Types and framing of wall art
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Types and framing of wall art

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Photographic prints come in various types, each with its own unique characteristics, advantages, and disadvantages. The success of your wall art comes from making the right decision.  Here are some of the most common types and how to frame, or not frame

1. Glossy Prints:

   – Advantages: Glossy prints have a shiny surface that enhances color and contrast. They are vibrant and sharp, making them a popular choice for displaying detailed and colorful images.

   – Disadvantages: Glossy prints are prone to fingerprints, glare, and reflections. They may not be ideal for photos displayed in areas with a lot of natural or artificial light.

Framed wall art
Framed wall art from Yellowstone National Park

2. Matte Prints:

   – Advantages: Matte prints have a non-reflective surface that reduces glare and fingerprints. They are excellent for displaying photos in various lighting conditions.

   – Disadvantages: Matte prints may lack the vibrancy and contrast of glossy prints, so they might not be the best choice for highly detailed or colorful images.

Nautical sailboat ocean
The schooner Californian on a sail to Hawaii 1000 miles at sea

3. Lustre or Semi-Gloss Prints:

   – Advantages: Lustre prints strike a balance between glossy and matte. They offer good color saturation and reduced glare, making them suitable for a wide range of photos.

   – Disadvantages: While they reduce glare compared to glossy prints, lustre prints may still exhibit some reflections in bright lighting.

4. Metal Prints:

   – Advantages: Metal prints are created by infusing dyes into a specially coated aluminum sheet. They have a modern, vibrant, and durable finish with excellent color reproduction.

   – Disadvantages: Metal prints can be relatively expensive, and they may not suit all types of images. They are also heavier than paper prints.

5. Canvas Prints:

   – Advantages: Canvas prints provide a textured and artistic look. They are often used for reproducing paintings or creating a rustic feel in photographs. With the canvas wrapped around the edges a beautiful piece of wall art is created that does not require framing, giving a good deal of savings particularly on larger prints.

   – Disadvantages: Canvas prints may not be as sharp or detailed as paper or metal prints. They are best suited for images where a textured, painterly effect is desired.

Colorful canvas wall art
Brightly colored floats create an eye catching accent to any room.

Framing or not framing your photographic prints depends on your personal preference and the intended display environment. Any kind of high gloss surface, glass, acrylic or metal. Stand looking at your proposed location of the print. Turn 180° and look for windows or any other bright light source that could reflect off a high gloss surface. Then decide between choosing another location, using a matte surface or just dealing with it. You can get a metal print with a matte finish and can be quite handsome.

– Framing: Framing can protect prints from dust, moisture, and physical damage. It also adds an aesthetic element to the display. Choose a frame that complements the style of your image and the room where it will be hung. Framing was originally used to separate the print from a busy background or wall with wall paper etc. it’s also a nice way to connect the colors in the print and the surrounding environment.

Beach palm trees
A pair of palm trees frame a tropical beach in the Virgin Islands.

– No Framing: Some prints, especially canvas (aka canvas wrap) or metal prints, can be displayed without frames for a contemporary, frameless look. This works well in modern and minimalist settings. It also offsets the cost of metal and canvas prints with savings over the framing costs.

When framing prints, consider using UV-protective glass or acrylic to prevent fading from sunlight. Additionally, use acid-free matting and backing to preserve the print’s quality over time.

Ultimately, the choice of print type and framing depends on your preferences, the image itself, and the display location. Experiment with different options to find what works best for your specific photography and decor.

You should never hang a print of any kind in direct sunlight.

For more info on canvas wall art read this blog

And here is an interesting read on Canvas vs Metal wall art

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