photo by simpson33 via iStock
Acrylic prints are a beautiful way to display your images, but very few photographers opt for this display and I think it’s probably because photographers have a lot of acrylic print questions they need answered.
I love acrylic prints because they seem to fit in every single home. They can appear incredibly grand in a large, ranch-style mansion, but they also look right at home in a small, single-family home in the suburbs. And, no matter what house you put them in, acrylic prints stand out as a gorgeous centerpiece.
Since I clearly think acrylic prints don’t get half of the credit they deserve, I decided to create an acrylic print buyer’s guide of sorts to walk you through all of the acrylic print features you need to know about and all of the questions you should ask before you purchase one.
What Kind of Photo Paper Is Used?
The answer to this first question about acrylic prints obviously depends on which acrylic print maker you choose to work with, so for the sake of this article I’m going to be talking about Artbeat Studios, which is where I purchase all of my acrylic prints. This works well because I also think that Artbeat Studios acts as a good measure of the industry standard.
So, Artbeat Studios uses an archival-grade metallic photo paper. If your acrylic print studio isn’t using archival-grade paper, then you should probably look elsewhere unless you’re only looking for a cheap print. This type of paper ensures that your print will last for decades and that you can pass it down your family line.
Importantly, you should also make sure that your printing company isn’t just using an archival-grade photo paper, but that they’re using archival inks as well. Artbeat Studios pairs its archival-grade photo paper with Epson archival inks.
How Thick is the Acrylic?
Artbeat Studios offers ⅛” acrylic which is then adhered to black sintra. A lot of companies print their photographs directly onto the acrylic, which actually lessens the vibrancy of the print and is a huge red flag that you’re working with a subpar company.
Of course, that acrylic is then polished. Artbeat Studios uses a 3-step polishing process that ensures the side of your acrylic shines.
What Hanging Options Do I Have?
Your acrylic prints won’t look as grand if they don’t come with the mount or hanger you’re looking for. This is exactly why Artbeat Studios offers a bunch of different options.
To start, you can choose between a natural wood wall mount, which makes your acrylic print look as if it is floating off of the wall. This floating mount also comes in black wood, silver aluminum, or black aluminum for the same effect.
When it comes to hangers, you can opt for a wire hanger, which is the type of hanger most galleries use, or you can go with the traditional cleat hanger which is easiest to put up.
How Long Does Production Take?
You don’t want to purchase an acrylic print without understanding how long it’s going to take to arrive to your house, or your client’s house.
That’s why Artbeat Studios is so transparent about their production time. They have a page dedicated to laying out their production times for your pieces.
But, most of their acrylic prints will take between 9 and 12 for production, unless you opt for the 4-day production guarantee for a fee.
What Size Should I Buy?
You should obviously know where you want to hang your acrylic print before talking to any printing studios, because you need to know the approximate size.
I love working with Artbeat Studios so much because they offer a huge array of sizes, from 8x10 prints to 48x96 prints.
But, they also offer custom sized prints because they cut all of their acrylic in-house, which is pretty rare to find.
How Much Will It Cost?
Obviously, how much your acrylic print will cost relies largely on what size print you’re wanting to buy. But, a complaint I hear a lot when I’m talking about my latest acrylic print is that people are afraid purchasing prints like this are too expensive.
While acrylic prints are obviously going to cost more than a canvas print, for instance, acrylic prints with Artbeat Studios are surprisingly affordable. An 8x10 print is just $69 and that comes with the wall mount.
If you purchase a print that costs over $150, like a 12x24 print which costs $157, then you’ll also receive free shipping.
I’m definitely not suggesting you should buy acrylic prints everyday, but they’re a great investment in your business and a great investment in your home. Head over to Artbeat Studios to see for yourself!