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Fading After Using Museum Optium Acrylic

Discussion in 'The Grumble' started by MerpsMom, May 29, 2015.

  1. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    As framers, and suppliers possible as well, we have a hard time looking at things through the eyes of a customer. It all makes sense to us (well, okay, mostly :) )

    I'm with Ted, this kind of phrasing usually does the opposite for me as well.

    I think TV would be better off stating the facts (99% UV protection) and leave the rest up to us who need to sell the product.
    'helps protect, helps prevent' is not helpful at all.

    Hope TV will do something with it, thanks Rob!
  2. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    wonder if it should just say 99% filtration
  3. KingstonJW

    KingstonJW Guest

    I use a similar box primarily as an eye catcher at the design counter for showing clarity and non reflective qualities. Though I haven't really included the entire light spectrum in my talking points, maybe I should. Most if not all of my up-sells to Museum glass are about reduced reflection and clarity, and the price differences between premium clear to conservation clear are so nominal that I rarely find the need to use premium. But having concise talking points around what 99% UV protection actually does relative to the entire package is probably worth having in my hip pocket. I guess I should dust off the cobwebs on some of those grey cells.
  4. DVieau2

    DVieau2 PFG, Picture Framing God

    After 30 minutes of selling great moulding, fillets, & matts one just can't spit out a long technical explanation about the limitations of the best glass available.

    I can visualize a customer walking out.

    Maybe Tru Vue and their consultants can come up with a good one liner that covers the limitations in a non- confusing positive way.

    I've had museum glass returned because it didn't do a good enough job of eliminating reflections.

    I like to now just say it's not perfect but the best available.

    What do you say?

  5. Pat Murphey

    Pat Murphey SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Why? It's precisely accurate.
  6. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I can't think of a one-liner that would be adequate, but if it has to be that, try this: "Since all exposure to light is harmful, it can be stopped only by keeping the art in the dark."

    But if you can say two sentences, these would tell the essence of the story: "Since invisible UV radiation is more harmful than visible light and 99% of it can be eliminated, UV blocking is the best protection against damage. But exposure to visible light is also harmful, depending on its intensity and time of exposure, so damage can be stopped only by keeping the art in the dark."
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2015
  7. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    I see commercials with "helps" in them on TV all the time. I ignore them too.
  8. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    "if your worried about it DONT frame it" simples
  9. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That needs to be qualified with 99% of 80% of this portion of the light spectrum.
  10. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Someone qualified and impartial needs to come up with the answer to the pertinent question many of my customers ask me when talking about UV protection, which is (basically) "How much more life will this glass give my art"?

    I know the variables are limitless but it would be nice to have a test or ten to refer to and there aren't any sensible ones.
  11. jferrari

    jferrari Guest

    Putting sales hype aside: The definition of "protect" is: keep safe from harm or injury. No glass in this industry can do this. At it's very best it only mitigates or slows the cumulative effects of the harm (fading) from damaging ultra-violet rays that fall outside the typical visible spectrum.
    shayla likes this.
  12. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    That's right...... and that is a valuable effect, very desirable in the context of protective framing.

    To repeat my statement in the skin-cream analogy post (#17), the goal is to keep the art or other framed item looking as good as it can for as long as possible. I believe that providing filtration of the UV spectrum helps achieve this goal. (Yes, I said helps because there are many factors involved, including-as has been said- certain responsibilities on the part of the customer.) It is the best approach we have available for achieving this goal. Therefore, I recommend and offer these products to my customers in order for my efforts to be as effective as possible. I charge a reasonable price for them. It is up to the customers to decide whether this represents a good value for their needs. If they want a more basic approach for more temporary display, I'm happy to provide that as well.

    Do I claim that these products will prevent fading? Never. I say that they help keep the art looking as good as it can for as long as possible. If necessary, I also explain what other steps they should take to help minimize visible light exposure on fragile or fugitive items. (No need to act like Dr. Science or to scare people. I use statements like, "Even with the UV glass, try to hang it in a fairly dimly lit area because all light is energy which can cause changes," or words to that effect.) I have several of the TruVue displays, but I use them to illustrate the visual difference between CC and MG.

    :cool: Rick (note: smilie wearing UV-filtering sunglasses)

    To add a little levity to this serious discussion, I offer (from memory) this claim which has been burned into all of our consumer brains since infancy. Note some similarities in the qualifier wording.
    Crest has been shown to be an effective decay-preventive dentifrice which can be of significant value when used in a conscientiously-applied program of oral hygiene and regular professional care.
  13. neilframer

    neilframer PFG, Picture Framing God

    I agree with both of these posts.
    The skin cream analogy is a good one.
    They will say that "it reduces the appearance of wrinkles" which can mean anything.
    Dimming the lights will also reduce the appearance of wrinkles.:rolleyes:
    They can't say that it "eliminates wrinkles".

    Or they might say that "No other product has been found to be MORE effective than ours", but they don't say that every other product is JUST as effective.o_O

    Then the small print at the bottom which is SO small and blurred that you can't read it says "these results are not typical and results will vary".
    Or the drug company products where they spend 30 seconds trying to sell you their "miracle" drug and then the next 30 seconds telling you that their drug might kill you or cause the very thing that you are trying to prevent or cure.

    Personally, I get turned off by advertising that tries to "trick" you or "fool" you into using the product.
    We in the business understand what we are selling, but the message to the customer might be a bit confusing.
  14. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Even after thirty minutes (or more) of designing, I still discuss the types and differences in glass. Perhaps it helps that I use a homemade glass sample, rather than the TruVue version, so I don't have to deal with the questions that verbiage raises. When we've chosen mat, frame, and mounting/hinging method, I move on to glass. I show them our sample frame, with three different conservation glass pieces in it, tell them that anything will fade over time, not just from the two percent (ish) of UV light that makes it in, but from the other light in the spectrum, heat, the quality of the ink or paint and other factors. Then I say that this is the best we have, and that most customers choose either the conservation clear or Museum. I also hold the little black cardboard TruVue glass samples over their artwork, and I must be doing a good job, because lately more and more people are choosing Museum.

    At times, I suggest framing a print and keeping the original in a safe place, but most who come in choose to frame. Also, I'm thinking of adding a new tool to my glass sales kit. Recently, I heard of a framer who holds up a frame with the different pieces of glass, but no art or backing, over customers' art. I find the writing on TruVue's samples to be distracting, and the glass viewing windows are smaller than I'd like, so this idea sounds good.
    Bob Doyle likes this.
  15. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    To be clear (no pun intended), I believe that the verbiage used in skin product ads and such is much more vague and potentially misleading than anything most of us use to describe the effects of these glass products. I was just trying to make the point that even though purchasers of those creams make the decision to spend a lot of money for them, I don't think any of them expects the product to permanently and completely eliminate the conditions they are seeking to remedy. They are only hoping for and expecting the product to help mitigate the conditions to the degree possible.
    :cool: Rick
  16. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The industry-standard wavelength range for UV blocking measurements is 280 to 380 nanometers, and 99% of that range is blocked. What wavelength range are you talking about?
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  17. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim do you still have your contacts with TV? Maybe the simplest solution would be to put a sticker on the back of the display boxes that quoted the merits of UV filtering from the FACTS sheets. That might help us give the customer an education in the benefits of the glass, not just an "ad". It doesn't have to look like the page and a half of tiny fonted print that follows the 1/4 page ad for prescription meds that you see in all the magazines :) just a written blurb to help us educate the consumer.

    Or they could email us a pdf and we could print it out, saving TV the expense of printing and mailing to every framer in the US. A simple pdf could be sent out quickly and at little cost to TV, at least in comparison to the meetings, printing, revising and mailing costs that my first suggestion would cost them :)
  18. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Industry standard and scientific standard are completely different set of numbers. UV spectrum stops at 400 not 380.
  19. KingstonJW

    KingstonJW Guest

    I have not had the occasion to take glass back in, except with reflection control after telling a customer I would restock it for an upgrade. Every once in a while a customer will come in with a specific request to match the reflection control glass on a prior project and I do take the time to show them the clarity issues. When I sell museum glass I tend to show customers the difference with conservation clear and talk about the reduced reflection, not the elimination. I may even make the point that the only way to have perfect clarity is to eliminate the glass, and then point to my original oils... but even then some varnishes will cause an annoying reflection when the light is not appropriately positioned.

    When I consider that probably 90% of my sales involve conservation clear, with a very small remaining fraction selling premium clear, some type of museum glass takes up the balance. I almost never sell reflection control and don't stock it. I agree with what I've read here that I could use a focused seminar on glazing to brush up.
  20. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Visible spectrum stops at 380. Blocking beyond that wavelength affects visible color in an image.
  21. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    According to Wikipedia, UV is 100-400 nm. So, if a glazing protects against the 280-380 nm range, it's really only protecting against 33.3% of UV light.

    Before someone "reminds" us that the most damaging part of light is 280-380 nm, so what? Isn't that exactly what this thread is about? That UV glass does not stop fading because light in the 280-380 nm range is not the only thing that causes fading.
  22. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    I have posted the graph provided by MaineSully (Grumble name) a bunch of times and their product provides much higher numbers than TV even though they rate the products to 400. It is an acrylic product but they put it side by side with several of the competing products.
  23. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Isn't UV made up of UV a and UV b? Hasn't this been bandied around here, like 10 years ago? Maybe even longer? When TV came out with the claim of "99% blocking" and someone else had 97% blocking wasn't the caveat posited that it was 99% of the UV that mattered and not all UV light out there?

    NOT saying that TV is lying or being deceptive, just that they did the research and their researched showed .....

    Bet it has something to do with cost effectiveness of materials used vs price of materials vs consumer willingness to pay. TV has a product that we sell that "helps" to protect the customers' artwork. Combining their glazing with fade resistant mats and best framing practices is what we are selling to our customers. Are we being "tricked" "fooled" or "sold a bill of goods"? No, just using the best we have at the price we and our customers are billing to pay.

    We could include a black satin drape that goes over every frame we sell that could be pulled up when the customer wants to see the artwork, but being black may trap heat and increase fading due to that variable :) Until a technology comes along that senses eyes on the artwork and can thus instantly change from opaque to clear we will use the best that is available to us.
    Rob Markoff likes this.
  24. Rick Granick

    Rick Granick SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Someone is probably already working on that technology. I guess today's equivalent would be the rooms in the museum where antique textiles are displayed, which turn on the (quite dim) lights only when a motion sensor detects the presence of a viewer.
    :cool: Rick
  25. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    My droid phone senses a hand wave over it and turns on the screen, and there is some setting that knows if I am watching a video and can pause a video if I look away... not ure if it is in the phone or in an app, but, yeah, something's coming :)
  26. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    Does this still work without your tin foil hat?
    Bob Doyle and David Waldmann like this.
  27. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Since you brought it up, the total spectrum of radiation that is potentially harmful to framed art includes visible and invisible wavelengths from about 100 to 700 nanometers. Technically, blocking 99% of wavelengths from 280 nm to 380 nm represents only 16.7% of the total radiation spectrum considered harmful to art. It is important to understand that the radiation becomes exponentially more powerful as the wavelengths shorten. So, 100 nm radiation is most harmful and 700 nm radiation is least harmful, generally.

    Rather than confusing the issue with number games, let's agree that within the total spectrum of radiation that affects art, the ideal glazing would transmit all visible wavelengths as clearly as possible to get the most of R.O.Y.G.B.I.V., and block all invisible wavelengths.

    The kicker is that the transitional range from 380 nm to 400 nm technically is ultraviolet, but partially visible. My understanding is that 380 nm is almost invisible, and 400 nm is visible and transmits violet color, almost like 401 nm. So, do you want to block 380-400 nm?
    Last edited: Jun 2, 2015
  28. RoboFramer

    RoboFramer PFG, Picture Framing God

    Uh uh. I know what you're thinking. "Did he use all his TruVue or has he got a lite left"? Well to tell you the truth in all this excitement I kinda lost track myself. But being as this is TruVue museum, the most powerful UV filtering glass in the world and would UV filter your nanometers clean off, you've gotta ask yourself one question: "Do I feel lucky?" ......... Well, do ya, punk?
  29. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Whether you want to block a certain wavelength or not isn't really the point. The point is, that to a consumer, when you say "It 'helps protect' from fading because it blocks 99% of UV light", they are going to assume that:

    1. UV light is the only thing that's harmful
    2. This glazing is going to block 99% of all of it.
    3. Since great-great-uncle Joe's picture was framed with window glass 100 years ago and still looks great, there will be no fading whatsoever with this new wonder glass.

    Whether some UV is visible or not, whether some UV is even present or not, or what percentage of it is being blocked and how harmful it is or isn't doesn't even register. The fact that relatively educated individuals whose business it is to understand this stuff as well as they can, don't know all the ins and outs demonstrates that Joe Consumer is never going to really get it. I think the point of all this is to try and come up with as succinct and lay-person understandable explanation of what UV protection will and won't do.

    The problem is that it's extremely complicated and impossible to forecast except in very rare like-for-like examples; i.e. "This print of yada yada was framed umpteen years ago with blankety-blank glass and dippity-doo mats and has been sitting here and this is what it looks like. So, if you bring me a yada yada and I use blankety-blank glass and dippity-doo mats (assuming I can still get it) and put it in the same location it should look like this one umpteen years from now. As long as your yada yada is in the same condition as my yada yada was when I framed it, and we don't have an increase in the number of sunspots or percentage of CO2 in the atmosphere..."
    FramerCat likes this.
  30. DSR7

    DSR7 True Grumbler

    Oh wait. Wrong thread!

    Attached Files:

  31. shayla

    shayla WOW Framer

    ...but a nice glass sample, just the same.
  32. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Consumers expect to get proper information from professional framers. If that's all the framer says, then the consumer has suffered a poor choice and should seek a better framer.

    Of course, and how hard is that? Not very. Here are two suggestions from post #56...
  33. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    But isn't that what the TV promo piece says?

    Yeah, but do you see TV putting that on their promo piece?

  34. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    It's a promo piece, not a technical bulletin. If you handed a customer a brochure/flyer/spec. sheet with a detailed explanation about the evils of potential radiation damage and recommendations for prevention, their eyes would gloss over. Remember that attention-span problem?

    As a framer, I believe the first task is to grab the customer's attention; they have to realize the importance of caring for their framed art after it goes home. Then we can give them a minute-speech that informs them without putting them to sleep.
  35. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Hence my suggestion Jim, put a blurb on the back of the box. Customers that want more information can then get it. From the source not from a grumbling framer.

    And to save TV money they can just drop it to us in a pdf. Clicks are cheaper than stamps.
  36. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Here is the graph I spoke of earlier OP3 Protection cropt-3.jpg
  37. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    The wavelengths from 380 to 400 nanometers go from invisible to visible, and the visible wavelengths from 400 to 430 nm are partially blocked, which affects the color of the image.

    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
  38. FramerCat

    FramerCat SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    Jeff, have you compared samples of the two to see the visual difference that Jim Miller mentioned? Is it noticeable?
  39. Jim Miller

    Jim Miller SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    A lot of us use UV-filtering acrylic from Acrylite. If the difference is noticeable at all, it probably wouldn't grab your attention. However, shades of purple, lavender, and blue could appear muted, or slight differences in those colors may be obscured. It is notable that perceptions of wavelengths near the invisible range vary among humans. Some people can see more of those wavelengths than others can.
  40. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    OP3 Acrylic has been the top of the heap in UV protection for the 36 years I have been framing and there is no visual difference in color. One of the reasons high end art gets placed behind it is that in addition to higher UV blocking it also protects from shattering.

    There are other products out there that offer higher levels of protection than the TV products but cost is always a factor in the decision.
  41. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Isn't op3 More yellow than op2? The plexi I used to get was very yellow in color.
  42. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    No OP3 is a very clear product and you could not tell the difference from OP2 if there was no masking film on it.
  43. Rob Markoff

    Rob Markoff PFG, Picture Framing God

    Disagree. I think OP2 is yellower than OP3 but I agree that OP3 is VERY clear.

    As an aside, Regal (Piedmont) has stopped carrying Acrylite OP3 and is substituting the "new" UF-3 that used to be "plexiglass". It is awful, comes with very rough factory edges and stinks when run through the saw.
  44. Ylva

    Ylva SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    Jim, most of my customers wouldn't understand the two line explanation. It is too technical for most and might even be off putting for some of my customers.

    I pretty much use the same words as Doug. I always point out that I don't have control over other elements that cause fading. I might add that UV is only one of the factors. If they ask more questions, I even offer to send more information, by email, for them to look over. (No one has asked). Informing a customer should NEVER be too technical, unless they ask for more information. You don't want to come across as a know it all or use language that normal people might not understand. So I am very careful with how I talk to my customers and too technical would not go over well with a large percentage. You never want to make a customer feel that they're stupid for not understanding a technical explanation. Sorry, one of my soap boxes. I read all these threads and it simply would never be how I talk to a customer.

    When selling MG, I always close with; It's glass, there will always be a certain amount of reflection, depending on where you hang it. I also say 'it's the best that's out there'.
    I will also tell them that in my house, most of my art is framed with MG (which is true).

    I point out the different frames samples in my store for side by side comparison so people can actually see the difference.
    Rick Granick likes this.
  45. Jeff Rodier

    Jeff Rodier SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    When a customer asks my opinion after I have explained the difference between the 99% advertisement and the real world effects I just say "It Helps, Something is Better than Nothing".
    Rob Markoff likes this.
  46. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    See your latest PFM (May 2015), pages 24-30 for an article on acrylic and UV protection by Jed Bark.
    shayla likes this.
  47. Acrylic Queen

    Acrylic Queen CGF II, Certified Grumble Framer Level 2

    Wow! This has been really fun! Now framers about how much UV light does regular glass filter (I'm looking for the right word) and how much UV light does regular acrylic filter? Do you know that one?
  48. David Waldmann

    David Waldmann SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    That one's easy. "Not enough"
  49. Bob Doyle

    Bob Doyle SPFG, Supreme Picture Framing God

    30% for reg glass and 60+% for reg non UV plexi
  50. stcstc

    stcstc SGF, Supreme Grumble Framer

    see Bob, my TV lay over sample thingie-ma-jig says regular glass 45%

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