Acrylic vs. metal: What’s the best choice for digital photo prints?

If you want to get large digital photo prints for your office/home walls, or want to create a collage of great pictures, one of the foremost aspects is to select a medium. While fabric and glass are good options, the popular ones include acrylic and metal. Printing services, such as, offer both, and in this post, we are comparing these mediums, so that you can take the final call.

The basic facts

For both acrylic and metal, you can select digital and sublimation prints. In case of digital prints, any size is possible, but for sublimation prints, the size range may be limited. Keep in mind that this depends largely on the printing service you choose. Compared to glass, acrylic prints may be prone to more scratching, but are more durable and stronger. Metal, on the other hand, is best suited for creating textured prints. If you want metal prints with a glossy finish, the printing service will typically add a varnish as the top coat. Note that acrylic is not suitable for outdoors, but that’s not an issue with metal in particular.

How to place an order?

You need high-resolution images for all digital prints, so that should be your first priority. The size of the print, medium, printing technology, and style largely determines the cost, and most printing companies will offer an estimate in advance, which is a good thing. Metal prints are quicker to produce and can be considered for large volume-based orders. It is possible to create a collage, but make sure that you have checked for the right service and reviewed a few samples.

Other things to know

Digital acrylic prints are usually printed using a flatbed printer. The printing is done on the back of the acrylic material, which is different that of face mounting. In case of the latter, the photo is printed on paper and then sandwiched between a substrate and acrylic. The thickness of acrylic doesn’t always impact product quality or view of the image, but you can always look around for samples. For the display, some of the popular choices include float, standoff and float frame. In case of metal, industrial looks are trending at the moment, and you can check online for ideas.

If you want to print large acrylic and metal prints, always ensure that the printing service can handle such orders, and don’t compromise on the image quality.

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