*Valid for posters & selected frames, until 07/08


A passepartout enhances your posters, giving them that little extra touch. Complement your picture frame with a mounting board, and bring your posters into focus. A passepartout is an extra frame for your posters in age-resistant cardboard, and is placed behind the regular frame's glass plate. In addition to giving your poster extra depth, you avoid the poster coming into contact with the glass, which protects it against ageing.

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Passepartout - The Perfect Finishing Touch

Placing poster art on your walls lends itself to lots of choices, not least choosing the beauty of passepartout. From a single statement piece to a gallery wall of framed posters, it makes an eye-catching addition. Of course, you want your artwork to look good, represent your taste and work with your decor. One way you can do this is to use the fabulous framing option of passepartout we offer at Dear Sam.

What Is Passepartout?

The origins of the term passepartout lead us back to 16th century France where it meant ‘everywhere’. It later evolved to mean ‘a master key’. In picture framing in the UK, it is the term used for a mount, or mat boarding.

A mount is a cut-out piece of card you can find between the frame’s glass and the image. With Dear Sam, you can choose to frame your posters by selecting different materials, like wooden or black metal frames and having a passepartout frame added.

Posters And Passepartout

Using a passepartout picture frame can add depth to your chosen poster, and it is so easy to organise with Dear Sam. We sell the correct sized mounts for all the posters and frames we sell. The passepartout mounts come in classical white. Although they can be found in other colours, white still remains the most popular.

  • Select your poster and size
  • Select your frame
  • Select your passepartout

The production of our mounts, posters and frames are environmentally friendly. We work to strict climate control conditions, and Dear Sam carries the Svanen environmental label. Our products also meet the SC environmental label’s stringent requirements for responsible forestry and the EU Ecolabel.

A Brief History Of Framing And Passepartout

Framing has a history going back to the Egyptians that has continued to evolve. Art became the province of the church, royalty and wealthy. As far back as AD 50 - 70, framing a piece of artwork was common. A wooden-frame border was even found in an Egyptian tomb.

The type of frames we are more familiar with, like wooden frames, started to appear from the twelfth century. These hand-carved frames were works of art in themselves. In fact, the frame often came first, with the artwork being added later. These framed pieces were, in the main irremovable, examples of which can be seen in many of the older churches.

Moveable artwork, more like we are using today, started to appear as royalty and the wealthy saw them as status symbols. Royalty used portraits as gifts and marriage proposals, where the frame was an essential component of the presentation and often ostentatious! Bling and fancy detail reflected how wealthy you were. Using expensive woods, like walnut and ebony, frames were often inlaid with tortoiseshell and ivory.

Cardboard passepartout appeared in the eighteenth century when art started to be owned and enjoyed by the masses. Having glass in your frames continued to be expensive, but the development of acrylic opened the door for everyone. They were able to enjoy art in their homes or at work, knowing they were displayed to their best advantage and protected.

Passepartout - To Have Or Have Not?

For some, framing without it is not an option. They do not want their images to be pressed up against the glass or the frame’s acrylic front. So, we provide the opportunity for you to select a passepartout frame and not only give your poster added depth but protect it as well.

The mount or passepartout, has two functions. The first is the emphasis it places on the image, photo or piece of art. Using it allows you to draw the eye into the picture itself and prevents it from getting ‘lost’ in the frame. In many ways, it is a frame within a frame. It can also consist of several layers and shapes, all of which are designed to catch the viewer’s eye.

The second use of passepartout is for protection. This is done by stopping the image from being pressed up against the frame’s glazing. It also prevents it from moving around. Placing the mount on top of the image creates a protective gap between the frame and the poster.

The materials used must be of top quality. At Dear Sam, we know that low-quality materials will yellow over time, becoming brittle and unattractive. This is why we make our mounts from first-class age-resistant cardboard.

Differences Between A Mat Board And Mount Board

The terms can get confusing, but essentially when talking about a mat board, we are talking about passepartout. While the mat board can often be in other colours, you will not find this in museums as the dye can negatively impact the paintings.

A mount board is the opposite of a mat board as it sits at the back of the poster, not the front. Its job is to stop the movement of the poster and to ensure it is fully displayed.

Types Of Passepartout At Dear Sam

At Dear Sam, we have the best mounts for displaying your chosen posters and prints. By using passepartout you can show all of the poster images or just a selected section. For use with the whole of the image, applying it to the outer edge exposes the whole poster while keeping the edges looking interesting.

Displaying Your Dear Sam Posters

When placing a single large poster on a wall, or leaning against it, consider using a mat board to support the visual image. Be that your favourite animal poster, abstract art, art deco or one of the wide selection of posters we have on offer here at Dear Sam.

Creating a gallery wall is another option for your posters. This is a timeless and traditional way to display your images. If you are looking for inspiration for a modern presentation, take a look at our instashop. Here you can find different ways of grouping your posters in size, shape or content. It is no longer ‘de rigueur’ to only group similarly themed posters together or even all the same kind of passepartout picture frames.

Expand your imagination and combine different frames, with or without passepartout, as long as you keep the overall balance. Your gallery wall will be as effective, unique and eye-catching as you want.