Many artists, photographers and more - when considering picture framing - ask about what advantages are gained by a double mat versus a single mat on photos or artwork. Note: A double mat is defined as two mats one on top of the other (2 layers) where the bottom mat color is only exposed or "revealed" minimally to enhance the artwork.
While a single mat does provide a buffer between glass and artwork and can enhance and frame the work - the double mat is all about accent and tying the entire presentation together.
1. By choosing a secondary or terciery color in the artwork and coordinating your inner mat to that color you directly connect the viewer to the artwork by bringing out those elements that can be overpowered by single color mat or by the main colors in the piece. Choosing the right inside mat can create interest and draw attention.
2. The inner mat - when coordinated with the chosen frame - can tie the entire work together bringing the flow of the viewer's eye from frame to inner mat to artwork more effectively than one mat alone. Varying the width of the inner mat that is showing (also called the reveal) - will change the look even more.
A good frame designer who can help choose how to use this effective tool is valuable and can assist your framing efforts in a way that can make a piece more interesting and enjoyable for all those that see it.