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!

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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

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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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.

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

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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.

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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

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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

Please note we can not offer any support related to this article unless you are a customer of ours or have a project with us in the works.  You’re welcome to post a comment and we will at times respond to those.  Thank you for understanding.


Does your photo need resizing for a larger print?  Which software is best?  Get a look at our machine learning, AI resizing solution in this new article.  Check out our image resizing article here!

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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.

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