Title:
Framing system and method thereof
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A variably-sized picture frame and method of use thereof, wherein a foam picture frame is provided for retaining and displaying a decorative article therewithin, wherein the foam frame may be customized to conform to the peripheral dimensions, shape, and thickness or depth of the decorative article to be displayed therein. Additionally, the lightweight physical properties of foam enable a user to quickly and easily mount even tremendously oversized frames to a wall surface without requiring large and/or numerous fasteners or undergoing strenuous and/or potentially dangerous lifting.



Inventors:
Flannigan, Alice (Evans, GA, US)
Application Number:
11/072785
Publication Date:
09/07/2006
Filing Date:
03/04/2005
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47G1/16
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
SINHA, RITA K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BakerHostetler (Philadelphia, PA, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A framing system for a paper print, comprising: a composite frame member comprising an ornate profile and an interior display edge; and a plurality of securing members, each said securing member defining a substantially thin, flat shape and each said securing member having at least one formed edge, said edge formed to facilitate entry into said interior display edge of said composite frame member, wherein said plurality of securing members secure the paper print within said composite frame member.

2. The framing system of claim 1, further comprising a transparent cover for covering the display surface of the paper print.

3. The framing system of claim 2, wherein said plurality of securing members secures said transparent cover.

4. The framing system of claim 2, wherein said interior display edge of said composite frame member further comprises a peripheral channel, said peripheral channel dimensioned to facilitate receipt of said transparent cover and the paper print.

5. A frame comprising: a plurality of border members, wherein said border members are formed from a process selected from the group of injection molding, extrusion, or die-cutting, and wherein each said border member comprises a plurality of mitered prescores; and a plurality of securing barbs, each said securing barb removably securable into said border member.

6. The frame of claim 5, further comprising a viewing window carried within a border defined by said plurality of border members.

7. The frame of claim 5, further comprising a rear wall.

8. The frame of claim 1, further comprising a mounting tack with an adhesive-backed base member and a pin member.

9. The frame of claim 5, wherein each said securing barbs of said plurality of securing barbs comprises a cutting edge.

10. The frame of claim 5, wherein each said border strip comprises a profiled cross-section, an outer peripheral edge, and an inner display edge, said inner display edge having a lip defined thereon.

11. The frame of claim 5, wherein each said border strip comprises a profiled cross-section, an outer peripheral edge, and an inner display edge, said inner display edge having a channel defined therein

12. A customizable framing system comprising: a plurality of border strips, wherein said border strips are formed from foam; and a mounting tack, wherein said mounting tack comprises an adhesive-backed base member and a pin member.

13. The framing system of claim 12, further comprising a thin plastic, transparent window member.

14. The framing system of claim 12, further comprising a plurality of securing barbs, said plurality of securing barbs removably carried by said border strips.

15. The framing system of claim 14, wherein said securing barbs each comprise a cutting edge.

16. The framing system of claim 5, wherein said plurality of mitered pre-scores define selectable frame corner edge points.

16. A method of framing and displaying various sized decorative articles, comprising the steps of: a) obtaining a framing system comprising a plurality of foam border strips, a plurality of securing barbs, and a rear wall member; b) securing said plurality of foam border strips together, framing a display area; c) placing the first decorative article in said display area; d) placing said rear wall member proximate the decorative article, within said framed display area; and e) inserting said plurality of securing barbs into said plurality of foam border strips at a first user-selected position, securing the position of said rear wall.

19. The method of claim 18, wherein said plurality of foam border strips comprise a plurality of scores, and further comprising the step: a′) selecting a length for each said border strip of said plurality by cutting at a score.

20. The method of claim 19, wherein said framing system further comprises a thin plastic window; and further comprising the step: b′) cutting said thin plastic window to conform to the peripheral dimensions of said display area.

21. The method of claim 18, further comprising the following steps of: f) removing said plurality of securing barbs; g) removing said rear wall; h) removing the first decorative article and replacing with the second decorative article; i) placing said rear wall member proximate the second decorative article, within said framed display area; and j) inserting said plurality of securing barbs into said plurality of foam border strips at a second user-selected position, securing the position of said rear wall.

22. A display frame, comprising: a plurality of foam profile segments, each said segment having mitered ends, wherein said mitered ends of said plurality of foam profile segments are joined to define a geometrically-shaped border, and wherein said border comprises a lip; a viewing window, said viewing window positioned proximate said lip within said border; a rear panel, said rear panel positioned proximate said viewing window, defining a display article receiving space therebetween; a plurality of barbs, said barbs removably secured into said foam profile segments proximate to and securing said rear panel; and a mounting member, said mounting member pierceably secured to said border and whereby a flat adhesive portion of said mounting member is exposed.

Description:

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present invention relates generally to display frames, and more specifically to a framing system and method of use thereof, wherein a highly styled, lightweight frame is provided for displaying posters, artwork, and/or any pieces suitable for framed display, on virtually any wall surface, and wherein customizable components enable a user to quickly and easily assemble an ornate frame, essentially irrespective of size, capable of accommodating three-dimensional as well as two-dimensional objects d'art.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

A wide variety of display frames are known and available, wherein such frames are designed to display artwork, posters, photographs and other decorative articles, typically while hanging on a wall surface. Traditionally, to display a framed selection, nails, screws, pins, and the like are necessary. Unfortunately, such mounting of an object to a wall is problematic in situations wherein the creation of holes or punctures in the wall surface is prohibited, such as, for example, when renting/leasing a property, or when the layout of frames or other mountable structures on a wall surface is frequently changed, or when such mounting is virtually impossible, such as on a cinderblock wall.

As an alternative, adhesives can be utilized to fasten frames to a wall surface, wherein such adhesives are often times used in conjunction with hooks, clips, brackets and the like. However, even in combination with hooks and clips, adhesives are typically disadvantageous for securing large frames, wherein the weight of traditionally constructed frames is prohibitive. As a result, minimalistic frames have been designed, for lightweight framing of posters and similarly sized works, wherein simple plastic edges are combined with a clear plastic overlay and cardboard backing in order to facilitate easy hanging. The materials and method of construction of such frames, however, disadvantageously limits the styles thereof, wherein ornate and/or other highly styled frames remain unavailable for use on certain types of wall surfaces.

That is, due to their size, large display frames are typically heavy, wherein such frames require elongated nails or mounting screws to securely fasten the heavy structures to a wall surface. However, nails, screws, pins, and the like cannot be utilized to fasten objects onto brick, cinderblock, or other hard wall surfaces, unfortunately common in dormitories, apartments, and numerous other types of buildings, residential and commercial. Additionally, for hard to reach and/or high overhead display positions, handling of large heavy frames can be cumbersome, and even dangerous.

For those who display artwork at shows, especially those held outdoors, transportation and hanging can be especially difficult tasks. In order to maximize the display of the works, highly decorative and flattering frames are desired. However, the costs involved in purchasing numerous frames can be prohibitive to many artists. Further, the overbearing weight of most traditional frames greatly limits portability, especially when a plurality of frames is being transported and displayed together.

Notwithstanding the broad assortment of designs and styles of display frames currently available, none of the existing display frames provide a frame that adequately addresses the problems typically encountered when displaying large or oversized articles, including posters, especially when considering surfaces incapable of receiving nails or other traditional mounting hooks.

Further, because picture frames are typically designed to conform to the shapes and sizes most commonly encountered in framing, most display frames are rectangular-shaped and of fairly standard sizes, wherein frames having unusual dimensions and/or alternate shapes can be difficult, if not impossible, to obtain, barring the expense of customized professional framing. Often times, however, an object d'art selected for display does not coincide with the traditionally standard frame sizes. As such, if a standard frame were to be utilized with a display area too small for the selection, a portion would be effectively “cut-off” from display. Conversely, if a frame is includes a display area that is too large, an excessive amount of “white space” may be created, necessitating large matting which can add to the expense and can disadvantageously influence and/or limit decor.

If no suitable stock frame is available, such as for an oversized oil painting or silkscreen work, customized framing is usually required. The services of a professional framer can be disadvantageously, and sometimes prohibitively, expensive. Custom framing can cost 10 to 20 times or more than purchasing a standard-sized frame. Thus, some individuals could actually receive a large work of art as a gift but be unable to finance the framing thereof, resulting in an inability to display and enjoy the gift.

In addition to potential disadvantages introduced via availability and weight-related restrictions relating to selections bearing oversized length and/or width, traditional display frames possess other structural limitations. Because display frames are sometimes utilized to retain three-dimensional objects d'art, it is noteworthy that frames also introduce limitations on the thickness of the article to be displayed. Such limitations may be especially troublesome when attempting to display large decorative articles, such as, for example, swords, ceremonial clothing, like kimonos, or other such objects. The selection of frames providing recognizable depth to enable display of oversized non-flat items is generally very limited.

Therefore, it is readily apparent that there is a need for a framing system, wherein a lightweight frame of virtually any peripheral size may be easily and securely mounted to essentially any wall surface without requiring puncturing of the wall surface, wherein the depth of the display compartment may be easily customizable, and wherein the framing system can provide easy adaptation to the length and/or width necessary for best accentuating display of the selected article.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

Briefly described, in a preferred embodiment, the present invention overcomes the above-mentioned disadvantages and meets the recognized need for such an invention by providing a framing system and method thereof, wherein a lightweight, customizable frame is provided, thereby enabling the display of very large artwork on virtually any wall surface.

According to its major aspects and broadly stated, the present invention in its preferred form is a framing system wherein a composite frame member, having an artfully designed profile, an interior depth, and a plurality of securing barbs, define a frame periphery that offers a trompe l'oeil appearance of a traditional heavyweight frame, and wherein the securing barbs enable a user to selectively customize the depth of the interior display compartment.

More specifically, the composite border defines a frame perimeter around a display, wherein the composite is preferably lightweight foam-type material with a shell or coating, wherein the lightweight properties enable the finished frame to be easily positioned on a wall surface, without creating holes or otherwise puncturing same, and wherein the composite shell preferably defines a highly designed profile, or cross-section, thereby mimicking the appearance of an elegant, or otherwise formally carved wooden frame, or the like. Although a one-piece frame is intended within the scope of the present invention, the peripheral dimensions of the frame may also be customizable, wherein a plurality of border strips incorporate pre-scoring to enable generally customizable modification to conform to desired frame lengths and/or widths. Further, whether as a one-piece frame or a customizable multi-member frame, the composite nature coupled with the unique securing mechanism eliminates a frame display depth limitation, wherein the display area depth of the present invention is easily customizable to accommodate the thickness of the decorative article to be displayed.

The securing mechanism incorporates a plurality of securing barbs, cookies or biscuits, whereby each such barb, cookie or biscuit is generally flat with an insertion end capable of secure placement into the composite material of the frame, thereby enabling a user to selectively customize the depth of the interior display compartment by eliminating the need for pre-positioned securing channels or grooves that predefine display depth. In the present invention, the object d'art is preferably positioned within the framed perimeter, between a lightweight plastic viewing window and a rear wall, wherein the rear wall is preferably a thin planar sheet, like cardboard, and is held securely to the composite frame via the securing barbs. Because the securing barbs can engage the frame at virtually any user-selected depth, individual customization of each frame is facilitated.

The viewing window is defined within the composite perimeter, and is preferably a thin transparent sheet. This preferred conformation enables protective covering for the decorative article in the frame without adding prohibitive weight, and further offers the advantage that the viewing window may be cut with a knife or scissors to conform to an irregular and/or customized size and/or shape, if desired to accompany utilization of a pre-scored, customizable display frame.

A frame mounting system is provided to facilitate removable hanging to a variety of surfaces, preferably without inflicting damage thereto. Preferably, a plurality of tacks each comprise a base member that is perpendicularly affixed to a pin member, wherein the pin member may engage the composite frame to facilitate removable securing thereto at any user selectable position. The base member of the mounting tack extends from the pin member and employs an outer adhesive surface to enable secure fastening of the mounting tacks, and consequently the frame, to a wall surface. Alternately, a hook-style mounting system is also envisioned, wherein such a curved mounting member is particularly suitable for use with traditional open back canvas stretcher supports.

Accordingly, a feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to facilitate the display of oversized decorative articles via an aesthetically pleasing frame, thereby enhancing the decor of an area.

Another feature and advantage of the present invention is the adaptability of its composite border strips, wherein the unique structure of the border strips facilitates custom conformation to the length and width of a selected object d'art.

Still another feature and advantage of the present invention is the adaptability of its border strips, wherein the border strips may be easily cut, enabling a user to create a frame having a non-rectangular or other non-traditional shape.

Yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is the adaptability of display depth, wherein unique securing barbs, cookies or biscuits enable user-selectable display depth, facilitating conformation to the thickness of the decorative article.

Still yet another feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to enable the creation of an aesthetically pleasing oversized frame including ornate profile stylization, while still enabling mounting to a wall surface without requiring damaging, large and/or numerous fasteners.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to define a display frame that may be advantageously utilized in areas where nails and screws cannot, such as, for example, brick, cinderblock and/or concrete walls.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to be formed and packaged in an assortment configuration, wherein waste materials from the frame manufacturing process can be utilized as shipping or package filling materials.

A further feature and advantage of the present invention is its ability to provide a simply constructed, one-piece lightweight framing alternative for oversized articles, such as posters, wherein visually ornate designs are offered and wherein such frames may be adhesively hung.

These and other features and advantages of the present invention will become more apparent to one skilled in the art from the following description and claims when read in light of the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will be better understood by reading the detailed description of the preferred and selected alternative embodiments with reference to the accompanying drawing figures, in which like reference numerals denote similar structure and refer to like elements throughout, and in which:

FIG. 1 is a rear perspective view of a framing system according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention, showing a viewing window, unassembled border strips, and a plurality of securing barbs;

FIG. 2A is a front perspective view of a framing system according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing a highly stylized, one-piece composite frame with a viewing window;

FIG. 2B is a rear view of the framing system of FIG. 2A, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention, showing a plurality of installed securing barbs;

FIG. 3 is a front perspective view of a mounting tack component of a framing system according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 4 is a front view of a securing barb component of a framing system, according to the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5A is a front perspective view of a hook and loop member component of a framing system, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 5B is a side view of a hanging member component of a framing system, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention; and

FIG. 6 is an overhead view of a multi-frame package, according to an alternate embodiment of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED AND SELECTED ALTERNATIVE EMBODIMENTS

In describing the preferred and selected alternate embodiments of the present invention, as illustrated in FIGS. 1-6, specific terminology is employed for the sake of clarity. The invention, however, is not intended to be limited to the specific terminology so selected, and it is to be understood that each specific element includes all technical equivalents that operate in a similar manner to accomplish similar functions.

Referring now to FIG. 1, the present invention in the preferred embodiment is a framing system 10 and method thereof, wherein framing system 10 comprises plurality of border strips 20, viewing window 30, rear wall 40 (not shown), and plurality securing barbs 50. Framing system 10 is preferably adapted to retain and display an object d'art therewithin, wherein such decorative article is exemplarily poster P (not shown). It is recognized that framing system 10 could be configured to retain and display peripheral matting in addition to poster P. Additionally, it is important to understand that the present invention is suitable for displaying various types of object d'art; therefore, while the apparatus and method of the present invention is described conveniently with the preferred utilization for displaying poster P, it is not limited to application or implementation with only such object d'art. As such, it is contemplated that framing system 10 could be utilized to display virtually any type of decorative article, such as, for exemplary purposes only, paintings, photographs, portraits, prints, artwork, fabrics, awards and the like. Further, although it is preferred that framing system 10 include plurality of border strips 20, it is also intended that another embodiment may be offered wherein one-piece border 100 is integrally formed, as will be more fully described hereinbelow.

In the preferred embodiment, each border strip 21 of plurality of border strips 20 preferably comprises front decorative display wall 22, outer edge wall 24, back hanging wall 26, inner display framing wall 28, first mating sidewall 70 and second mating sidewall 72. Preferably, each border strip 21 comprises a substantially rectangular-shaped cross-section 23, as depicted in FIG. 1, however, other cross-sections 23, also known as profiles, may also be defined, wherein the style and/or complexity of the design profile is intended to include any desirable shape as is necessary to conform to a particular decorating style, for example, an ornate profile is displayed in FIGS. 2A and 6.

In the preferred embodiment, plurality of border strips 20 are formed to enable assembly positioning such that first mating sidewall 70 and second mating sidewall 72 of each adjacent border strip 21 abuts the next. That is, first mating sidewall 70 of a first border strip 21a intersects, or mates, with second mating sidewall 72 of a second border strip 21b. Depending on the shape desired, any number of border strips 20 could be utilized. For example, for a triangular frame, three border strips 20 could be utilized. In the preferred rectangular shape, however, first mating sidewall 70 is preferably situated proximate outer edge wall 24 at an approximately mitered angle, preferably 45 degrees, therefrom; and, second mating sidewall 72 is preferably equally mitered. Preferably, in such a configuration, four border strips 20 may be combined and fitted together to form a rectangular frame, as more fully described below. It is contemplated in an alternate embodiment, however, that first mating sidewall 70 and second mating sidewall 72 could be disposed at alternative mitered angles relative to outer edge wall 24 and inner display framing wall 28, respectively, wherein plurality of border strips 20 could be utilized to define frames of other selected shapes, such as, for exemplary purposes only, square, diamond, hexagonal, octagonal, triangular, or any other desired shape.

Preferably, each border strip 21 is formed from lightweight foam-type material, such as, for exemplary purposes only, extruded plastic, molded material, and/or die-cut composite, wherein the interior space within each border strip 21 is preferably substantially weightless and wherein front decorative display wall 22 preferably has a coating, or generally hard finish enabling an appearance of a generally solid exterior. One skilled in the art could easily adapt known methodologies for forming, for example, lightweight foam-type planters bearing the appearance of traditional clay, ceramic or cement pots, in order to form the lightweight foam-type components of the present framing system 10, incorporating appropriate molds, dies, extrusion tools, and the like. The inherent nature of the foam-type construction facilitates subsequent mounting of framing system 10 to a wall surface, without requiring large and/or numerous fasteners. Any formable, moldable or extrudable material having the appropriate characteristics could be utilized.

Thus, the lightweight nature enables framing system 10 to be mounted to a wall surface without creating holes or otherwise puncturing the wall surface, because surface adhesion can suffice, as more fully described below. However, the foam-type nature also facilitates the preferred customizable nature of framing system 10, wherein the foam material is preferably easily cut, and each border strip 21 may be preferably and conveniently customized to conform to the length, width and/or thickness of the article to be framed, or as otherwise desired by the user.

Preferably, lip 74 is defined in each border strip 21, wherein, preferably, lip 74 is disposed on inner display framing wall 28 of each border strip 21, and wherein lip 74 functions to secure viewing window 30 within framing system 10.

Preferably, a plurality of scores 76 are disposed on back hanging wall 26 of each border strip 21, wherein plurality of scores 76 are situated proximate each mating sidewall 70 and 72. Plurality of scores 76 are preferably oriented parallel to proximate mating sidewalls 70 and 72, wherein, preferably, plurality of scores 76 enable a user to easily and accurately cut or break each border strip 21 at a selected score, whereby the proximate mating sidewall 70 or 72 is removed and effectively redefined at the score break point, and border strip 20 is modified to conform to the size and shape desired by the user. Plurality of scores 76 are preferably disposed on border strips 20 at selected intervals to enable selective formation of standard-sized frames. However, it is recognized in alternate embodiments, scores 76 could be disposed at one-inch, or other suitable increments, such as for exemplary purposes only, ½-inch, ¼-inch or ⅛-inch increments, or, in the case of larger frames, at increments of several inches or feet. It is further recognized that plurality of border strips 20 could be sized to enable creation of virtually any size frame, or to accommodate utilization in framing pre-hung objects, such as large mirrors, in order to achieve an updated, custom, or otherwise altered design. Still further, plurality of border strips 20 could be utilized to accessorize and/or otherwise alter the aesthetic appearance of cabinet doors and the like, wherein scores 76 would enable easy customization.

Viewing window 30 is preferably formed from thin transparent plastic, whereby easy cutting or trimming is facilitated to provide user-customization to the size and/or shape to that of framing system 10. For the preferred rectangular-shaped framing system 10, viewing window 30 is preferably rectangular-shaped, wherein viewing window 30 preferably resides proximate lip 74 of each border strip 21, thereby covering and displaying poster P without substantially increasing hanging weight. It is contemplated, however, that other materials could be utilized, such as glass or Plexiglas, or that no viewing window material could be present.

In the preferred configuration, rear wall 40 is rectangular-shaped and is preferably dimensioned to enable disposition within plurality of border strips 20. Rear wall 40 is preferably formed from a generally thin and lightweight, yet sturdy material, such as cardboard, wherein rear wall 40 may preferably be easily cut with a knife or scissors to conform to the size and/or shape necessary for mating with plurality of border strips 21. It is contemplated in an alternate embodiment, that rear wall 40 could be formed from other suitable materials, such as, for exemplary purposes only, polystyrene foam, polyvinyl chloride, plastic and/or other natural and/or synthetic materials.

Preferably, rear wall 40, shown in FIG. 2B, is secured into position relative to plurality of border strips 21, wherein poster P is retained within framing system 10 thereby. Preferably, one or more securing barbs 50 are utilized to secure and retain rear wall 40 within framing system 10. Referring now to FIG. 4, preferred securing barb 50, also referred to as a cookie or biscuit, preferably comprises distal end 52, wherein distal end 52 preferably defines cutting edge 56. Preferably, securing barb 50 is formed from metal, wherein cutting edge 56 enables insertion into inner display framing wall 28 of each border strip 21 at a user selected depth. It is contemplated in an alternative embodiment, that securing barb 50 could be formed from other suitably rigid materials, such as, for exemplary purposes only, wood, glass, plastic, or other natural and/or synthetic materials. Further, securing barb 50 could define any suitable shape, wherein distal end 52 could be incapable of cutting, but could nonetheless be capable of secure, affixed positioning within a border strip 21. It is further contemplated that the relative proportions of securing barb 50 and border strips 20 could vary, wherein each securing barb 50 could be generally large, thereby inserting into a generally substantial portion of each relative border strip 21.

Preferably, mounting tack 60 is utilized to non-invasively secure framing system 10 to a wall surface. Preferably, base member 62 is generally flat, wherein adhesive coating 80 is provided on first side 66 to enable mounting tack 60 to securely adhere to a wall surface. Pin member 64 is preferably needle-shaped and is preferably centrally and generally perpendicularly affixed to second side 68 of base member 62, wherein pin member 64 is securely inserted into border strip 21 to facilitate support of framing system 10. Mounting tack 60 is preferably formed from metal, although it is recognized in an alternate embodiment, that mounting tack 60 could be formed from other suitable materials, such as, for exemplary purposes only, wood, glass, plastic, or other natural and/or synthetic materials. Further, although mounting tack 60 is preferred, other styles and mechanisms of mounting could be utilized, for example, traditional framing wires, mounting loops, and/or any other desirable means for hanging.

It is important to understand that the present invention is suitable for displaying decorative articles of various shapes and sizes; therefore, while the apparatus and method of the present invention is described conveniently with the preferred utilization for displaying a generally flat, rectangular-shaped poster, photo or picture, it is not limited to application or implementation with only such shaped articles. For example, framing system 10 could be utilized to display a sword, kimono, plate or other collectable, or an oil painting. Further, it is contemplated in an alternate embodiment that framing system 10 could be utilized to define other frame shapes, better suited for particular articles, such as, for exemplary purposes only, circular, semi-circular, triangular, pentagonal or hexagonal-shaped articles, wherein some alternate embodiment shapes could include arcuate border strips.

In the preferred use, in order to retain and display poster P within preferred fully-customizable framing system 10, a user preferably determines the appropriate number and length requirements of border strips 20, as well as the corresponding dimensional requirements of viewing window 30 and rear wall 40 based on the peripheral dimensions of poster P. For example, according to the preferred method of the present invention, to retain and display poster P1, wherein poster P1 has a length of 36 inches and a width of 24 inches, and wherein framing system 10 is formed from border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d, the appropriate scores 76 of border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d are cut until the desired length border strips 21a-d are achieved. More specifically, border strips 21b, 21d are preferably cut, wherein inner display framing walls 28b, 28d of border strips 21b, 21d, respectively, each preferably measure 36 inches in length. Furthermore, border strips 21a, 21c are preferably cut, wherein inner display framing walls 28a, 28c of border strips 21a, 21c, respectively, each preferably measure 24 inches in length.

Border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d are preferably affixed to one another to collectively form a rectangular border. More specifically, second sidewall 72a of border strip 21a is preferably affixed to first sidewall 70b of border strip 21b; second sidewall 72b of border strip 21b is preferably affixed to first sidewall 70c of border strip 21c; second sidewall 72c of border strip 21c is preferably affixed to first sidewall 70d of border strip 21d; and second sidewall 72d of border strip 21d is preferably affixed to first sidewall 70a of border strip 21a. Border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d are preferably fastened to one another via adhesives, although it is recognized that alternate fastening methodologies may be utilized, such as, for exemplary purposes only, staples, pins, dowels, nails, screws, bolts, brackets, clamps, clasps, hooks, hook-and-loop fasteners and/or a tab and slot system.

Preferably, viewing window 30 and rear wall 40 are cut to conform to the size and shape of painting P, wherein the lengths and widths of viewing window 30 and rear wall 40 generally correspond to the peripheral dimensions of poster P. For example, to retain and display poster P1, viewing window 30 and rear wall 40 are preferably cut until viewing window 30 and rear wall 40 preferably measure 36 inches in length and 24 inches in width.

For final assembly of framing system 10, viewing window 30 is placed proximate lips 74a, 74b, 74c and 74d of border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d, respectively, wherein poster P is subsequently placed proximate viewing window 30 for viewing therethrough, and wherein rear wall 40 is subsequently positioned proximate poster P. Preferably, viewing window 30, poster P and rear wall 40 are securely retained within border strips 20 via securing barbs 50, wherein cutting edge 56 of each securing barb 50 is inserted into border strips 50 at a user selected position that preferably enables a tight or otherwise secure presentation of poster P. More specifically, one or more securing barbs 50 are preferably positioned proximate the peripheral edges of rear wall 40, wherein cutting edge 56 of securing barb 50 is preferably inserted into inner display framing wall 28 of each border strip 20 to preferably removably secure viewing window 30, poster P and rear wall 40 within the inner periphery defined by plurality of border strips 20. Accordingly, cutting edge 56 of securing barb 50 preferably facilitates uniquely selective customization of framing system 10, wherein framing system 10 preferably adaptively conforms to the thickness of poster P, or whatever type of display is selected.

To mount framing system 10 to a wall surface, preferably one or more mounting tacks 60 are preferably fastened to the wall surface, wherein first side 66 of base member 62 of mounting tack 60 is preferably positioned on the wall surface and preferably securely affixed thereto via adhesive coating 80. Preferably, border strip 21 of framing system 10 is placed over mounting tack 60, wherein pin member 64 of mounting tack 60 is inserted into border strip 21 and is removably secured therewithin. Accordingly, framing system 10 may be preferably mounted to a wall surface without requiring large and/or numerous fasteners. Moreover, framing system 10 may be preferably mounted to a wall surface without creating holes or otherwise puncturing the wall surface.

Subsequently, if the user desires a different display, such as painting P2, wherein painting P2 comprises a length of 10 inches and a width of 8 inches, border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d are disassembled to re-form four independent border strips 20. Next, border strips 21a, 21c are preferably re-cut, wherein inner display framing walls 28a, 28c of border strips 21a, 21c, respectively, then measure 8 inches in length. Border strips 21b, 21d are also re-cut, wherein inner display framing walls 28b, 28d of border strips 21b, 21d, respectively, then measure 10 inches in length. Border strips 21a, 21b, 21c and 21d are again affixed to one another to collectively form a rectangular border, this time with an 8×10 inch display opening, enabling an adaptive use for framing system 10 for a new size configuration.

It is recognized that framing system 10 could also be utilized to retain and display artwork A, wherein artwork A is non-rectangular shaped. For example, to retain and display artwork A (not shown), wherein artwork A is triangular-shaped, framing system 10 would be defined by border strips 21a, 21b and 21c, wherein mating sidewalls 70a, 70b and 70c of border strips 21a, 21b and 21c, respectively, preferably define mitered 60-degree angles. Border strips 21a, 21b and 21c, so cut, may be subsequently affixed to one another to collectively form a triangular-shaped frame border.

It is recognized in an alternate embodiment, that framing system 10 could be utilized as a shadowbox to display three-dimensional objects of some defined thickness, such as, for exemplary purposes only, kimonos, uniforms, swords, coins, collectors pins, small figurines, medals and/or ribbons. In such an alternate embodiment, viewing window 30 is positioned proximate border strips 20. Next, a first set of securing barbs 50 is inserted into inner display framing walls 28 of border strips 20 proximate viewing window 30, thereby fixing the position of viewing window 30. The selected decorative article is placed proximate viewing window 30, wherein adhesive or other suitable material could be utilized to secure the decorative article positioning relative to rear wall 40. Subsequently, rear wall 40 is inserted into inner display framing walls 28 of border strips 20, wherein a second set of securing barbs 50 securely position rear wall 40 relative to viewing window 30, with display space thereinbetween. Further, a third set of securing barbs 50 could be utilized, wherein the securing barbs 50 could additionally be utilized to secure rear wall 40 from movement in either direction, being effectively sandwiched in between. It is recognized that viewing window 30 could alternately be removably held within a groove in border strips 20

In another alternate embodiment, referring to FIGS. 2A, 2B, and 6, framing system 10 could include one-piece border 100, wherein border 100 would be integrally formed without joints or seams. In such an alternate, viewing window 30 could be held within a first groove or channel defined on inner display framing perimeter 102, instead of being secured via plurality of securing barbs 50. Additionally, a second groove or channel could be defined in border 100 to enable slidable placement of a poster or other display article therewithin, without necessitating the incorporation of rear wall 40 or plurality of securing barbs 50. However, rear wall 40 could be provided, with plurality of securing barbs 50 functioning to securing same to border 100. Referring now to FIG. 6, pursuant to creation or formation of one-piece border 100 via a die-cut composite method, it is envisioned that several sizes could be coincidently, or consecutively cut, and packaged together, with foam-type stamped or cut waste materials utilized for packaging and/or shipping fill.

In another alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could be utilized without viewing window 30 and/or rear wall 40, especially when utilized in combination with traditional artist canvas mounted on stretcher support members. That is, hook-style mounting system 120, shown in FIG. 5B, is also envisioned, wherein such a curved mounting member could be secured to a stretcher support of a canvas, wherein framing system 10 could be supported thereby. It is further envisioned that hook-style mounting system 120 could incorporate length adjustment features, such as, for exemplary purposes only, snap-fit lengths, wherein the hanging length could be customizably selected by the user in order to minimize exposed segments upon hanging.

In another alternate embodiment, front decorative display wall 22 and/or outer edge wall 24 of border strip 20 could be contoured to enhance the decorative features of framing system 10.

In still another alternate embodiment, border strip 20 could be arcuate-shaped to conform to decorative articles having one or more curved peripheral sections, or to define a circular or otherwise semi-rounded frame around an object d'art of any shape.

In yet another alternate embodiment, plurality of border strips 20 could be formed from other types of foam materials, such as, for exemplary purposes only, polypropylene, polyurethane, polyethylene, styrene and/or other natural or synthetic foam materials.

In yet another alternate embodiment, plurality of border strips 20 could be formed from other lightweight materials, such as, for exemplary purposes only, plastic, polyvinyl chloride, cork, soft wood, balsa and/or other natural or synthetic materials.

In yet another alternate embodiment, plurality of border strips 20 could comprise a lightweight outer coating to mimic the appearance of wood or other natural material.

In still another alternate embodiment, plurality of border strips 20 could be formed from flexible materials or pliable members, or could be formed without an outer shell.

In still yet another alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could include border strip extension members, wherein such border strip extension members could be attached to border strips 20 to lengthen same.

In a further alternate embodiment, border strips 20 of framing system 10 could be permanently affixed to one another, or be integrally formed or shaped.

In still a further alternate embodiment, border strip 20 could lack lip 74, wherein inner display framing wall 28 of border strip 20 could have an elongated groove or channel, defined therein for receiving and retaining a peripheral edge of viewing window 30 therewithin.

In yet a further alternate embodiment, viewing window 30 could be permanently or semi-permanently affixed to border strips 20.

In another alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could be formed and utilized without viewing window 30 and/or rear wall 40.

In another alternate embodiment, rear wall 40 could have peripheral scoring to enable a user to easily cut or break rear wall 40 at the selected scores, wherein rear wall 40 could be more easily modified to conform to the peripheral dimensions of painting P.

In still another alternate embodiment, securing barb 50 could embody an alternative shape, such as, for exemplary purposes only, triangular, rectangular, ovular, or semi-circular.

In yet another alternate embodiment, securing barb 50 could be pivotally attached to rear wall 40.

In still yet another alternate embodiment, securing barb 50 could be pivotally attached to border strips 20, wherein cutting edge 56 of securing barbs 50 could be inserted into rear wall 40, wherein rear wall 40 is formed from foam.

In a further alternate embodiment, securing barb 50 and mounting tack 60 could be formed from other suitably rigid materials, such as, for exemplary purposes only, wood, glass, plastic, and/or other natural and/or synthetic materials.

In still another alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could be formed with coloration and/or visual surface effects integral thereto or displayed thereon.

In a further alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could have coloration to coordinate with a selected sports team, collegiate, or any other type of affiliation, and/or could have insignias, mascot depictions, Greek symbols, licensed characters, religious indicia, seasonal ornamentation, or any other desirable type of ornamentation integral thereto or displayed thereon.

In yet a further alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could be mounted to a wall surface utilizing hook-and-loop fasteners, wherein hook member 90 is fastened to the wall surface via adhesives, wherein loop member 92 is fastened to framing system 10 via adhesives, or vice versa, and wherein loop member 92 is placed over hook member 90 to engage same.

In still yet a further alternate embodiment, framing system 10 could be mounted to a wall surface utilizing alternative fasteners, such as, for exemplary purposes only, double-sided tape, adhesives, adhesive-backed magnets, adhesive-backed tab and slot assemblies and/or adhesive-backed hooks, wherein a hook receiving member could be mounted to the rear of framing system 10.

In yet another alternate embodiment, it is envisioned that framing system 10 could be provided and packaged with a variety of mounting options, wherein a user could select the mounting member most suitable for the particular wall surface.

Having thus described exemplary embodiments of the present invention, it should be noted by those skilled in the art that the within disclosures are exemplary only, and that various other alternatives, adaptations, and modifications may be made within the scope of the present invention. Accordingly, the present invention is not limited to the specific embodiments illustrated herein, but is limited only by the following claims.