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Help System > Border information

Ordering a border


You can get a border from 1/2" to 3", in any color, on any print, except a wrapped canvas. Here's how borders work:

Framed and unframed prints, except wrapped canvas

#1: Adding a border does not change the size of the framed print. The image size is reduced to accommodate the border on the same size paper:
diagram showing a print with and without a border

#2: Adding a border changes the proportion of the image. This is most noticeable with smaller prints that are not square. Our smart ordering system automatically calculates everything for you, but we want you to know why the proportion of the cropping window may change when you change the size of a border:
diagram showing a print with 2 different sized borders

Again, don't worry about the math: our ordering system does it all for you. If it's something you should pay attention to, you'll see this message:
image of dialog box alerting user to border issue

Unframed (loose) canvas

Adding a border increases the size of the unframed canvas by the border size. Reason: We're assuming you're going to wrap the canvas around a frame, and the size of the image is the size you want the front of the canvas to be:
diagram showing a canvas print with and without a border

Wrapped (ready-to-hang) canvases

You cannot get a (front) border on a wrapped canvas, but you can specify whether the sides of your canvas are a solid color or a mirror image of the front of the canvas. You'll see these options below the print proof once you upload the image.



Video text

Hi, welcome to Indigo image Lab. This is Neil, and I’m going to explain all about adding borders to your prints.

We offer something in our awesome online ordering system that most other fine art printers don’t: the ability to add a border from ½” to 3”, of any color, to any of our premium fine art or photo prints, at no extra charge! Adding a border to one of our prints does not change the size of the print, but it can change how certain images are cropped. This video will show you why.

By the way, all of this does not apply to an unframed canvas. It only applies when you’re ordering an unframed or framed print on photo paper or fine art paper.

Okay, here we go. Let’s say you took a picture of a butterfly in Virginia that you want us to print or frame at 8x12, and you want a 1” white border, to give it an upscale look that mimics the appearance of a mat.

Here’s the print without a border. Now, let’s add a one inch border, and then let’s shrink the image down so the border doesn’t hide any of the image.

Now, you see the issue. The proportion of the area inside the border is now different than the proportion of the print. The print is 12 by 8, or a width to height ratio of 1.5 to one. But the area inside the border is 10x6, for a width to height ratio of 1.66 to one.

So, if we increase the size of the image so it fits left and right, the top and bottom of the image are cropped out. If we decrease the size of the image so the top and bottom fits, we have gaps on the left and the right, which obviously is no good. In order for this print to be made at 8 by 12, we have no choice but to increase the size of the image so it fits left and right, and move it up and down so the cropping works visually

This isn’t a good or bad thing, it’s just math that sometimes comes into play when creating prints with borders. The good news is our smart ordering system does all the calculations for you and shows you the correct cropping for a picture based on the print size and border you select. A message on the screen will appear when a border causes a significant change to the cropping of your image.

If you’re a math wiz, you may have noticed that all of this doesn’t apply for square prints. Square prints result in the image’s proportions staying the same, no matter how wide the border is. So, the cropping window doesn’t ever change for square prints.

It also doesn’t really apply much for larger prints, where the difference in proportion changes very little.

We hope this helps you when you use our ordering system to design a print that will give you a lifetime of pleasure. If you have any questions about this, please don’t hesitate to click “customer support”, send us a message, and we’ll be happy to help.

Thanks a lot for watching. We hope to print something absolutely beautiful for you soon, at Indigo Image Lab!

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