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Thread: face mounted acrylic vendor?

  1. #1

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    face mounted acrylic vendor?

    A person recently told me they'd like a print of one of my photos, but they want it as a face mounted acrylic print, rather than a print on paper that I produce with my own printer. Any recommendations on who to go to to get this done?

  2. #2

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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    Iíve heard good things about artisanHD from friends, although I donít have direct experience:

    https://artisanhd.com/print-products...face-mounting/

    Thereís only a handful that support ďTruLifeĒ acrylic prints, if thatís important to the client.

  3. #3
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    Don't fall for the UV protection notion. It's kinda like a skylight filter. Yes, some UV is blocked, but not enough to prevent serious fading under common UV-rich display lighting or direct sunlight. At best, it might prolong print life about 20%. And the higher the protection, the more the hue shift in the image, with the cleanness of blues being affected the most. It's more important to think about the lighting itself first. It's also very expensive, especially if you want the full framing treatment.

    The same acrylic sheeting can be cut into sizes appropriate for more conventional framing too. You can get optically-coated low-reflection acrylic sheet either with or without UV-reduction tinting, which should not be confused with textured or frosted ordinary non-glare sheeting. But it's quite expensive by itself.

    Depending on how big your print is, can your potential client afford another thousand or so dollars above the print itself just for special presentation options?

    The far more affordable option is a clear applied thin lamination - washable, low glare, but not as protective against dents or scratches.

  4. #4

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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    I'm not operating in the world you do, Drew - there's no first thousand to add "another thousand" to! I basically almost give my prints away.

    This lady said that she'd buy one of my prints if I got it face mounted in the manner of what the place that Kiwi linked to does. While she was talking to me, her husband pulled something up on his phone that an 11x14 should run around $100. She and her husband are volunteers with our small non-profit local gallery that I also volunteer with.

    I'm not looking to make any money - generally I'm in this business to lose money! She wants this presentation because she has a wall in her house of other work, all by local artists, all of it presented in this way. My expectation would be that it needs to look decent for 10-20 years, after which it will go to the trash, or the Goodwill. I just want to give her what she wants.

  5. #5

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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    https://www.bayphoto.com/wall-displays/acrylic/

    Have had a number of Acrylic prints done by them. Service has been good, done quickly and excellent results.
    "My forumla for successful printing remains ordinary chemicals, an ordinary enlarger, music, a bottle of scotch - and stubbornness." W. Eugene Smith

  6. #6
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    That's very minimalistic flush mounting, Wayne, suitable for small prints. What Kiwi referenced about TruLife is potentially at the other extreme price-wise. This all shows just how wide a range there is in what is generically termed face mounting. I've have no idea what the OP had specifically in mind in his particular case. The simpler version can even be done DIY on small prints with some practice.

  7. #7

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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    According to my wife who does a lot of this type of work the acrylic tends to bow over time so it’s wise to back the acrylic with a substrate like dibond. This may not be much of a factor for small prints. Apparently backing with acrylic is not the best choice. At any rate the backing provides a good base for a mounting system. Something to consider while comparing vendors.

  8. #8
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    Jim, one definition of face mounting means permanently bonding it to the inside surface of the acrylic sheet atop via a thin transparent adhesive bonding layer. It's going to bow toward heat and light regardless, although this issue can be minor in small sizes. Acrylic also hydrates and slowly dimensionally changes with seasonal humidity changes. I presume that the very expensive coated museum grade of acrylic begins with a baked-out sheet material first, which is just one factor in its high price.

    Dibond or other rigid smooth surface mounting options, on the other hand, involves mounting the print directly to this flat rear substrate instead, and therefore is not classified as a form of face mounting. If there are anti-reflection coatings on both front and back of the cap sheet, a more archival approach, with a separating over-mat and a conventional perimeter frame would realistically be used, given the sheer price of the materials involved. Face-mounting is more of a decor approach, and not likely to involve museum-grade coated acrylic sheet.

    I won't go into my own past proprietary method, which was elegant and dealt with the bow issue effectively even on large prints, but was tricky and quite expensive, and involved certain special materials which might not be available anymore. There were also certain patented fashions of encapsulating the print between two sheets within clear resin - even more expensive.

  9. #9
    Drew Wiley
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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    One important issue which hasn't been addressed yet - is a color print in mind? If so, via what medium? Inkjet prints slowly outgas the glycol present in the inks; and unless this has completely dissipated first, there's the risk of this outgassing, or just the presence of a little glycol itself, causing bonding failures between the print surface and transparent adhesive foil applied to it. How long full drying takes is related to humidity, temperature, and ventilation, just like paint curing. It could take months under some circumstances.

  10. #10

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    Re: face mounted acrylic vendor?

    Thanks, Kiwi and Willie. I'll probably try bayphoto.

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