What trends and styles are likely to influence picture framing in 2013?In 2012 the push towards natural timbers was gaining momentum with a solid swing to the simpler lines of Danish or Scandanavian inspired furniture. This trend is set to continue with picture frame manufacturers and suppliers opting for the clean natural lines of raw timber veneers and unfinished natural hardwoods.All timber picture frames used to be finished in some way either by staining and varnishing or by the application of paint or wax.The range of what seems to be unfinished frame moldings continues to explode with a larger number of combinations of raw timbers coupled with raw veneered or even cross-cut ply style veneers reminiscent of the early Arquarti mouldings of the early eighties but with a coarser natural look using some exotic timbers combined with manufactured artificial veneers. Well not totally artificial, but more a thin shaved veneer of a previously laminated timber like birch or beech.When these frames first started to appear on the market I thought you were supposed to apply a finish to protect the timber but people kept asking for more and more natural raw timber frames without any finish. I’m not sure where the trend was established but some suppliers are calling their ranges “Nordic” or “Uber Nordic”I think they have a more oriental background with the influence from the beautiful natural timber frames that are found in Japan.Multiculturalism has surely and securely implanted itself into the world of the picture frame.In Australia we are seeing an unprecedented rise in paintings acquired when holidaying or travelling overseas. Whether or not this is due to the impacts of a strong Australian dollar or just the fact that Australians seem determined to cross countries off their bucket lists. This trend is well intrenched with a wide variety of indigenous art works being presented for framing.The more discerning traveller is seeking out locally inspired “real” artwork as opposed to the endless stream of copies or “Hong-Kong” style oils of the past. Of course there are still numerous oil painting on canvas, whether topical scenes from the country being visited or blatant copies of Western paintings, being presented at framing shops all over the country.The numbers of works coming from Egypt seems to remain strong with many clients saying they have just visited or they visited before the troubles.Photography tourism is alive and well with some of our best serious amateurs fronting up with shots from Iran or Burma.It seems that the enthusiastic tourist is wanting to display more and more of their travel photos and not surprisingly, memorabilia.The growth in memorabilia framing in very strong.
Sure the football jerseys and other signed professional sports memorabilia my be easing somewhat particularly with the cloud over cycling that has now been fully exposed by confessing sport’s stars on popular television shows, like Oprah, but the trend in framing objects is still strong and will remain so.I remember when I talked with Vivian Kistler about the diversity that framers needed to be taking way back in the late nineties. Vivian was wholeheartedly behind framers developing the business of object framing.She said to me “David, go out and find all the things people have collected over the years, their model trains, tin toys from their childhood and trinkets from their travels and get busy framing them with style and panache”.Vivian had it right.Her insights have become the truth of today.Now, some twenty years later, the object frame, shadow-box frame, whatever you want to call it, is still one of the most rewarding areas to target as a custom framer both from the point of a sound business decision but more importantly from one of job satisfaction.I predict the rise in the range of deeper frame profiles to accommodate the increasing demand for personalized memory boxes.Photos can be archived on Facebook or Pinterest.Your itinerary can be tweeted on Twitter.Objects must be framed at the local framer.Worldwide trends in picture framing are always influenced by the affluent amongst us.People who can afford to both display their wealth and enjoy the pleasure that quality picture framing brings.As China, India and the next wave of new middle class emerges they will be demanding higher quality and better finished decor products, frames included.In the West, as economies recover, the less affluent will again begin to spend some of their hard-earned cash on improving their lifestyles. The modern custom framer needs to position themselves ready for the resurgence of the everyday customer who desires that little bit of luxury that a quality picture frame affords.I don’t think the West will see a huge growth in just framed decorator posters because the overall splashing of money for this year’s fashionable posters is long gone as consumers continue to save for retirement or a rainy day.People will still frame things that inspire them, improve their social status or add to their emotional well-being. Picture framing in 2013 will start to see the recovery that will sweep the world as the next wave of individuals enter the creative age that modern society is fostering. As individuals become increasingly employed in creative industries their standard of living must rise with the worlds that they are creating. Picture framing will track that rise.I’m not sure in which form or what style will be the most popular in say 2020 but one thing is for certain, it will be a frame around something that someone is emotionally attached to.