Tuesday, September 06, 2011

How to Frame a Picture.

Pixellated frame

I've written a few times about designing cards on this blog, including a 10-step tutorial which includes finding clipart, making original shapes and using simple tricks with photos.

Here I just want to add a little word of caution: if your card is meant to be printed out and especially if you expect a high print quality, don't use picture frames provided in Graphics Inspector. (This is in response to a reader's question: he designed a book in Pages, but used picture frames from the selection in Graphics inspector)

They look nice on screen and even in print when used in small dimensions. But if you enlarge the image you'd see that the frame pixellates badly (small squares - pixels - show).

To avoid that make your own high-definition 'frame':

Coloured shape behind image.
– create a shape, eg. rectangle with solid colour fill, and slide your photo (image) over the created shape, adjust dimensions so that it looks as though the image is within a frame (pic. left). For additional effect, add a white rectangle between the picture and the coloured shape (pic. below right). This also improves the print quality, because the intense colour of the shape may affect the colours of the picture.
Coloured shape, white, then picture.

– instead of a coloured shape use a photo – take a macro shot of your wooden chopping board, or the garden table, or gravel, sand or thick foliage. Here (pic.below) I've used a picture of a beech hedge in winter.

– on the internet you may find high-resolution images of museum paintings with elaborate carved frames. Download the image, import it into your Pages document and cover the painting with your own picture while leaving the frame visible.

Slide white shape over 'frame', picture over white.

Image: 'Sappho', a fresco from Pompeii.

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