What is the Best Material for a Certificate Frame?

Choosing a frame for a certificate may seem simple but the right material is crucial for both aesthetics and durability. So what are the best materials for a certificate frame?

Wood Frames

Wooden certificate frames are classic and timeless, complementing almost any decor style. Available in multiple finishes and colours, these timber frames are strong, providing a sturdy base for glass or acrylic covers.  Try to ensure that the timber used in the frames is from a renewable source.

Avoid plastic frames if you can as the corners tend to be less durable than on wooden frames, particularly for larger frames such as those for certificates.

Metal Frames

This frame material gives a sleek, contemporary edge to your certificate display, keeping it lightweight and rust-resistant. Metal frames often come in various finishes, such as brushed, polished or painted, allowing for versatility in design.

The best types of wooden frames:

  • Stainless steel
  • Bronze
  • Silver
  • Aluminium

Acrylic or Glass

Acrylic is a modern alternative to glass and has shatter-resistant qualities.  Acrylic works well in environments where safety is a concern, such as in children's rooms or public spaces. Acrylic can also be clearer than glass, providing an unobstructed view of the certificate.

How to Choose the Right Frame For Your Degree

? Match the frame to the importance of the document

Your degree represents a significant personal and academic achievement, so choose a frame that reflects its importance. Opt for high-quality materials and a design that conveys professionalism and respect.

? Consider the style of the frame

The style of the frame should complement both the document and the environment where it will be displayed. For more traditional academic documents, classic wooden frames in dark finishes like mahogany or walnut are often preferred. For a modern touch, sleek metallic or minimalist black frames can stand out nicely.

? Size and fit are crucial

Make sure the frame fits the dimensions of your degree perfectly. A frame that is too large can diminish your certificate, while one too small may crimp or hide the edges of the document. Also, think about the width of the frame's border -- wider borders can give a dramatic effect, whereas a thinner border adds a subtle enhancement.

? Choose protective glass or acrylic

To prevent fading and ageing, select a frame with glass or acrylic. This is especially important if your degree certificate will be hung in a place exposed to sunlight. If glare is a concern, consider non-reflective options to ensure the legibility of the document from any angle.

? Decide on a mount

Mounts, sometimes known as matting, can add a layer of elegance and focus to your degree.  Try to choose an acid-free mound to avoid any risk of chemical interactions that could damage the document over time. The colour of the mount should complement the document without overpowering it, typically, neutral colours like black, off-white or grey work well.

? Backing and Hardware

A sturdy backing keeps your degree in place and prevents it from slipping/warping. Quality hanging hardware is equally important to ensure the frame is securely mounted on the wall, stable and level.

? Longevity of the display

Choose a frame that not only looks good today but will also stand the test of time. High-quality degree frames are an investment that preserves your academic achievements for future generations to admire.

Why Should You Frame Your Degree Certificate

Framing and displaying your degree certificate preserves your accomplishments, reminding you of your hard work, dedication and capabilities. A well-chosen frame protects your certificate from physical damage like fading, tearing and water damage while enhancing its appearance, making it a proud focal point in your home or office. Another reason to invest in a certificate frame[1]  is to boost your confidence, inspire peers and show your professionalism and credibility in the workspace, making it an essential step for any graduate who values their educational journey and wants to make a lasting impression.

The Difference Between Picture Frames and Certificate Frames

While picture frames and certificate frames may seem similar at first glance, they are designed with different purposes in mind.

?      Purpose and design - Certificate frames are specifically designed to showcase and preserve official documents such as diplomas, certificates and awards. They often feature a more formal design to reflect the significance of your degree. Picture frames, on the other hand, are generally intended for photographs and can come in a wide range of styles, from casual to decorative, suited to personal taste and the photo’s setting.

?      Materials and construction - Frames for certificates typically use materials that offer more protection against environmental factors that can degrade paper-based documents. For instance, they can include UV-resistant glass or acrylic to prevent fading from sunlight and acid-free mounts to protect the integrity of the paper from ageing. Photo frames don’t always have these protective features, as the preservation needs of photographs can be different from those of paper documents.

?      Matting and mounting - Degree certificate frames often incorporate matting in the design. The mat not only enhances the appearance of the certificate by providing a border but also helps to keep the document flat and prevent contact with the glass, which is crucial for preservation. Picture frames sometimes use mats, but these are primarily for aesthetic purposes and may not necessarily be acid-free or designed to prevent contact with the glass.

?      Size and proportion - Decorative certificate frames are usually available in standard sizes that match common certificate dimensions and they tend to be more uniformly rectangular to align with document shapes. Picture frames come in a wide range of sizes and shapes, including square, rectangular and even circular, providing more flexibility for different displays.

?      Aesthetic and display - The aesthetic of certificate frames is often conservative and understated, designed to emphasise your certificate without overshadowing it. Designs complement professional and academic environments. Picture frames, however, can explore bolder and more expressive styles, like colours and textures, as they're often used as decor and to create a certain ambience in a space.

Honour Your Hard Work in Style

Your degree is a testament to your dedication and success—it deserves to be displayed in the best possible light. 

Need a reliable certificate framing service in Ireland? Visit our website to explore our high-quality certificate frames in various materials and colours. Don’t just store your achievements in a drawer – display them proudly and professionally! Contact us at Armstrong & Oxford to find the right frame for your qualifications today.