We’ve heard your questions about printing photos on glass and acrylic prints. That’s why we’re here to show you the differences and benefits behind photos on glass and Artmill’s acrylic facemounted wall art. As we’ve covered in the past, acrylic is a material visually similar to glass, but it is also known as plexiglass and tends to be shatter-resistant in comparison to regular glass, which is heavier and prone to breaking into small, uneven pieces. Let’s dig deeper into the key differences of the processes for which glass and acrylic are used.
What are the key differences between a print on glass and an acrylic facemount?
The biggest difference between a print on glass and an acrylic facemount is the execution and resulting quality. The resolution, clarity, and color of an acrylic facemount print are superior to printing on glass, which is why many galleries and museums use the fine art process of acrylic facemounting. The process of printing photos on glass involves an inkjet plotter laying ink on primed glass. White ink is laid behind the initial layer of ink for opacity. This is a non-archival, commercial process that tends to experience resolution, color accuracy, and consistency limitations when you print photos direct to glass.
Our acrylic facemount process begins with printing an image on archival photo paper. The materials alone produce a superior quality and color accuracy; the resolution, depth, and vibrancy of colors on photo paper are unmatched. The photo print is then facemounted to a quality acrylic using an opti-clear, pH-neutral adhesive with UV inhibitors.
Is there a difference in quality between the two processes? Why?
Yes, acrylic facemounted prints usually possess a better image quality because the process of printing photos on glass is not nearly as precise. The print heads used to create glass prints are often larger and usually, prints using a four to six-color process resulting in the machines not laying ink with nearly as much precision. Artmill prints and mounts a high-resolution photographic print to the acrylic using a nine-color process, so you get that maximum resolution along with color accuracy.
How does printed glass age compared to an acrylic facemount?
Printing on glass has archival limitations. Since Artmill uses archival materials to create our acrylic facemounts, we’re confident that our process withstands the test of time. With acrylic, there are several upgrade options that give your photo prints added protection. Acrylic has inherent UV protection with standard acrylic providing 70%+ UV protection. We also offer Tru-Life Acrylic, which is abrasion-resistant, 99% UV protection, and anti-reflective. The materials used in printing on glass cannot compare.
Does it cost more to print to glass than to mount an image to acrylic?
While glass prints are more cost-effective, the quality provided by an acrylic facemounted print is far and above in value.