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.