photoshop User Magazine, Conference Technical Chair for the Photoshop World Conference, and the author of a string of bestselling Photoshop, Lightroom, and photography books.