Check out the Bumblejax man in action!

Would you like the BumbleJax man to create a gallery quality masterpiece with your digital photo like the one in the video?  We mount to acrylic/plexiglass (including 1″ blocks!), aluminum, bamboo, dibond or gatorfoam.  Each piece is hand-crafted with your satisfaction guaranteed right here in our Seattle shop.  Check out over 500 testimonials from our satisfied customers.

Get started today!  Just head over to our configuration system, choose your product tab, upload your photo, select the size, then any options or upgrades and he’ll take care of the rest, working his magic to create your wall art wonder.

See the acrylic prints process at Youtube along with all our other videos.

Photos On Glass Vs Acrylic Face Mounting

In taking customer calls, live chats and emails we see a lot of similar questions being raised about product specifications along with some confusion about what exactly our customer is looking for.  Today, I wanted to clear up a bit of confusion as well as lay out the differences, advantages, and disadvantages between photos on glass and photos on acrylic.

I think some of the confusion lies in the fact that sometimes people see an acrylic print in a gallery and not knowing exactly what it is, assume it is glass.  If the photo you see in a gallery is frameless it will almost always be acrylic.  Adding to the confusion, some companies are using “glass” and “acrylic” interchangeably in their marketing copy so you might be thinking you’re getting glass, but it’s actually acrylic!

So, first and foremost know exactly what you’re buying – acrylic or glass.  There are important distinctions to be made between having your photos printed on glass vs printed on acrylic.  There are also important distinctions to be made with the acrylic photo products so do your due diligence and know EXACTLY what you’re paying for.  “You get what you pay for” absolutely applies in the printing industry!  If acrylic is what you’re after be sure to have a look at our acrylic prints shopping guide which highlights variations in product components and manufacturing differences.

PHOTOS ON GLASS

For the purposes of this article, please note that when I say “photos on glass” I’m not referring to photos framed in the traditional way with a matte, glass and frame.  I’m referring to the companies printing directly to glass with a UV printer.  It’s not a common process and there aren’t many companies in the US offering it, but there are a few.  At the moment, printing to glass with a UV printer is more popular in Europe, but it may become more popular in the States for signage in particular.  For fine art applications, like we provide here at Bumblejax, I don’t see direct to substrate printing (whether it be glass, acrylic, wood, etc) rivaling the quality of printing to high grade photo paper and mounting to acrylic anytime soon.  You just can’t achieve the same color accuracy and vibrancy.

There are some advantages to printing photos to glass, but this process is really best suited for applications outside of the fine art space where transparency is important.  In addition to corporate signage, you might see photos on glass in things like privacy screens, awards and even shower doors.

I view the photos on glass products in the fine art space as more of a novel idea than anything else.  Here are some advantages and disadvantages of printing to glass vs printing the photo to high grade photo paper and face mounting it.

Comparing Photos On Glass VS Photos On Acrylic (Face Mounting Technique)

Advantages Of Printing To Glass

  • It’s unique!
  • More scratch resistant.
  • May hold up better in high moisture areas.
  • Cheaper
  • More rigidity
  • Can be transparent

Disadvantages Of Printing To Glass

  • Diminished color accuracy and vibrancy (light passes through glass, while light refracts within acrylic)
  • Breakable
  • Limited sizes – companies offering photos on glass in the fine art space are very limited in sizes offered.
  • Permanence – questionable although testing is currently underway; with the UV protection of acrylic, acid- free paper and pigment inks rated to last 100 years, acrylic face mounts should last at least a lifetime.
  • UV Protection – again this is questionable with these products .. is there UV protection in the glass used?
  • Imperfections – this is a common issue with direct to substrate printing such as glass.  The tolerance level and what is acceptable depends on each individual company but one company that prints to glass has this in their FAQ: “The materials sometimes contain some small imperfections such as divots or bumps. We inspect each sheet carefully and if there are imperfections, we place them in the most unobtrusive parts of the image.”  We don’t tolerate such imperfections with our acrylic photo mounting product.

In summary, the photos on glass products provide some really unique opportunities where fine art color quality and permanence aren’t of utmost importance.  As UV printing technology continues to improve and more testing is done to determine longevity, it’s possible that printing to glass could come close to rivaling lightjet and inkjet prints in the future, but we’re not there yet.  For  those that aren’t concerned about color accuracy and print longevity, it’s a novel product idea worth looking into.  At Bumblejax, we love unique product ideas and are always exploring new possibilities, but those new products ideas for the fine art market must meet our strict guidelines in terms of color accuracy and longevity.   Many of our customers are professional photographers, interior designers and corporations making significant investments in artwork and need to know it’s going to last a lifetime.  Our process using pigment ink,

Many of our customers are professional photographers, interior designers and corporations making significant investments in artwork and need to know it’s going to last a lifetime.  Our process using pigment ink, high grade acid-free paper along with UV protection in both the ink as well as the acrylic, provide for a product that not only offers true color accuracy and vibrancy, but will last a lifetime.  You can see more info about our popular acrylic prints here.

 

Bumblejax Printing & Product Buyer Guides

We have released two guides to help our customers prepare their files for printing and determine the best product and configuration for their particular photo, style preference, decor and/or budget.  We know it can be a tough decision to decide on a particular product especially if you’re new to this style of frameless photo mounting.  Hopefully, the buyer’s guide will help steer you in the right direction! Of course, we’re available via email, phone, and live chat too if you need to consult with one of our experts.

Here are the links or just click on the images below.

Bumblejax Printing Guide   |    Bumblejax Product Guide

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

(more…)

Need Artwork For Your Home Or Office? Bumblejax Has You Covered!

Are you looking for gallery quality art for your home or office?  Whether you’re an interior designer or designing a space for yourself in a home or corporate office, we can create beautiful wall art for you using unique materials such acrylic, bamboo and raw aluminum.  Every piece is handcrafted locally here in Seattle and shipped worldwide.  We print any digital image to high-grade photo paper then mount it to our unique materials for a modern, high-end look.  You can use your own images as many do to personalize the space or choose from our collection of over 50 million high quality images.  Here are your options with us.

::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Bumblejax Art Gallery – Over 50 Million Images With Curated Sections
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

NOTE:  This is just the first phase of our gallery launch.  In the future, we’ll be integrating the gallery better so you can save photos to your account and order online.  For now, you’ll just send us the Photo ID of the photo you’re interested in (details below).  We’ll be featuring some independent artists in the future as well!

The Bumblejax art gallery has over 50 million images to choose from which can be a bit overwhelming so we’ve broken it out into Featured Collections and Categories and have curated some great photos in each section to help get you started.  The Featured Collections such as Famous Churches, Panoramic Skylines and Big Waves will only include curated photos, the but the broader photo categories such as Beaches, Floral and Abstract will include a tab to search on your own as well.  By default, each category displays the curated collection in each category and you can hit the Search More.. tab to begin your own search within that category.  (see example below)

When you click in the category search tab you’ll see all the photos offered.  This example shows the Floral/Botanical category search and you can see there are a few filters to help you find what you’re looking for.  The default filter is Best Sales which are sales across the network of our photos provider and not necessarily best sales here at Bumblejax.  It’s just a starting point.  You can filter these photos by Color and Orientation as well.

Another great way to locate photos in the style you prefer is to click on the photo to open up the lightbox of the larger image.   You’ll then see a list of similar photos on the right side as shown in the image below.

If you see a photo you would like to purchase simply send us the Photo ID.  We can take a look to make sure it will print at high quality for the print size that you need.  Almost all photos in the gallery will print well up to about 40-50″.  Just let us know what type of mounting you want for the photo and the size and we can get some pricing for you.  The price for the photo license is between $10-$60 and varies depending on the size of the print.


::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::
Another curated gallery at Artprintstopia.com
::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

This is a much smaller curated gallery of high quality digital art, paintings and photography from independent artists. Search for images at www.artprintstopia.com and if you see something you like pass along the URL of the image.

We have far more options with sizes and product options than what is available for ordering there so it’s best to just contact us with the images you want.  Simply just send us the URL(s) of the page for that image.

Pricing really varies by artist since they set the pricing. We can typically negotiate a better deal than what is currently listed.  This is another reason to just contact us with what you need rather than ordering off the site.

Search for cool art at ArtPrintstopia here.

:::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::

If you are having trouble locating a particular style or subject for your art, not sure of the best paper type or product, please let us know and we’re happy to help you select the right photos and right products for your design project!

If you already have your own images ready to go you use our easy online upload and configuration system to order your art!

Questions or comments?  Please contact us here.

Guide To Preparing Your Photos For Printing

We have just released a detailed guide on best practices for preparing your photos for printing at Bumblejax.  A portion of the guide will be more geared towards photographers and graphic designers, but it’s worth a read for anyone sending their photos to a print lab.  Every lab will have different requirements, but the tips on file type, monitor calibration, dark prints, etc are good general tips for printing your photos.  Below is a cliffs notes version of the article and you can see the detailed printing guide here. 

Accepted File Types: JPG (preferred), TIFF, PDF.
Max File Size Accepted: 100MB for online orders; unlimited for offline.  Best to send as native resolution (no resizing).
Color Space:  Send as RGB, not CMYK.  The sRGB space is most common.  Adobe 1998 is best if you know what you’re doing.
Bleed: We do that for you.
Color Accuracy: Unless your monitor is professionally calibrated, your print color may not match your monitor.
Avoid Dark Prints: View the photo on your monitor at around 50-60% brightness to better represent a print.
Color Correction/Editing:  We never change color without customer inquiry and approval.  If we feel a photo needs sharpening, denoising or a touch of lightening we’ll take care of it.  Minor editing such as removing red eye we also take care of at no charge.

Link To Detailed Printing Guide.

 

 

Non Glare, Anti Reflective & UV Protected Acrylic (Plexiglass) For Face Mounting

If you’ve ever gone down the rabbit hole of trying to figure out what all the various types of acrylic (otherwise known as plexiglass) are and what the differences are, then you know it can be overwhelming, to say the least.  For most people, you won’t concern yourself with this and just trust that a high quality clear cast acrylic is going to be a great option for your acrylic face mount.  This kind of acrylic is going to offer optically clear acrylic free of impurities and will offer UV protection.  Our standard acrylic offers about 75% UV protection.

What if you want a few more bells and whistles in your acrylic?  If you’re a pro photographer, a digital artist, painter or really anyone reselling, you might consider a premium acrylic option which can provide additional benefits such as reduced glare/reflection, more UV protection, scratch resistance and anti-static properties.  This is where it gets confusing and difficult to decide on what to use.  Many companies offer these upgrades in many combinations and the naming you often see is non-glare or anti-reflective.  The non-glare or matte acrylic will at times eliminate glare/reflection almost completely but with big tradeoffs such as diminished vibrancy and image distortion.   If you want to avoid glare completely with acrylic there isn’t any getting around those drawbacks.  A better option is the best of both worlds where you get some reflection reduction without any decrease in vibrancy.  We have tried a few of the acrylics out there in various combinations of upgrades and only found one we like, recommend and sell.  That is the TruLife product from Tru Vue.  Not only does it help reduce glare (up to 30% by our estimates), but the vibrancy remains, and you get the added bonus of being scratch resistant, anti-static (which diminishes dust) and more UV protection at 99%.

While the TruLife adds to the price and is only available in 1/8″, it may be just what you’re looking for.  You can configure an order for your acrylic face mount with this option and many others over at our super simple upload and configure page.

What Is An Acrylic Print?

We see many people searching for and asking about “acrylic prints” and there is still quite a bit of confusion about the differences that each company provides.  An acrylic print is produced in one of two ways – either by printing directly to the acrylic OR by face mounting, where your photo gets printed to high grade photo paper and reverse mounted to the acrylic.

The direct to acrylic printing option is what many of the large print houses do and it’s a much cheaper option since there is far less labor involved and it’s mostly machine produced.  Any company can get into the manufacturing of acrylic prints this way and many have.  They can churn out quite a few per hour this way.

acrylic prints

Acrylic print closeup and annotated with components. Shown is 1/4″ acrylic print with polished edge.

The acrylic face mounting method (components shown at left) is how it was always done (starting in Europe with the Diasec process) before machines were used to try to replicate the look.  The acrylic face mounting method is far more laborious and difficult to achieve without imperfections.  So, why go through the difficult multi-step process of hand making acrylic prints using the face mounting method?  Simply put .. quality.  No machine produced acrylic print will match the vibrancy and quality of an acrylic face mount.

To wrap it up, know which way your lab is producing the acrylic print.  Not all are created equal.   As the ‘ol cliche goes .. you get what you pay for and that is certainly true with acrylic prints.  Here at Bumblejax, we pride ourselves on being one of just a small handful of labs in the US who can create gallery quality acrylic face mounts and we’d love to produce one for you!  You can see more about our face mounted acrylic prints here.

Now Offering Tru Vue Premium Acrylic For Face Mounting

trulifelogo
We are pleased to announce that we are now offering Tru Life acrylic from the leader and innovator in photo display conservation.  Tru Vue’s acrylic product offers a few enhancements over our standard clear cast acrylic that might be of interest you.

  • Anti-reflective.  In our testing we put it at about a 30% reduction in glare over standard acrylic.
  •  Scratch resistant.  It can still scratch, but not quite as easily.
  • Anti-static properties greatly reduces dust, therefore less cleaning of your acrylic art is needed.
  • 99% UV protection vs about 75% UV protection of regular acrylic.
  • Cleans like glass so can use regular glass cleaner (must be ammonia free).  Special acrylic cleaner should not be used.
  • Optical Coating – optimal clarity for truer color transmission and the greatest color neutrality.
  • Over 98% light transmission vs 92% of standard acrylic providing a touch more contrast and brightness.
 Currently, the Tru Life acrylic product is offered as custom and not yet available for ordering online.  Contact us today for a quote!  It’s about 10-15% more in price and only available in 1/8″ thickness, but we can do any size up to 96×48″.  You can see more about our acrylic face mounting process here.

How To View Your Photo At Actual Print Size In Photoshop

Over the years we have found that most customers aren’t aware they can view their images at actual print size in photoshop and if they are, they aren’t doing it properly so that’s the basis for today’s post.  There are a few steps to calibrating Photoshop properly so that the view you see when going to View — Print Size is the actual print size.

The Big Problem – Photoshop Doesn’t Know Your Screen Resolution

If you simply go to View — Print Size it’s going to show you the image zoomed in to your print size, but based on the default screen resolution within Photoshop of 72 ppi.  You will need to find out what your screen resolution is and make the change in the Photoshop settings which we’ll get to in a bit.

(more…)

Pro Photographers Get 50% Off First Order.  First Time Customers 15%!
Please choose code you need in dropdown.  Photographers please add website or other details.
Submit For Code & Details
Click Me