Framed wall art & the insiders’ language

Products with a higher aesthetic such as art, wine or fashion often have an insiders’ language associated with it. Lay people attempt learning the insiders’ a language to be, or seem, more in the know.

Take for instance when someone calls in a reservation to a restaurant and says, “it’s for an 8-top.” The person fielding the call might think the guest’s in the biz, or an insider. Or if someone visits a wine shop and asks the salesperson for a “tannic red,” instead of saying a “really dry red.” It might indicate the customer knows what’s up. A fashion forward shopper might know what a grainline is, why a facing is important, when mitering is useful.

On the commercial-side of our business, at Gallery Direct, we adhere to a professional (or insiders’) language. These terms have been used for decades (or longer) and are hallowed by usage and consecrated by time. Consider this your brief tour of industry terms for framed wall art. These words don’t exactly translate well to the consumer-side, meaning we’d never use them to describe our framed art because, well, these are sort of silly sounding.

Take the industry term substrate. This is the medium, such as paper, canvas, acrylic, wood, and the like. Lithograph is the fancy word art companies give to their cheap posters made from an off-set printing process. Giclée is the term for a high quality image or limited edition print (i.e. the stuff we sell). Moulding, that’s a good one. This is the frame that goes around artwork. Glazing is probably our favorite silly word, which means the clear glass of the picture. Now you know.

This concludes your brief tour of industry terms for framed wall art. For the most part, if you use the above terms, you might sound like an insider . . .but you’ll probably sound more like a dork.

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