To the left you can see a composite image of a faded print (the top) vs. what the colors are supposed to be (bottom section). This is from an actual Brenda Schwartz print that was framed under plain glass. We keep the faded print to demonstrate what happens when art is not adequately protected from light.
All light will damage art and photographs over time, but UV blocking glass and acrylic (aka glazing) can dramatically reduce the amount of damage and lengthen the life of the art by decades and even hundreds of years.
Nearly all ready-made frames that are purchased at craft stores, office supply stores, and hardware stores are supplied with plain glass to cut costs. They protect what is underneath from physical damage, but will not protect it from light damage.
Part of a custom framer's job is to make sure that the customer's art and photographs are protected over the long term, including from light damage. For that reason, we only offer UV blocking glazing. The protection does cost more, but we are not willing to offer anything less. All of our standard sized ready-made frames include UV blocking conservation glass, an upgrade that is normally not found in most others.
Below are more examples (additional images supplied by Tru-Vue) of comparison images of light-damaged photographs and what they look like after restoration (and framed under UV blocking glazing).
What about oil and acrylics? The pigments are certainly more stable, but they can still be affected by environmental damage and light. A prime example is how much the famed "Mona Lisa" painting has faded over time. Current conservation guidelines recommend even oil and acrylic paintings on canvas to be protected by glazing on the front (ideally 1/4" or more air gap between the glazing and the painting).
Differences in Our Glazing Options and Features