The ultimate guide to standard frame sizes

1.) What are standard photo and picture frame sizes?

Standard Photo Sizes in the USA (in inches)
  • 4x6
  • 5x5
  • 5x7
  • 8x10
  • 11x14
  • 16x20
  • 20x24
  • 24x30
  • 24x36

At Frameology, we measure picture frame sizes depending on the size of the glass that fits into the frame. When you’re looking for the perfect picture frame size, the “size” of the picture frame refers to its inner dimensions. The outer dimensions will always be greater. For example, if you’re looking for a frame for a 4x6 inches picture and choose a frame with a 2-in wide molding, the outer dimensions of the frame will be 6x8 inches.

Traditionally, the most common frame sizes have been 4x6, 5x7 and 8x10. These look great in any room in your house or office! Recently, however, 5x5 picture frames have become really popular. The square frame means that you can print your Instagram photos as they are without them being cropped or cut off. The smaller size also means that your photos don’t have to be the highest quality to look good. Learn how to print and frame some of your favorite Instagram photos!

2.) What size print will make my digital image look good?

Have you ever wondered why the image you got printed turned out blurry or pixelated? The likely reason is because of the photo’s resolution. “Photo resolution” refers to how many of your picture’s pixels fit inside each inch of the paper it is printed on. The more pixels, the sharper the print will look.

We recommend that you use photos above 300ppi (pixels per For the best quality prints, you should make sure the photos you use have 300 pixels per inch (ppi) and above. We have found that anything about 150 ppi looks pretty good, too. Lucky for you, the team here at Frameology is committed to quality. For this reason, we will always notify you if your image is under 100ppi to make sure you get the best print possible. Click here to give it a try!

Take a look at what this means for digital image dimensions (in pixels) for different frame sizes:

Frame Size       Frameology Minimum      Recommended
4x6 400x600 1200x1800
5x5  500x500 1500x1500
5x7  500x700 1500x2100
8x10  800x1000 2400x3000
11x14  1100x1400 3300x4200
16x20 1600x2000 4800x6000

Taking pictures with most modern smartphones at their default quality settings will usually result in prints that look great in standard sized frames. However, when you send picture files through a text message or a messenger app, they get compressed, reducing their resolution greatly. These photos are not suitable for printing. Generally speaking, it’s better to use the original image file, which you can transfer via email. Just make sure that the sender chooses to send the image at its full resolution to ensure the best quality.

Photos uploaded from Instagram will always be low resolution files. This is because Instagram automatically saves your images at a resolution of only 640x640. While these images will still look good in our 5x5 frames, they will look even better if you upload the original file from your smartphone.

We make this process really simple. On our website, you can upload images directly from your phone or directly from Instagram. This makes ordering framed prints as easy as posting to your Instagram feed!

Photos uploaded from Facebook, however, are a different story. They can be both high and low resolution. Originally, Facebook used to save your photos at a low resolution. Nowadays, photos can be saved with a width of up to 2048 pixels.

What does this mean for framing? These photos can look good in frames up to 8x10 so long as you uploaded a high resolution file to Facebook in the first place.

Regardless of how you upload your image to Frameology, we will always guide you through the process. Our frame experts will suggest the perfect frame given the resolution of your digital image. Get started today!

3.) What size picture frames will look good?

The resolution of the image file and the content of the photo are the two main characteristics you should pay attention to when choosing a frame. As discussed above, a higher resolution image can be printed larger and, therefore, would require a larger frame. 

When choosing the correct frame for the content of your image, it depends more on your personal preferences. Here are some things to consider to help you make your choice:

  • For group photos, we recommend 8x10 picture frames or larger. The larger size makes sure you can see the details of each person’s face.
  • If you display a group of framed photos together, choose based on level of importance. Your favorite wedding shot? You’ll probably want to go with an 8x10. A fun but less significant moment? Go for the 5x7 picture frame.
  • For professional photos, like for an engagement or graduation, the larger the frame the better. Showing off professional photos with 11x14 picture frames generally works best.

Mats add an additional display element that complements the photo contained within. For this reason, many of Frameology’s wall frames contain an acid-free, museum-quality mat.

Ultimately, if your photo file is large enough, choosing the right sized frame boils down to preference. But if in doubt, the above tips are sure to steer you in the right direction.

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