Acrylic Prints: Is Non Glare A Good Option?

If you’ve done any research into acrylic photo mounting you’ve probably seen some discussion around the issue of regular vs non- glare acrylic and wondered what option was best for you, so we thought we’d spend a little time on the pros and cons of non-glare acrylic.

Pros:
Less glare of course!  That’s about it!

Cons:
(1) Diminished vibrancy of the image
(2) Color Cast
(3) Higher cost

It seems some people get overly concerned with the potential for glare.  Look around your home during the day and see how much glare is on your traditional glass framed art.  See it?  Had you every really noticed it before and if you did, did it really bother you?  Most will say no.  If it is a concern for you, proper lighting and strategically placed prints can help.  99.5% of our customers don’t inquire and don’t care about non-glare acrylic mounting.  The biggest disadvantage is the loss of vibrancy of your image which is a trade-off we personally wouldn’t make.  Some can even have a bit of a color cast to it.  It’s up to you though!  If you want non-glare acrylic we don’t provide it through our online system and don’t carry it in stock, but we can certainly provide a custom quote and order some for you.

UPDATE:  We have tested quite a few of the non-glare acrylic products out there over the years and never found one we were happy with due to the reasons above.  That is until now.  Keep in mind there is no acrylic that eliminates glare completely we’d recommend.  It’s best to just go with one of our products that don’t have an acrylic face (for example our bamboo, aluminum and dibond products offer a terrific look with no glare) if you want ZERO glare.  If you love the vibrancy of the acrylic, but want to minimize glare we recommend an anti-reflective acrylic.  You get the best of both worlds really – the vibrancy and reduced glare.  Our choice and recommendation is a product from Tru Vue called TruLife.  In addition to reducing glare around 30% (by our estimates), TruLife offers a bump up in UV protection (from 75% for our standard acrylic to about 99%), scratch resistance and anti-static properties to minimize dust.  You can order the TruLife acrylic for your face mounting over at our configuration page here. 

What Is Diasec Photo Mounting? Evolution Of Acrylic Face Mounting

You may have heard the term Diasec in your research of photo mounting and there is often some confusion about what it is.  Essentially, Diasec is a patented and trademarked process of acrylic face mounting first invented by Heinz Sovilla-Brulhart in 1969.  The process of adhering a print to acrylic without air bubbles, creating stunning color vibrancy, was first achieved by Heinz and the techniques used by several companies around the word today emulate the process.  However, the Diasec process uses patented adhesives and a proprietary process that is licensed by the company.

According to Wikipedia, the exclusive use of the diasec patent expired and the process can now be freely used without royalties. However, the name “Diasec” is a protected trademark held by the swiss company Alrane Inventing AG. The dutch company “Diasec Support BV”, has started in 2009 to support the swiss licensor by offering training and machines. Most if not all processes that face-mount photographic images to acrylic plates cannot use the same process as defined in the diasec patent. Only companies licensed by Alrane Inventing AG are legally allowed to call their process “diasec”.

Up until just a few years ago, the Diasec (or more generally acrylic face mount process), was for the most part only available in Europe, but it’s slowly made its way to the US and is becoming more widely accepted in galleries and studios across the country.  When we started Bumblejax three years ago there were companies offering the acrylic mount, but locating pricing and easily ordering online was non-existent.  For the first time you could easily find pricing and order a gallery quality acrylic face mount online at Bumblejax.  That was late 2009.

Over the past three years, more companies entered the market and began offering an acrylic product by printing directly onto the acrylic.  While it’s a novel idea and companies can offer it at a considerably cheaper price (it’s far less labor intensive), it’s not recommended if you want to display your work in a gallery setting or sell as an art piece on your website.  The reason for this is that it can not achieve the same color vibrancy that you get when you print the image on high quality paper then face mount behind the acrylic.  With the image mounted behind the acrylic, light refracts in such a way that makes the color pop and provides a near 3-D effect.  When proper gallery lighting is used, it almost appears as if the piece is illuminated from behind.  This can not be achieved with direct printing or glass in traditional frames.

At large sizes and further enhanced by printing on metallic paper, an acrylic face mount is unparalleled in the ability to provide that “wow” factor.  It truly adds value to an image that traditional frames and canvas prints can not.  Late last year, a new world record for the most expensive photo was recorded when an Andreas Gursky print sold for $4.3 million at auction.  How was it displayed?  You got it! With an acrylic face mount.

If you’re looking for a high quality acrylic print, you’ve come to the right place.  At Bumblejax we use a mounting technique that uses OptiMount Ultra which is a double-sided, optically clear pressure-sensitive mounting adhesive for face mounting the inkjet print to the acrylic.  The adhesive features UV absorbers to protect images from fading
and creates a permanent bond.  We’re a boutique shop based in Seattle that focuses on nothing but modern photo mounting and every photo mount is checked closely for quality before getting out the door.  We have over 100 rave reviews from our happy customers.  If you’d like to see more details on our process please see our detailed acrylic mounting product page here.

 

Acrylic Face Mount Proofs Now Available!

We have been providing steep discounts on samples for our pro photographer customers for some time now, but we also wanted to provide a way for anyone to get a look at the very popular acrylic product at a very affordable price.  What we’re doing is offering an acrylic product proof without the dibond backer and hanging hardware.  This allows us to offer acrylic face mount proofs at 7×7, 12×9 or 15×10 (the most common ratios at smallest sizes) at a fraction of the price.

Here’s how pricing breaks down…

7×7 – $19  ($40 off regular price)
12×9 – $29 ($70 off regular price)
15×10 – $39 ($80 off regular price)

(these prices reflect a mount without metallic paper)

This provides a great way to see the quality of work and how your print will look behind acrylic.


 

How Do I Clean My Acrylic Print?

 I get this questions a lot so thought I’d throw up a quick post.

The best way to clean your acrylic print is to wet a lint free, microfiber cloth with a product called Kleenmaster Brillianize or Novus #1 and then wipe the face of the print. This will not only clean the acrylic but will also polish the acrylic and help alleviate any finger print marks. Any other “normal” glass cleaners (such as Windex) tend to leave a film or streaks. In a pinch, you can also clean with isopropyl alcohol (do not use this often).

Joe Fenton’s Amazing “Solitude” Face Mounted On Plexi, Printed On Metallic

Hard at work: Joe Fenton creating his detailed piece titled SolitudeIllustrator Joe Fenton is an incredibly patient and passionate artist from Brooklyn, New York.  His “Solitude” piece consumed him for 10 hours a day, 7 days a week for 10 months, and when you see the detail of this amazing piece you’ll understand why.

‘It took courage to start it as I had never done anything that size before. As you can imagine, you have to invest a lot of your time to complete something like this.  I just had to believe in my process and have faith that it would work out!’ (via Daily Mail)

We just finished up a small sample piece for Joe printing on metallic paper and face mounting the digital reproduction behind 1/8” acrylic with dibond (aluminum composite) backing.  Hope you like it Joe!  Video and pictures never do these justice but nonetheless here’s a video of the piece.  A large scale piece taking up a wall would be spectacular.

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