Once you finally earn your long-awaited college or university diploma, don’t let it sit in a drawer or stay all rolled up in a tube. After all, even the tube or folder that you may use for storage is likely not acid-free – and will, in and of itself, contribute to damage over time. Your diploma is one of the most expensive and valuable credentials you will ever earn… and it’s never too soon to put this “personal marketing tool” to use in your home or office.
When considering showcasing options, only one of the three primary choices is recommended as the best way to preserve your diploma – Custom Framing.
1. Custom Diploma Framing
This option is highly recommended because quality custom framing is completely reversible, meaning that you can remove the document at a later date without damaging it. This approach affords some unique advantages.
Advantages of Custom Framing
- Easy to change the style or colors should the need arise
- Safe removal of your diploma to be reproduced, if necessary
- Document is safely “isolated” away from the glass to greatly reduce the risk of humidity damage
2. Using a Plaque for Your Diploma
The least expensive option (which is not recommended) is to place your diploma in a plaque, so the diploma is showcased on a wooden board with an acrylic sheet over the document for protection. Some styles do allow you to slip the document in behind the acrylic easily, while others use 4 brads that may require you to poke holes in the document.
Obviously, the latter is unacceptable for a diploma. From a conservation perspective, even the “slip-in” plaque style is not ideal because the document is in direct contact with the acrylic. The problem is that if moisture builds up, or in high humidity, the document can stick to the acrylic and tear upon removal. In some cases, this lack of breathing room for the document can contribute to staining or even mold and mildew growth.
3. Permanent Lamination
You can also choose to have your diploma permanently laminated to a cherry or other finish wood board, commonly with gold highlights. This makes a nice presentation, but is not recommended because it is totally irreversible. Because your diploma is permanently encased, you can never change or update the look. I have also personally discovered that if you have a diploma with a gold seal or honors sticker such as Cum Laude, this type of lamination completely flattens the embossed wording on the seal so you can no longer read the Cum Laude!
Key Tips in Custom Diploma Frame Selection
Here are some key tips to keep in mind when choosing a diploma frame or when speaking with a custom picture framer.
- Your diploma should never be dry mounted, spray mounted, or otherwise permanently adhered to a board for framing.
- As with any important document, it should be hung within a mat opening, either from the top with archival tape, or it should be hinged to a conservation quality backing board using archival mounting corners. It is best for the document to have room to expand and contract with changing temperatures, and even a slight “wobble” in the document is preferable to permanently and irreversibly pressing it flat.
- You diploma should be custom framed using a high quality mat, which both showcases the document and keeps it away from the glass.
- You’ll want to ensure that the matting and backing materials are not just buffered to be acid-free, but are designed for “conservation.” This will be indicated in the documentation for the frame or on the mat board samples and specification sheets. Typically the mat should be 2.25” to 3” wide, depending on the size of your document.
- You’ll want to choose an attractive frame that coordinates with your home or office environment; and why not splurge for something you really love since you’ll be looking at your diploma for many years to come.
- Either choose a location for your diploma that is not near direct sunlight, or consider an upgrade to UV protective glass.
With your graduation just around the corner, now is the time to start thinking about preserving your diploma to maximize its career-building value. Even if you graduated a few years ago, it’s never too late to give your diploma the showcase that it deserves. For parents seeking the ideal graduation gift, a custom diploma frame is a great idea – what better tribute to many years of hard work and dedication?
Church Hill Classics’ Custom Diploma Frames
Custom framing is the safest and best option for showcasing your diploma. Church Hill Classics can help you frame your diploma, certificates and any other special documents you may have.
Church Hill Classics’ diploma frames:
- Are hand-crafted and custom made to order in the USA
- Use Museum Quality matting and backing that meets Library of Congress standards
- Are available in a variety of frame styles and frame mouldings
Two ways to shop for your diploma frame:
Don’t wait any longer! Preserve your diploma and honor your achievement. Interested on how we make our custom frames?
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