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When You Should Go with an Acrylic Photo Print

Author: Libby

three acrylic prints on a table manufactured by printique

Choosing a medium for printing your photos can be tough, but acrylic is almost certain to give you some truly vibrant results. Let’s take a look at what kinds of pictures look best in acrylic, as well as the environments that really suit this unique material.

No matter how sure you are that a shot you’ve taken is perfect for display, picking the medium to print your photo on is no small decision. It has a huge impact on how the picture is perceived, how it affects the ambiance of a room, and how long you can expect your treasured snapshot to last.

One option that many people don’t immediately consider is an acrylic print — it’s classy, unique, and has a longer shelf-life than most traditional photo prints. To help guide you to a better decision, I’ve come up with a few occasions where acrylic prints are likely to be the best possible format for your masterpiece.

More Than Simply Acrylic

acrylic photos of family hanging on a wall
Acrylic prints come in two distinct varieties: face-mounted or direct-print.

Face-mounted acrylic prints are printed on quality archival paper, which is then mounted to the back of a sheet of acrylic between 1/8 and 1/4 inch thick — true to its name, direct-print is directly printed on the acrylic sheet. Face-mounted acrylic can produce more vibrant colors, but direct-prints usually last longer, especially in humid environments.

The products of both of these methods resemble painted images you might see hanging in a museum — vivid, bright, and seemingly three-dimensional. But just like in a museum, you don’t want to mount an acrylic print directly opposite a bright window or even under harsh lights, as the reflections will destroy the viewing experience.
stylish mounting cropped

Image Suitability

Of course, not every image suits acrylic. If you’re printing a picture with colors that span to the edges of the printable color range, though, I’d definitely recommend it, assuming you want to reproduce the colors to the greatest effect. Canvas, for instance, can only reproduce two-thirds of the colors that acrylic can.
But even if the colors of your image don’t exactly run the gamut, acrylic may be your best bet. It can increase the contrast — or what I like to call the “pop” — of your images, which is a fun effect for otherwise muted or monotone pictures.

One more factor you should consider is the range of textures contained by the photo. Acrylic is great for accentuating contrast and color while maintaining a smooth facade.

Canvas, on the other hand, has significant surface texture and adds a matte-type finish to an image, creating a more subdued look with regards to color and contrast. In my opinion, this makes acrylic the more versatile material.

Acrylic Occasions

These prints serve as great accents for most environments, but they’re particularly well-suited to modern-style homes. The polished look of acrylic prints renders them perfect for this type of environment, and less suited to a quainter or more old-fashioned place. Modern homes allow for statement pieces that draw attention, something that a bold acrylic print is bound to do.

A second, more surprising setting that’s acrylic-friendly is outside the home. Outdoor bars or patios can be harsh environments for non-acrylic prints, which will fade in the light, especially under UV rays. But acrylic prints are tougher than the rest — they’re light and humidity-resistant, making them perfect for places exposed to the elements.

Lastly, if you’re a photographer, acrylic surfaces provide great protection for prints in galleries. Using this medium is sure to make your work jump off the wall and get noticed!

Whether you’re a professional or an amateur, you’ll find plenty of use for this dynamic medium. If you haven’t already ordered an acrylic print, then now is the time to order one from Printique. Sizes range from 8×8 to 48×96 inches, giving you all the options you need to create an absolutely unique piece of wall art.