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What Diplomas Say

When I’m in a doctor’s office (or attorney’s or financial consultant’s), I always look on the wall for framed diplomas and credentials. I take note of what university or medical school they attended and then I look at the professionalism of the framing. Is it just because I’m in the business or do you do the same thing?

When I see Walmart frames on a professional diploma, it makes me wonder.

This person went to school for many years, spent a fortune on his or her education and worked very hard.  Such an investment in time, money and effort to earn a degree (and especially an advanced degree) warrants spending more than $10 to hang up your shingle.

The Art Shop has been framing diplomas and other mementos of milestones (invitations, birth announcements, etc.) since 1899. We have framed them simply for under $100 and with bells and whistles for over $500.  You don’t have to spend a fortune to project a professional image.  You just have to think long term.

Often, college graduates will come in and ask for matting to match the school colors. I usually try to talk them out of it.  A Carolina or Duke blue inner mat doesn’t bother me, but Clemson’s orange and purple does.  We’ve had clients ask us to put these intense colors on outer mats and it makes me cringe when I can’t convince them otherwise.
While school colors are significant when rooting for your favorite basketball or football team, they don’t mean a lot when you look at your framed diploma ten years down the road and they mean diddly to people seeking your professional advice.

As a general rule, diplomas look more polished and professional with matting.   If space is an issue or if a diploma is oversized, substituting a linen liner or using a larger ornate frame without mats looks nice. Neutral outer mats – matching the color of the diploma – look great with fillets, contrasting inner mats, pen lines, v-grooves, etc. The extras add to the look, but aren’t essential.  What IS essential is creating a professional look you will still enjoy ten and twenty years from now. We can help you with this.

The next time you go into a professional’s office, look on the wall. If the diplomas don’t look nice, give him my card. (Just kidding.)

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