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While some people seem to have a knack or "eye" for these combinations, it usually takes working with lots of prints and combinations over a long period to develop a real skill at this.
Remember the real goal is to focus attention on your work, "not a pretty mat." In a gallery situation if the walls are white and all the mats are white with a black frame, what stands out is the print.
Keep working with it but keep your final display criteria as the goal. Bruce I have shown in art shows for miney years and I found out pretty quick that if you sign just the mat then it is easy to change mats and have your photography stolen.
I always sign my print with a pen made for signing photography.
However, when our precautions seem to outweigh the reasons we created the work in the first place, I have to question what is really valid.
My photographer friend is so concerned with "protecting" his work that his digital senior previews are so small that his customers can't really see what kind of work he is doing. Protect your work, certainly, but don't focus on it so much that all else is lost.
MAKE NOTE OF WHAT EVERYBODY HAS SUGGESTED AND DO WHAT YOU THINK WORKS FOR YOU. I think you'll find that's a matter of personal preference.
BOB Notwithstanding what's been said here already, Jared, if someone wants to steal your work, they will. Some use pencil on the corner of the matt board, others use a fine-point sharpie.
I ALWAYS STAMP ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE PHOTO, WITH A COPY WRITE RUBBER STAMP, THAT YOU CAN HAVE MADE UP AT ANY KINKKO' S OR PLACES LIKE THAT.
Bruce Dart, (PPA) Certified Professional Photographer, Craftsman Photographer, professional photographer since 1976 I DON' T ALWAYS MOUNT MY PRINTS IN A MATTE, SO THE STAMP IN FIVE PLACES ON THE BACK OF THE PHOTO, JUST PROTECTS YOUR PHOTO ENOUGH THAT PEOPLE DON' T WANT TO STEAL IT.
IT' S NOT PARANOID, IT ONLY TAKES A FEW SECONDS TO DO AND IT IS TOTAL PROTECTION.
THAT WAY IT IS TOTALLY PROTECTED FROM SOMEONE THAT MIGHT JUST WANT TO CUT OFF THE SIGNATURE AND PUT IT IN THEIR FRAME.
THE STAMP DOESN' T COST MUCH AND IT TAKES NO TIME AT ALL.