When it comes to choosing wall art, there are a lot of factors to consider. The size of the print, the style of your home, and the type of image you want to display all play a role. But one of the most important decisions you'll make is what type of print material to use.
There are four main types of print materials: metal, canvas, paper, and acrylic. Each material has its own unique advantages and disadvantages, so it's important to choose the right one for your needs.
The high quality way to make a Metal Print is with dye-sublimation inks printed onto a transfer paper. That paper is placed on a specially coated aluminum, and using a combination of heat, time and pressure, the solid inks turn into a vapor, then back into a solid, at various levels on the aluminum. This process creates a sharp, high-quality image that is resistant to fading, moisture, and scratches. Metal prints have lots of framing options and are made with 94% recycled aluminum and are 100% recyclable. They are also quite durable, making them a good choice for homes with children or pets.
You may see firms offering a cheaper metal print but buyer beware! These firms use flatbed printers and print directly to the surface of the aluminum instead of sublimating. Please keep in mind that these prints are significantly more prone to damage/scratching/chipping.
Canvas prints are made by printing the image onto the canvas. That canvas is then stretched over a wooden frame and stapled or glued onto the back. Canvas prints are known for their textured appearance. The cons are funky corners, and the image is stretched over the edges thus losing some of the outer perimeter of the image. They are also relatively affordable, making them a popular choice for budget-minded shoppers.
Paper prints are made by printing an image directly onto paper. Paper prints are the most affordable option, but they are also the least durable. There are many paper options from glossy to matte. Of course you must get your paper print framed and while there are lots of options there are lots of costs to framing. If looking at the price of a metal print when compared to a paper print. On the surface it may seem that the paper print is cheaper, and if you plan on just taping the paper to the wall – you'd be right! But by the time you get a frame, get the matting, get the glass, pay for the labor of putting it all together – you may pay more than you would for a comparable sized metal print. Paper prints are also susceptible to fading, moisture, stains and scratches, so they are not a good choice for homes with children or pets.
Acrylic prints are made with a multi-step process that starts by printing an image on paper. Then that paper is glued to the acrylic (a type of plastic). The back of the paper has more glued applied to it so a backer can be attached. Acrylic prints are known for their sharp, high-quality images (if qulaity paper is used) and their durability. They are very heavy, susceptible to delamination due to the many layers, and the plastic front can be damaged with certain common cleaning materials. They are not recyclable. They are also resistant to fading.
So, which type of print material is right for you?
The best way to decide is to consider your needs and budget. If you are looking for a high-quality, durable print that will last for years, then metal or acrylic prints are a good choice. If you are on a budget, then paper prints may be a better option. And if you are looking for a print with a textured appearance, then canvas prints are a good choice.
No matter what type of print material you choose, make sure to buy from a reputable retailer who offers a warranty on their products. This will ensure that you are happy with your purchase and that your print will last for years to come.
Here is a more comparison and ranking chart of the four main types of print materials:
5-Best 4-Better 3-OK 2-Poor 1-Worst
|Variety of finishes||Total Score|
Ultimately, the best way to decide which type of print material is right for you is to consider your needs and budget. If you are looking for a high-quality, durable print that will last for years, then metal or acrylic prints are a good choice. If you are on a budget, then paper prints may be a better option. And if you are looking for a print with a textured appearance, then canvas prints are a good choice.