Some would think it is just a piece of paper so why conservation framing. Why would you spend upwards of $200 considering you can pop into any department store and pick up a "certificate frame" for under $10. You could do that but take a moment and think, what does that piece of paper really mean. Are these cheap "certificate frames" really the way to go? Is even standard basic "acid free" custom framing worthy of your achievement? These documents signify something far more valuable than many first realise. When you stop and think about what goes into earning that piece of paper you might re-evaluate how you plan to preserve and present that single sheet of paper.
I have great admiration for anyone who can make it through university studies. My journey was "on the job training". For my career it was the right path but the work I do now crosses over daily with those who challenged themselves at an academic level. I have the opportunity to help my clients show off their achievement and most importantly protect it. How do we do that? We give you the information and offer you solutions.
So lets start by putting an actual dollar value on that piece of paper. Taking a quick look online the average cost of a degree in Australia is $10,000 per year and the average degree is three years. So already that piece of paper is sitting at a value of $30,000. Then we calculate the hours of your time to earn that piece of paper. University is a full time job. Three years wages at a conservative $35,000 a year (entry level) and we are now at $135,000. That is a very valuable piece of paper. When you look at the cost of conservation framing of your degree in relation to the cost of earning the degree, in numbers, the justification is clear.
Then there is the meaning of the degree. Your qualification! This piece of paper tells the person viewing it that you know your stuff. It is your credibility. If you are going to display your qualifications in a business environment where clients and colleagues will see it then you need to think about the message you are sending. This piece of paper is important. If you place it in a cheap readymade frame then you are telling the viewer its not important and what it represents is not to be taken seriously. However if you present it in a quality custom made frame with great design then you are telling the viewer that these credentials are solid and to be trusted.
Just these two points alone justify quality conservation framing your degree but you earned that. You worked hard and you sacrificed. You should be proud of your achievement. Edgar Degas is quoted as saying "The frame is the reward of the artist" and so to the frame is the reward of the graduate. Show it off. Be proud. You deserve it.
So why conservation framing? Think about how long that document is going to represent your credentials. You finish your studies say from the age of 21. Lets say you are lucky and are able to retire in your 60's. This is over 40 years of a working career. A career that's foundations were built on the knowledge you gained through your studies and that piece of paper is the proof. Cheap low grade framing materials will deteriorate the very pieces they are supposed to protect. We see this often with artworks that require restoration and conservation. The reason they need this specialised treatment is often a direct result of poor framing. It is the same for certificates and awards. Think to the future and do you want your qualifications still giving the viewer a sense of trust and security in your skills or do you want them giving a tired and daggy impression.
We understand that sometimes finances just don't allow for quality conservation framing. Having seen the effects of cheap ready made frames on documents in a short period of time, I am a big believer in waiting to frame the actual degree until you can afford the best. Many times I have suggested to clients we take a colour copy of the degree and pop the copy in a more affordable frame for the interim and let us make a safe conservation folder to store the original. (The folders your degree is presented to you in is NOT conservation quality). Then when you are ready the original will be in perfect condition for framing. Some people have said, "Oh I will just get a copy of it". It can be difficult to arrange copies of your degrees from the Universities if they are damaged and it is my understanding that they will come with a COPY stamp across the front. This does not look great framed and doesn't send a message of confidence to the viewer.
At the end of the day it is up to the client to decide how much they value that simple piece of paper but as a person who clearly believes in the value of education then knowing how to correctly preserve and present that piece of paper is what we are here to help with.
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