Opinion of Buying Diploma Frames from Your College or University Store

Mat burn stain from wood pulp mats common in diploma frames sold by college stores
Why are they overrated, you say?  Because colleges and universities charge a high price for a mediocre quality frame.  Unless one is willing to pay for the "upgrades", such as conservation glass, you are getting a low to mid range quality frame for a high price.  Generally speaking, the glass is common regular glass found in a hardware store and the mats and backs are pretty much the same that you find in a arts and crafts store rack.

You can literally buy the exact same quality frame at a  big box store for a fraction of the cost.  The only difference is the college store frames have the college name printed on the matting.  Other than that, the other materials are about the same.

If you are framing routine art for a dormitory room or short term living space, frames of this quality are fine (depending on the price, of course).  But, considering the incredible amount of time and money you invested in achieving your diploma, and the fact it will be displayed for many years, one would think it deserves a nicely made protective frame.

The typical diploma frames are manufactured overseas by countries with very low labor costs and exported to the United States in large containers.   The containers are then delivered to the diploma frame businesses where the frames are cut and assembled as in any other frame shop.  Once finished, the frames are then shipped to the schools for sale in the college store.

Over time, foam board and other inferior backing boards are known for out gassing and harm documents they contain.

The frames are expensive because at least three businesses/institutions have their hands in the pot.   (1) The diploma frame company, (2) The massive college store conglomerates, also known as the middleman, and (3) The college or university store.  With all these entities grabbing a piece of the pie, it's no wonder the prices are high.  And, of course, the quality is usually compromised to allow for a greater profit margin to split.

At Museum Framing, we sell diploma frames that contain full 100% museum grade framing materials and techniques for less then the average college or university store.  We only use Tru Vue 99% conservation grade glass  or acrylic,  100% cotton rag (NOT wood pulp) matting and double archival backing - Exceeding the standards set forth from the Library of Congress.

When you research framing materials with the highest quality materials on the market, rag mats and 99% UV filtered glass are what usually pops up.  Museums and collectors want to frame their important and valuable documents using only these items.  By the way,  "rag" is a misnomer as a description.  Rag mats are called that because they are actually made from pure cotton fiber material, the only inert material sold in museum grade mat boards.

If you don't think your diploma deserves this treatment, let's figure your investment in time and money.

You worked too hard to achieve that diploma.  Please take care of it.