I used to think frames weren’t very important—that it was only what’s inside that counts. A romantic notion, isn’t it? But I’ve learned that framing is an art form, and dollar-store frames don’t nearly measure up to what a professional can do. If you want to see what a true framing artist is capable of, look no further than The Framing Concept at 328 North Queen Street in Lancaster.

The Framing Concept was established 25 years ago, in 1988, and set up shop on the 300 block the following year. Since then, their team has been hard at work building a solid reputation in the community while raising the bar for custom framework. They even partnered with local and national artists to convert the rear portion of their shop into an art gallery, where you can see their frames in action, so to speak.

Custom framing is about more than just selecting the frame itself. For one thing, The Framing Concept team will match the frame to your color scheme, or even to woodwork from your home or office. Matboard, when necessary, is Library of Congress approved preservation grade material, and your choice of glass ranges all the way up to museum glass. If you have a painting, a poster, or a phone number on a napkin to be preserved, potentially till the end of time, this is the place to take it.

Of course, framing isn’t limited to just two dimensions; The Framing Concept can help you to protect those cherished keepsakes that aren’t flat, too. In fact, they’ve framed everything from wedding gowns to autographed baseballs to snake skins, and that’s just the beginning of the list! Stylish shadowboxes of all sizes are available for displaying your treasures while keeping them safe.

The Framing Concept is also home to some unique items you might not expect to see in a frame shop. Their year-round Christmas shop offers a lovely selection of ornaments and collectibles that are sure to spice up your holiday décor. You’ll also find Lancaster County’s largest collection of the Merck Family’s Old World Christmas glass ornaments, each vintage-looking piece blown by mouth. Elsewhere in the store, you’ll spot garden flags, Moravian Tin Starlights, and prints to keep in your new frames.

Like the 300 Block of North Queen Street in Lancaster, The Framing Concept has a lot to offer, much more than meets the eye or is covered in this article. The best thing to do is experience it—take them that sketch, that old family photo, that blue-ribbon needlework, and allow them to show you what a framing artist can do. You’ll be glad you did!

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