Wall Art Printing: Which material to use?

Last week, we printed some wall art for Third Man Records. They had an art exhibit (which is open until the 16th!), and they wanted some of their photographs printed. We used max metal as the substrate, which was perfect for their event.

If you have an event coming up and would like to create some wall art, it is good to know the different substrates you can choose from. They are all good, but they serve different purposes.

Wall Art: Canvas

Pros:

  • – Has the old-fashioned look of an oil painting, but is much cheaper than traditional framing and modern photo mounting.
  • – Easy to transport
  • – Lightweight
  • – Ready to hang

Cons:

  • – Less vibrancy and resolution than with acrylic
  • – Not meant for outdoors
  • – Not scratch-resistant
  • – Less UV and moisture protection than acrylic
Canvas Print

Canvas Print

Canvas Print

Canvas Print

Wall Art: Acrylic Glass

Pros:

  • – Great color vibrancy: acrylic has the ability of keeping a beam of light reflected within its surfaces, which creates an almost 3-D effect.
  • – 100% moisture protection
  • – 70-98% UV protection
  • – Lighter than glass
  • – Shatter-resistant, but can chip in the corners or edge if dropped or mishandled
  • – Modern look

Cons:

  • – Heavier than canvas or foamboard
  • – More expensive than canvas or foamboard
Acrylic Print

Acrylic Print

Acrylic Print

Acrylic Print

Acrylic print side view

Acrylic print side view

Acrylic print back view

Acrylic print back view

Wall Art: Aluminum

Pros:

  • – Same sleek, modern look as max metal, but less expensive
  • – More durable than canvas and foamboard/Gatorboard

Cons:

  • – Less durable than max metal
  • – Heavier than canvas and foamboard/Gatorboard
  • – More expensive than canvas and foamboard/Gatorboard
Aluminum Print

Aluminum Print

Aluminum Print side view

Aluminum Print side view

You can also create a print that has a “brushed aluminum” finish. It looks more metallic than standard aluminum.

Standard aluminum (left) v brushed aluminum

Standard aluminum (left) v brushed aluminum

Standard aluminum (left) v brushed aluminum (right)

Standard aluminum (left) v brushed aluminum (right)

Wall Art: Max Metal

Pros:

  • – Heavier aluminum to prevent surface dings
  • – Resists scratching and denting better than any other substrate
  • – Lightweight
  • – Highly durable and strong
  • – Most cost-competitive composite board available
  • – Weather resistant — perfect for long-term, exterior signage

Cons:

  • – More expensive than canvas and foamboard/Gatorboard
Ultra shiny max metal prints

Brushed aluminum max metal prints

Ultra shiny max metal print

Brushed aluminum max metal print

max metal print

Max metal print

Max Metal print side view

Max metal print side view

Max metal print side view

Max metal print side view

If you’d like to see some clips of the max metal printing process, check out this video:  

Wall Art: Gator Board and Foam Board

Gator board is also known as gatorfoam board and gatorboard. It is similar to foam board, also known as foamcore board and foamboard. Gator board is a little more expensive than foam board, but it lasts longer and is more durable.

Pros:

  • – More affordable than max metal, aluminum and acrylic.
  • – Lighter and easier to transport than max metal, aluminum and acrylic
  • – Perfect for events or temporary displays

Cons:

  • – Less durable than max metal, aluminum and acrylic
Gatorboard prints

Gator Board prints

Gatorboard print side and back view

Gator Board print — side and back view

wall art

Gator Board prints

Gatorfoam board prints

Gatorfoam board prints

wall art

Foam board print

Now that you know ALL about the different substrates for your wall art, which one will you choose?