We've all seen it happen: you want to paint a room in your house, so you go down to the paint store and pick out a bunch of color chips. Then you get home, hold the chips up to the wall, and settle on a color. Later, when the paint job is done, sometimes you realize that the effect of a whole wall of a particular color is quite different than that of a small color chip! A similar thing can happen in custom framing. The traditional frame design process involves selecting corner samples of mats and mouldings, placing them against the artwork, and trying to imagine what the finished result might look like. Most of the time this works fairly well, but sometimes the effect of a whole frame of a given pattern is different than you may have imagined from the corner sample. Another thing that can happen is to be undecided between two or more design options: "Will this look better with the black frame or the gold frame?". Again, it can be challenging to imagine the different options and come to a decision. Baldwin Hill Art & Framing has a solution for the 21st century: Frame Design Visualization. Using modern computer technology we can now simulate what a complete frame design is going to look like before the frame is built! Here's how it works: a camera mounted over the design counter takes a picture of your artwork, along with mat and moulding samples under consideration. With a few clicks of the mouse, we pick out the mats and moulding we want to use. The software then displays an image of the finished frame design. Changing mats, mouldings, mat borders, even opening shapes takes just a few clicks of the mouse. We can even show up to four designs side-by-side for you to choose from! While this system is not perfect--lighting effects in the camera mean that this is not for choosing between shades of white, for example--it is great for other aspects of the decision. Choice of frame colors or widths, mat border widths, and what color to put on top in a double mat can now be resolved with a simple side by side comparison. This system makes for quicker decisions and more confidence in your final choice, especially for customers that have a hard time seeing it without seeing. This system is also useful when designing frames for the long distance customer, or the busy but opinionated partner who is unable to come to the shop. We use the visualization system to mock up multiple candidate designs and then either email them or print them out for the customer to take home for further discussion and approval. The customer then either chooses the design they like or propose changes. Eventually we arrive at a design that we and the customer know they're going to love!