October and November have most definitely been the months of Framing Jerseys for us, and that is a real pleasure because we are a big sports family. Over the next few posts, we will be featuring many of the Jerseys that we have custom framed recently. In this post, we highlight a throwback San Diego Chargers Jersey from Chuck Muncie and it’s a beauty.
Why do You Custom Frame?
We are always interested in hearing from our customers why they custom frame. A simple question that provides great insight into the story behind the art they are framing, whatever that might be. For this Chargers’ fan, he describes this Jersey as ‘his baby’ and something he’s been wanting to frame for a long time. A few times he even considered doing it himself, but he thought it was too important and instead opted for having it done professionally. He told us how he found us online, read our reviews on Yelp, saw our framed jerseys online and selected us for this very special project.
It All Starts with Design
Every piece of art we frame is an opportunity for us to do something unique for our customers, and this jersey was no different. The thing that makes this jersey unique is the large throwback yellow numbers on the front of the jersey, as well as the two bolts at the top left and right of the jersey. Our goal is to highlight these elements and design around them.
Picking the Right Matboard Colors
The design always starts with choosing the right colors for the mats we will use. For most sports jerseys, there are three main colors we need to settle on, the backing on which the jersey will be mounted; and the two mats that go over the jersey and allow for the openings for the memorabilia. We have a handy book that lists the official mat colors for all the teams of all major professional sports, including NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, as well as the Colleges in the United States. Here you can see the official colors for the San Diego Chargers:
In collaboration with our customer, we settled on mounting the Jersey on white, in order to make the Jersey stand out. For the two mats, we decided on Deep Blue as the top mat and the yellow golden as the bottom mat.
One of the reasons why people frame jerseys is because the jersey is autographed by their favorite player, which means that fans often have additional memorabilia that needs to go in the frame. For this project, the customer also brought us a certificate of authenticity for the signed jersey, as well as a Chuck Muncie trading card, also signed.
As you can see above, we decided to mount the certificate on the left and the trading card on the right, just below the jersey number. Also, the white small fabric tag was coming off the jersey, so we decided to remove it and sew it between the certificate and trading card in order to create balance across the entire design.
Designing and Cutting the Team Logo
When customers first come to our store, we try and figure out how they envision their art framed, the color of the frame, any specific mat design they have in mind, the placement of plaques, photos, memorabilia etc. In brainstorming with this customer, he told us he’d like to have the word ‘Chargers‘ somewhere in the frame and we saw an opportunity to design something that we could use to surprise him the day of the unveiling.
We decided to design the official San Diego Chargers logo in Adobe Illustrator in a format that is compatible with our computerized mat cutter and here’s what we came up with:
Final Matboard Design
From Adobe Illustrator, to proceed to import the San Diego Chargers logo design into our computerized mat cutting software, and that is where we complete our mat design before hitting the cut button. Below is what the final design looks like.
Hand-sewing the Jersey
After designing and cutting the mats we move on to mounting the jersey onto the backing, which is typically the step that takes the most time because it has to be done manually, which is something we do, using our trusty sewing awl. It’s important to note that in order to avoid damaging the jersey in any way, we never use any glues of any kind and all of our materials are acid-free.
Putting it all together
After that, we build the supporting walls around the backing board in order to raise the mats above the jersey so that the glass doesn’t have any contact with the jersey itself. After securely mounting the mats on the wall spacers, we proceed to cut the glass to size and finally cut and join the frame.
In the end, it’s extremely rewarding for us to see the finished product right before we call the customer and do the unveiling for him. We are really happy and proud of how nice this jersey turned out:
Calling the Customer
As soon as we are finished framing any artwork, we call the customer to find out when he or she can come in. Sometimes the customer is out of town, however, this particular customer was so excited to see his framed Jersey finished, that he said I’ll be there in 20 minutes. We usually put brown craft paper over the frame and do a reveal once the customer comes in. We are so happy that he absolutely loved his jersey and appreciate all the design work we did, especially cutting the team logo right in the matboards!
We are so grateful that he selected us to do this very important project for him and even more that he absolutely loved how the framed jersey turned out. Here’s what he said about his experience with us on our Yelp page:
Whenever possible, we keep our iPhone ready in video mode and we record as much as we can of how it all comes together.