A Beginner's Guide to Acrylic Prints
- Understanding the Differences Between Metal and Acrylic Prints
- The Trick to Making Your Photos Fine Art
photo by FollowTheFlow via iStock
There are many options for physical prints in digital photography. Besides paper prints and canvas prints, we have available printing on metal and acrylic prints. As a guide to acrylic prints, let’s take a closer look at them.
You might also want to check out our Metal Print Shootout and our other articles about making physical prints from our digital files.
What Is an Acrylic Print?
As discussed in the video above, acrylic prints are regular photographic prints covered in a clear acrylic resin. This acrylic is completely clear and has an interesting effect on viewers, it makes the colors and detail in the image seem deeper.
So much so that some subjects may even seem to be 3D. As a disclaimer, acrylic prints are not 3D printing, but they may appear to be partially that way depending on the subject of your image. The mounting system for hanging on a wall may also add to this apparent effect.
I’ve been using a professional printer for most of my physical prints. Though I have a fantastic large format printer of my own, using a printing service allows me to have a wide variety of print sizes and print types available without requiring me to stock all sorts of different printing materials.
A professional printing service can also ship directly to your clients, saving some time and effort. I still like to have clients come back to me (or I go see them) for a lot of my physical print delivery, but some clients actually prefer direct shipping.
As a guide to acrylic prints for anyone wanting large, durable, gorgeous prints from their image files, I like to recommend Artbeat Studios as a professional printing service.
Before listing the types of acrylic prints and discussing how acrylic prints are made, let me tell you why I like using Artbeat Studios as a professional printing service.
First and foremost, the quality is superb. In addition to the high quality materials used, Artbeat Studios also has an excellent level of craftsmanship in all of their products. They also have great customer service including rapid turnaround time. Finally, their acrylic print prices are reasonable considering all that I listed above.
How Are Acrylic Prints Made?
The making of high quality acrylic prints begins with the paper. Artbeat Studios uses Moab Slick Rock metallic photo paper and archival quality Epson inks. If you were wondering are acrylic prints durable, starting with this type of paper and ink provides a large part of the positive answer.
After printing, the paper is mounted to a board made of 1/8th inch black Sintra, a type of expanded foam polyvinyl chloride plastic that is lightweight and rigid. Other types of acrylic are printed directly on the acrylic. Artbeat Studios are made using metallic photo paper and mounting that to the Sintra provides better sharpness and color.
The print is reverse mounted to a ¼ inch thick piece of clear acrylic that the metallic paper is viewed through, making the entire depth or thickness of the finished print 3/8ths of an inch. After mounting, the edges are diamond polished to a smooth finish in a 3 step process.
You can order custom sizes since they cut all of their acrylic on site, just check with Artbeat Studios online or via the phone for custom size options and pricing.
Regular print sizes start at 8x10 inches and include all the standard sizes plus the sizes such as 9x12, 16x24, and 18x24 inches used for full image area printing of files from Full Frame, APS-C, MFT, and Medium Format digital files.
In the regular size menu, you can find printing options for up to 48x96 inches which is 4x8 feet. That’s the size of a sheet of drywall or plywood for building homes!
Floating Wall Mounts
These pieces of art have several acrylic print mounting options as the finishing touch.
A recessed ¾ inch wall mount is attached to the back of the Sintra, which can then be hung on the wall by means of either a wire hanger or a cleat hanger. The mount can be made of natural wood or black wood, also of black aluminum or silver aluminum.
So the print appears to be floating a bit from the wall. Adding together the 3/8th inch depth of the acrylic print itself with the ¾ inch mount, the print seems to float about an inch from the wall, adding to that semi 3D effect I mentioned earlier.
Depending on your original image file, your final print might be one of the most outstanding pieces of photo art your friends or customers have ever seen. Hopefully this guide to acrylic prints has answered your questions about this interesting display option.