Compare and Contrast: Framing Services

Because some photos deserve to be displayed IRL.

by The IMBOLDN Editors


Transitioning your photo albums from a social media-only existence to real-world displays is a kind of millennial rite of passage, but let’s face it, it’s not just the younger set that’s longing for new ways to show off selfies and vacation pics. Most of us have a cache of prints and digital folders full of images we’d love to show off. The hurdle: actually getting off our duffs to get them sized, cut, matted, and properly framed. Just typing all that out is exhausting…

Luckily, there’s a new crop of business designed to help customers just like you create artistic masterpieces using your own collection of photos, posters, and artwork.


For Guys Short on Time and Patience: Framebridge

Sometimes you want to oversee every step of a project from start to finish; other times, you’d pay a million bucks just to have an expert take a task off your plate. Except no one really wants to pay a million dollars for pretty much anything. Framebridge combines convenience and affordability without sacrificing design options. Upload your design or opt to send in your artwork, and you can start the process with either the click of a button or by putting your piece in the handy-dandy prepaid mail-in tube Framework sends out upon request. The frames themselves come in both slim and wide varieties and include a range of finishes, including bamboo, pewter, antiqued silver, solid black walnut wood, and gold beaded.

Pricing: $39 and up

Shipping Cost: Free (both ways)

How to Submit: Upload or mail in

Average Turnaround Time: 3-5 business days + shipping for uploads; 7-10 business days + shipping for mail-ins

Other Products/Services: Design assistance (free); gallery wall consultation ($99+, including a $39 frame credit)


For Audiophiles and Guys Who Love Quality: Level Frames

Level Frames is all about museum-quality materials. Artwork and photos are mounted using archival tape and mylar corners, mats meet the standards used for long-term conservation (acid- and lignin-free), and the frames themselves are handcrafted using sustainably sourced wood. Even the photo printing is top-notch, thanks to top-of-the-line printers and full-color archival pigment inks. It’s not just about family pics and modern art, though; Level Frames also creates collage frames and they specialize in stunning vinyl displays.

Pricing: $50 and up

Shipping Cost: Varies based on shipping destination and package size

How to Submit: Upload only; customers can also order custom frames and insert artwork at home

Average Turnaround Time: 2-3 business days + shipping

Other Products/Services: Fine art printing (giclee); vinyl record shopping and mounting; integrated art shop


For the Master Gift-Giver or Creative Professional: Simply Frame

Simply Framed has a lot going for it, including a fuss-free creation process and a collection of frames that runs the gamut from classic styles to wider options to both gallery-style and old-school metal. Funky options like floating canvases are great for contemporary spaces, while clear “Plexibox” frames work for 2D art as well as showcasing thicker mediums like quilting samples, button collections, and other mementos. There’s something for everyone, making this a great site for outside-the-box gift-givers, and Simply Framed has special programs for professionals and wholesales interested in forging a partnership.

Pricing: $55 and up

Shipping Cost: Free

How to Submit: Upload or send in via prepaid mailer

Average Turnaround Time: 3-5 days + shipping

Other Products/Services: Pro partnerships, hanging kits


For the Guy Who Just Wants to Get it Done: Frame It Easy

Suffer from analysis paralysis? Need a frame without the frills? Find yourself overwhelmed when you’re faced with too many choices? Frame It Easy is ideal for people who want to get their artwork or photos printed, framed, and mailed in short order and without hours of hemming and hawing over design options. Click through a simple 4-tier drop-down menu and enter your artwork size, preferred frame style, mat option, and cover backing, double-check the preview, and pay the nice people their money.

Pricing: $10.43 and up

Shipping Cost: Varies depending on shipping destination and package size

How to Submit: Upload only; customers can also order custom frames and insert artwork at home

Average Turnaround Time: 3-5 business days + shipping

Other Products/Services: None


For the Guy Who Wants More Than Wall Art: Artifact Uprising

Personalization is paramount at Artifact Uprising. Sure, there are gallery-style frames galore, but the company also has floating frames, tabletop frames, photo ledges, wooden photo hangers, and options for large format prints. Whether you’ve got a smaller image intended for your desk at work or a statement piece (giclee prints go up to 60” x 40”) that will be the focal point of your new foyer, Artifact Uprising has a frame that fits. Materials and finishes are similarly diverse; choose from traditional and understated options or play around with texture and color to complement your personal aesthetic. There are even several options for Instagram aficionados looking to turn their IG masterpieces into more tangible keepsakes.

Pricing: $40 and up

Shipping Cost: Varies based on shipping destination and package size

How to Submit: Upload only; customers can also order custom frames and insert artwork at home

Average Turnaround Time: 2-5 business days for frames + shipping

Other Products/Services: Photo books, baby books, wedding guestbooks; wedding cards, photo cards, seasonal cards; calendars; print blocks and photo stands

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