Title:
Customizable framing media
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Methods and print media useful for the generation of customized picture frames for the framing of photographs, drawings, graphics, collages and other visual formats. The embodiments include specialized print media for use in conventional imaging devices and their methods of use. The print media includes an interior portion removably attached to a surrounding portion. The interior portion is adapted to remain with the surrounding portion as an image is transferred to a printable surface of the print media using an imaging device. The interior portion may subsequently be removed from the surrounding portion without cutting.



Inventors:
Peterson, Barbara Deeann (Garden City, ID, US)
Application Number:
10/007928
Publication Date:
05/08/2003
Filing Date:
11/02/2001
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/06; (IPC1-7): A47G1/06
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SILBERMANN, JOANNE
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Intellectual Property Administration,HEWLETT-PACKARD COMPANY (P.O. Box 272400, Fort Collins, CO, 80527-2400, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A print media for use in an imaging device, the print media comprising: a single layer having an interior portion removably attached to a surrounding portion.

2. The print media of claim 1, wherein the single layer has multiple plies.

3. The print media of claim 1, wherein the interior portion is defined by a perimeter extending between the interior portion and the surrounding portion and comprising voids selected from the group consisting of complete voids, partial voids and a combination of complete voids and partial voids.

4. The print media of claim 3, wherein the perimeter contains perforations.

5. The print media of claim 3, wherein the perimeter contains tabs extending between the interior portion and the surrounding portion.

6. The print media of claim 5, wherein the tabs have a depth that is a fraction of a depth of the print media.

7. The print media of claim 1, wherein the interior portion has a geometric shape.

8. The print media of claim 7, wherein the geometric shape is generally rectangular.

9. A print media for use in an imaging device, the print media comprising: a first layer having a first portion, a second portion surrounding the first portion, and a continuous void extending between the first portion and the second portion at an angle to a surface of the print media; and a backing layer removably attached to the first layer.

10. The print media of claim 9, wherein extending the continuous void at an angle to the surface of the print media simulates beveled matting.

11. A print media for use in an imaging device, the print media comprising: a first layer having an interior portion removably attached to a surrounding portion; and a backing layer removably attached to the first layer; wherein the interior portion is defined by a perimeter extending between the interior portion and the surrounding portion and comprising non-continuous voids selected from the group consisting of complete voids, partial voids and a combination of complete voids and partial voids.

12. A method of generating a picture frame, comprising: transferring an image to at least a portion of a print media using an imaging device, wherein the print media comprises a first portion interior to a surrounding second portion, wherein the first portion is removably attached to the surrounding second portion and wherein the image is transferred to at least the surrounding second portion; and detaching the interior first portion from the surrounding second portion.

13. The method of claim 12, wherein the print media is a single layer, single ply print media.

14. The method of claim 12, wherein the interior first portion is defined by a perimeter extending between the interior first portion and the surrounding second portion and comprising voids selected from the group consisting of complete voids, partial voids and a combination of complete voids and partial voids.

15. The method of claim 14, wherein the perimeter contains perforations.

16. The method of claim 14, wherein the perimeter contains tabs extending between the interior first portion and the surrounding second portion.

17. The method of claim 16, wherein the tabs have a depth that is a fraction of a depth of the print media.

18. The method of claim 14, wherein the voids extend at an angle to a surface of the print media.

19. The method of claim 12, wherein the interior first portion has a geometric shape.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein the geometric shape is generally rectangular.

21. The method of claim 12, wherein the imaging device comprises an inkjet printer.

22. The method of claim 12, further comprising transferring the image only to the surrounding second portion of the print media using the imaging device.

23. The method of claim 12, wherein the interior first portion is sized to correspond to dimensions of a standard photograph.

24. A picture frame, comprising: a print media having an image produced thereon and having an interior opening; wherein the image is produced on a printable surface of the print media using an imaging device; and wherein the interior opening is produced in the print media after producing the image thereon and without cutting of the print media.

25. The picture frame of claim 24, wherein the imaging device is selected from the group consisting of a printer, a plotter, a copier, a facsimile machine and a multi-function imaging device.

26. The picture frame of claim 25, wherein the imaging device comprises an inkjet printer.

27. The picture frame of claim 24, wherein the interior opening is produced by separating an interior portion of the print media from a surrounding portion of the print media at a perimeter extending between the interior portion and the surrounding portion, and wherein the perimeter comprises voids selected from the group consisting of complete voids, partial voids and a combination of complete voids and partial voids.

28. The picture frame of claim 24, wherein the interior opening is produced by separating a surrounding portion of the print media from an interior portion of the print media, and by separating the surrounding portion of the print media from a backing layer.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention relates generally to customizable framing media, and in particular to print media for generating customized picture frames.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Frames and mattes, herein generally referred to as picture frames, are routinely used in the presentation of photographs, drawings, graphics, collages and other visual formats. People often feel limited by the choices of pre-fabricated picture frames and may choose to create their own, customized picture frames.

[0003] People have made their own picture frames by manually drawing onto paper or board stock, perhaps even gluing the paper or board stock to a piece of cardboard, then cutting an interior portion out to create their frames. Alternatively, people have used computer graphics applications to create their designs and have transferred these designs to the paper or board stock. Again, however, a cutting operation is required to produce the frame.

[0004] Another option for the generation of picture frames has been described in U.S. Pat. No. 6,010,338 issued Jan. 4, 2000 to Watson. Watson describes its invention as a coloring kit project for children. As noted in Watson, a principal purpose of that invention is to present a set of magnet frames and, optionally, decorative elements, with varying designs for coloring or art work, for example by a child. Watson's concept is described as similar to a coloring book wherein several pages are bound together and which may be colored by filling in different colors within design lines.

[0005] For the reasons stated above, and for other reasons stated below that will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon reading and understanding the present specification, there is a need in the art for alternative media and methods for generating customized picture frames.

SUMMARY

[0006] Methods and print media are described herein for the generation of customized picture frames for the framing of photographs, drawings, graphics, collages and other visual formats. The embodiments include specialized print media for use in conventional imaging devices and their methods of use. The print media includes an interior portion removably attached to a surrounding portion. The interior portion is adapted to remain with the surrounding portion as an image is transferred to a printable surface of the print media using an imaging device. The interior portion may subsequently be removed from the surrounding portion without cutting.

[0007] For one embodiment, the invention provides a print media for use in an imaging device. The print media includes a single layer having an interior portion removably attached to a surrounding portion.

[0008] For another embodiment, the invention provides a method of generating a picture frame. The method includes transferring an image to at least a portion of a print media using an imaging device. The print media includes a first portion interior to a surrounding second portion. The first portion is removably attached to the second portion and the image is transferred to at least the surrounding second portion. The method further includes detaching the interior first portion from the surrounding second portion.

[0009] Further embodiments of the invention include apparatus and methods of varying scope.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0010] FIGS. 1A-1D are plan views of print media in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

[0011] FIGS. 2A-2D are sectional views of portions of print media in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

[0012] FIGS. 3A-3B are plan views of portions of print media in accordance with embodiments of the invention.

[0013] FIG. 4 is a schematic of a system for use with embodiments of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0014] In the following detailed description of the present embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings that form a part hereof, and in which is shown by way of illustration specific embodiments in which the invention may be practiced. These embodiments are described in sufficient detail to enable those skilled in the art to practice the invention, and it is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and that process, electrical or mechanical changes may be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. The following detailed description is, therefore, not to be taken in a limiting sense, and the scope of the present invention is defined only by the appended claims and equivalents thereof.

[0015] The various embodiments facilitate the generation of customized picture frames for the framing of photographs, drawings, graphics, collages and other visual formats, whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional. The embodiments include specialized print media for use in imaging devices, such as printers, plotters, copiers, facsimile machines, multi-function imaging devices and other similar devices for transferring a printable image to a printable surface of a print media, as well as methods of use for such print media.

[0016] FIG. 1A is a plan view of a print media 100 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The print media 100 includes a first side 105 and a second side 110 opposite the first side 105. At least the first side 105 has a printable surface. The print media further includes an interior portion 115 defined by a perimeter 116 surrounded by a surrounding portion 120. The interior portion 115 is adapted to be removed from the surrounding portion 120 at the perimeter 116 without the need for cutting by an end user. However, the interior portion 115 is further adapted to remain with the surrounding portion 120 while transferring an image to the printable surface of the first side 105 using an imaging device.

[0017] The interior portion 115 is depicted as being rectangular in FIG. 1A. This shape is common in picture frames and may be sized, for example, to correspond to standard photograph dimensions. However, there is no requirement that the interior portion 115 be rectangular. Other geometries are also possible. FIGS. 1B-1D are plan views of print media 100 depicting other examples of the shape of the interior portion 115 in accordance with additional embodiments of the invention.

[0018] Additionally, while FIGS. 1A-1C depict the print media 100 as having one surrounding portion 120 and its corresponding interior portion 115, the print media 100 can have more than one surrounding portion 120 along with their corresponding interior portions 115. FIG. 1D depicts a print media 100 having multiple surrounding portions 120a, 120b, 120c and 120d along with their corresponding interior portions 115a, 115b, 115c and 115d, respectively. The individual surrounding portions 120 may be adapted to be removed from other surrounding portions 120 along borders 117 without the need for cutting by an end user and to remain with the other surrounding portions 120 while transferring an image to the printable surface of the first side 105 using an imaging device.

[0019] FIGS. 2A-2D are sectional views of portions of print media 100 in accordance with embodiments of the invention. The perimeter 116 defining the interior portion 115 may contain voids, as shown in FIGS. 2A-2D, to facilitate separation of the interior portion 115 from the surrounding portion 120. These voids may extend through the entire depth of the print media 100, as shown in FIGS. 2A-2B, or they may extend only partially through the depth of the print media 100, as shown in FIG. 2C. The partial void depicted in FIG. 2C may be continuous throughout the entire perimeter 116, or it may be sporadic, with such partial voids being interposed between complete voids of the type shown in FIGS. 2A and 2B.

[0020] The voids of the perimeter 116 may further extend generally perpendicular to the surface of the print media 100, as shown in FIG. 2A, or they may extend at an angle from the surface of the print media 100, as shown in FIGS. 2B-2D. Extending at an angle, i.e., other than perpendicular, simulates the appearance of beveled matting. As will become apparent in the description of FIGS. 3A-3B, infra, the perimeter 116 may contain a combination of voids extending through the entire depth of the print media 100 and voids extending only partially through the depth of the print media 100. Any borders 117 between multiple portions 120 may be formed in the same manner as the perimeters 116.

[0021] FIG. 2D depicts an embodiment of a print media 100 having a backing layer 125 removably attached to the portions 115 and 120, thereby removably attaching the portion 115 to the portion 120. The backing layer 125 may be attached with a pressure-sensitive adhesive (not shown), with the pressure-sensitive adhesive being adapted to remain with the portions 115 and 120 or the backing layer 125 upon separation of the two. For an embodiment having a backing layer 125, the perimeter 116 may contain a continuous void between the interior portion 115 and the surrounding portion 120 such that there need be no physical contact between the two portions, i.e., the perimeter 116 may be a continuous and complete void. This type of continuous separation is well understood in the fabrication of label stock in a process often referred to as a kiss cut, where the upper layer of label stock is completely severed without cutting through the backing layer.

[0022] The print media 100 may be a single layer, as shown in FIGS. 2A-2C, or it may contain multiple layers, as shown in FIG. 2D. Each layer may contain a single ply, e.g., standard card stock, or it may contain multiple plies, e.g., a printable surface overlying a flexible magnetic carrier. The print media 100 may be smooth or textured and may be any color, although white is generally the most universal color. The print media 100 is preferably of a fairly high weight for rigidity, although such is not required. Limitations on the weight of the print media 100 are determined by the chosen imaging device. However, many current conventional imaging devices are capable of handling print media of up to a weight of 160 gsm. The dimensions of the print media 100 are also determined generally by the chosen imaging device. However, most conventional imaging devices are capable of handling a wide variety of media sizes.

[0023] FIG. 3A is a plan view of a portion of a print media 100 showing the voids in the perimeter 116 as perforations 130. The perforations 130 are preferably of a type commonly referred to as microperfs, such that the edges of the interior portion 115 and the surrounding portion 120 are relatively clean and smooth upon separation of the two portions. FIG. 3B is a plan view of a portion of a print media 100 showing voids in the perimeter 116 as extending between bridges or tabs 135 connecting the portion 115 to the portion 120. The tabs 135 may have the same depth as the print media 100, or they may be some fraction of the depth of the print media 100, e.g., as shown in FIG. 2C. These tabs may be placed at intervals around the perimeter 116, e.g., at every corner of the perimeter 116 and/or at pre-defined distances around the perimeter 116.

[0024] FIG. 4 is a schematic of a system for use in generating a customized picture frame in a preferred embodiment of the invention. The system includes a personal computer, workstation or other processor-based device 450 used to generate a representation of an image 455. The image 455 may, for example, be generated by a user in a graphics or drawing computer application. This image 455 may represent a user-generated design or pre-defined graphics. The image data for the image 455 is provided to an imaging device 460. For one embodiment, the imaging device 460 is an inkjet printer, although other imaging devices as described above are also usable with embodiments of the invention. If the imaging device 460 is in direct communication with the processor-based device 450, e.g., a printer coupled to a personal computer, the imaging device 460 is termed a local imaging device. If communication between the processor-based device 450 and the imaging device 460 is through a communication network, the imaging device 460 is termed a network imaging device.

[0025] The imaging device 460 has a formatter 462 for interpreting the image data and rendering the image data into a printable image. The printable image is provided to a print engine 464 to produce a tangible image 468. The tangible image 468 is produced on a print media 100 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The print engine 464 represents the mechanical aspects of the imaging device 460. The print engine 464 further includes a source 466 for supplying the print engine 464 with the print media 100. Examples of the source 466 include media trays or by-pass feeders. Note that the processor-based device 450 for generating the image data may be a portion of the imaging device 460, e.g., a scanner bed of a copier.

[0026] Upon production of the tangible image 468 on the printable surface of the print media 100, the interior portion 115 of the print media 100 may be separated or otherwise detached from the surrounding portion 120 at its perimeter, thereby leaving an opening in the surrounding portion 120. The surrounding portion 120 with its corresponding interior portion 115 removed is thus suitable for use as a picture frame as described herein. The various embodiments described herein facilitate creation of customized picture frames without the need for manually decorating the frame or the need to manually cut the frame by providing a print media suitable for use in conventional imaging devices.

CONCLUSION

[0027] Methods and print media have been described for the generation of customized picture frames for the framing of photographs, drawings, graphics, collages and other visual formats, whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional. The embodiments include specialized print media for use in conventional imaging devices and their methods of use.

[0028] The print media includes an interior portion removably attached to a surrounding portion. The interior portion is adapted to remain with the surrounding portion as an image is transferred to a printable surface of the print media using an imaging device. The interior portion may subsequently be removed from the surrounding portion without cutting.

[0029] Although specific embodiments have been illustrated and described herein, it will be appreciated by those of ordinary skill in the art that any arrangement that is calculated to achieve the same purpose may be substituted for the specific embodiments shown. Many adaptations of the invention will be apparent to those of ordinary skill in the art. Accordingly, this application is intended to cover any such adaptations or variations of the invention. It is manifestly intended that this invention be limited only by the following claims and equivalents thereof.