Many single-pixel imaging techniques have been developed in recent years. Though the methods of image acquisition vary considerably, the methods share unifying features that make general analysis possible. Furthermore, the methods developed thus far are based on intuitive processes that enable simple and physically-motivated reconstruction algorithms, however, this approach may not leverage the full potential of single-pixel imaging. We present a general theoretical framework of single-pixel imaging based on frame theory, which enables general, mathematically rigorous analysis. We apply our theoretical framework to existing single-pixel imaging techniques, as well as provide a foundation for developing more-advanced methods of image acquisition and reconstruction. The proposed frame theoretic framework for single-pixel imaging results in improved noise robustness, decrease in acquisition time, and can take advantage of special properties of the specimen under study. By building on this framework, new methods of imaging with a single element detector can be developed to realize the full potential associated with single-pixel imaging.