Acrylic Prints | An Interview with Jan-Ole Schmidt

Submitted by Fabian Peters on Thu, 12/31/2015 - 15:55
Acrylic Prints | An Interview with Jan-Ole Schmidt

Brilliant photographs in an equally brilliant way

With the acrylic glass mounting from WhiteWall, you have the largest possible range when it comes to selecting an image finish. From whimsical colors to remarkable detail reproduction, acrylic glass is perfect for portraits, family photos, architecture pictures, nature photos, landscapes, and more. Jan-Ole Schmidt, Product Manager at WhiteWall, explains what makes acrylic glass special, the differences in the printing processes, and why acrylic photo prints truly come into their own.

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                             Acrylic Photo Block/ ©

Hello, Jan-Ole! In its product assortment, WhiteWall offers photos under acrylic glass. What’s so special about this material?

JS: Acrylic prints appear elegant and high-end, with intense brilliance. The material itself is very light, but at the same time, it’s stable, quite shatterproof, and extremely durable. Mounting photos under acrylic glass gives them visual depth. Colors and contrasts appear particularly compelling and dynamic.   

The acrylic prints are offered in three different thicknesses: 1/16”, 1/8” and ¼”. What’s the difference?

JS: The depth effect is related to the thickness of the acrylic glass. The thicker the glass, the bigger the sense of depth the image has. I recommend 1/16” (0.08") as a good introduction to the material, and 1/8” (0.16") as the standard for an optimal effect. With our high-end option, the ¼” (0.24") acrylic, the sense of depth is even stronger, and the colors feel even more brilliant.

acrylic glass mounting 2
Glossy acrylic glass: 1/16”, 1/8”, ¼” ©

What kinds of images look great behind acrylic glass and what sorts of images would you advise against?

JS: Colorful photos, architecture photos, underwater shots, portraits, and evening photos can be particularly stunning under acrylic. Basically, almost anything! However, it’s good to note that a frameless presentation is very direct, whereas an additional frame can give a picture warmer look and feel.  

WhiteWall offers both glossy and matte acrylic glass. What’s the difference?

JS: On one hand, glossy acrylic is especially brilliant, but on the other hand, in certain lighting or viewed from certain angles, there can be reflections and glare – especially in the darker parts of the picture. For art intended to hang across from windows or for black & white photos, a matte alternative is a good option, since it prevents reflections and glare.

acrylic glass mounting glossy
Glossy acrylic print ©

acrylic glass mounting matte
Matte acrylic print ©

What printing processes are there with acrylic glass?

JS: WhiteWall offers two different ways to have your photo produced under acrylic: direct print and traditional photo print. In direct print, the image is – as the name implies – printed directly on the underside of the acrylic glass pane in a very modern 6-color-print under UV light. This is considered the most affordable alternative to the traditional photo print, which is mounted under (or in other words adhered to) the acrylic. At WhiteWall, we use permanently elastic silicone as an adhesive. Unlike conventional adhesives, it never dries out completely, so it can adjust to changes in temperature without warping. Also, it’s completely bubble and rip free.  

Anything people need to take a note of regarding cleaning or displaying their photos under acrylic?

JS: To avoid scratches, you should avoid scrubbing or scouring acrylic. A clean microfiber cloth or slightly damp cotton cloth will get the job done. Dust and fingerprints are easy just to wipe away.

acrylic glass mounting special resin
Original photo print under special resin/ ©

The Acrylic Blocks are a real highlight, as is the photo under poured resin. What makes these products so special?

JS: At nearly an inch thick, the Acrylic Block is particularly sturdy and stands upright all by itself. It has a strong depth effect and also makes a perfect present. For the photo print under poured resin, an actual photo print is mounted on aluminum Dibond and then sealed under a special poured resin. The edges of the picture are naturally rounded, and the image is particularly radiant.