Advertisements arrange framing techniques as a means of guiding meaningful interpretations of images within the ad. As "messages intended to order or organize the perception of the viewer," frames permit the inclusion of certain messages and relations while excluding others. Frames function as "principles of selection, emphasis, and presentation" that organize our social construction of reality, both in daily life and through the media (Bateson, 1972; Gitlin, 1980).

Frames structure, organize and bound fields of meaning. Frames and framing devices provide decoding cues about how to interpret an ad's organization of meaning.

Frames and framing devices range from the most obvious, the actual picture frame, to the use of boundary lines, text as a frame, the mortise, the use of color, shape and design. To be sure, advertisers must try to differentiate the style and 'feel' of their frames and boundary markers just as much as they try to differentiate their signifying content. Most actual advertising works with combinations of frames.