Snapframe The history of the Snapframe, or Grip Frame, Click Frame or Clip Frame as it is sometimes known, is an interesting one, and much older than most of us realise. In 1917 a patent was filed in the USA for a bill-posting device with the ‘aim to provide a board or base to which may be removably secured suitable advertising matter, such as posters, bulletins and the like. The primary object of the invention is to provide a device of this character in which all of the edges of the sheet are securely clamped to the board and protected, thereby preventing such edges from becoming torn or mutilated by the wind or from other reasons. The invention also aims to provide spring actuated clamps constructed so as to protect the actuating parts from the elements, the clamping member forming a housing for such parts. The invention further includes means whereby each of the spring actuated clamps may be held from engagement with the board to facilitate the insertion of the poster matter there beneath.’

This perfectly describes the mechanism and function of the aluminium Snapframe today, more than 100 years later. What started out as a device for displaying wall-paper samples evolved into the world’s most popular frame for displaying paper advertising posters, notices, menus, certificates, artwork and illuminated transparencies.

It is the value for money, ease of use and functional simplicity of the modern Snapframe that makes it so popularRijo Snapframe with business operators, facilities management and service institutions from all sectors of society, not just the business community. The positive snap-open snap-shut operation of the frame sides without the need for tools makes poster change fast and dependable, whilst the clamping action of the frame around the edges of the poster and clear plastic cover sheet provides a reassuring degree of poster security and protection, all for a surprisingly small capital outlay.

Signwaves can’t take any credit for the basic product design but, as significant developers and manufacturers of the product since laying down our first frame profile extrusion die in 1990, have been instrumental in bringing refinement, value engineering and supplementary patented innovation to the market, as well as offering some of the sharpest prices, widest range and largest stocks in Europe.

Outer frame profiles range in width from 14mm to 50mm. There is also a choice of square (mitred) or round corners, off-the-shelf and make-to-order colours and special finishes, versions for free-standing and suspending, and  increased security options requiring a simple lever tool or Allen key to open. All are available in a wide range of common international and imperial poster sizes and in most cases custom sizes can be manufactured to order within a matter of days. Every frame is supplied individually packed with instruction sheet, four screws and wall plugs, or double-sided or adhesive Velcro tape can work well on suitable interior surfaces.

Our 15mm and 25mm profile frames with mitred corners are the most popular, selling in their 000’s every month. These narrower frame profiles are proportionally more suited to smaller posters, hence stock sizes focusing on A5 up to A1 including 20” x 30”. This makes them perfectly suited to the majority of interior messaging applications. The particular popularity of the 25mm profile frame has justified Signwaves keeping 13 colours ‘on the shelf’ including wood-grain, gold, satin chrome and stainless steel  finishes.

Counterstand SnapframesThe Counterstand Snapframe with ‘clip-in’ hinged support strut and stylish moulded safety corners is also a popular indoor product, for tables, bars, counters and window displays. In silver, matt black and wood-grain finishes in A6, A5 and A4 stock sizes the innovative design allows the support to function in portrait or landscape formats, or folded away allowing the frame to be used as a standard wall mounted snapframe.

Whilst all Signwaves Snapframes can be used outdoors, because the materials are weather and UV resistant, certain styles and frame sizes are better suited than others. Wider frame profiles generally provide a stronger grip, and clamp a wider poster cover edge, helping them perform better in windy conditions and exposed locations. It is the vortex action of the wind, more than the wind strength itself, that can suck the cover sheet and poster out of the frame, usually when the wind blows horizontally across the face of the frame or particularly when it is able to blow at 90 degrees past the frame from the rear.

Our recommended Snapframe for outdoor use is the Security Snapframe available in 25mm profile for smaller Security Snapframe Opening Tool poster sizes and 42mm for larger. Designed as a vandal resistant frame with a profile shape that is virtually impossible to open by hand, it is the extra springs to increase clamping strength that provides superior wind resistance. Sometimes referred to as a ‘tamper-proof’ or ‘tamper-resistant’ snapframe a simple lever tool is available to aid opening.

For optimum ‘anti-tamper’ the 32mm Lockable Snapframe with sequentially closing sides is the answer. A simple but effective design feature stops the first side from opening once the adjacent opposing sides are closed, and these opposing sides cannot be opened once the forth side is closed. The fourth side is then locked courtesy of a single Allen-key screw providing a useful deterrent to unwanted access. Reverse sequence is applied when opening the frame to change the poster and for initial installation.

Snapframe innovation from Signwaves is evident at opposite ends of the price spectrum:

FrameworkzFrameworkz is unlike any other poster frame available in that the 50mm wide outer profile can be digitally printed to virtually any design, opening up wonderful new possibilities in frame finishing capable of complementing any décor, promotion or brand identity.  Whether a repeated logo or full-colour artwork, or mimicking a wood grain, stone or rusted metal finish, the opportunities are as exciting as they are endless.  

Minimus, in silver finish and four stock sizes, is an example of sustainable design principles at their best. With continuous pressure on price at the Minimus Snpaframe commodity end of the Snapframe market we set about designing the lowest cost Snapframe in the World. The patented design solution challenged the need for a back panel and rear aluminium profile for a frame mounted to a wall or rigid flat surface, precisely where the high percentage of poster frames are used. Although lightweight in construction, once fixed to a wall it looks and performs just like any other 25mm standard profile Snapframe. For larger volume projects cost savings can be significant.

When a custom colour or sizing isn’t enough, pad printing is a cost effective way to fully personalise a standard Snapframe. A logo or branding in one or more positions on the surface of the frame endorses ownership and works well for the likes of media advertisers selling space in public areas.