Demystifying Metal (Prints) @ Mike’s

Even if you already knew that we make sturdy, stunning prints on aluminum, you may not have realized that there are several finishing options available! This quick reference will allow you to fine tune your fine art and get the print your image deserves.

The finish: glossy, matte, or clear

Our standard finish, the glossy finish has a white base which lets your image show through more or less as-shot (see the additional notes below) and a highly reflective coating on top, to highlight the material. Anything that will pop on glossy paper will pop even more on glossy metal!

The matte finish has the same white base as the glossy finish, but with an anti-reflective coating to minimize fingerprints and soften the overall look. This is a great finish to choose for something that will be displayed near bright lights, as the photo won’t be lost behind overwhelming reflections.

The clear finish is meant to really emphasize the material on which the print is made. The image is pressed into a clear base, which allows the metal to shine through in any area that would otherwise be white. Black and white photos can look incredible on clear aluminum prints, and it can be a great choice for stylish signage.

The corners: straight, 1/8″ round, or 1/4″ round

After cutting the metal to size, the corners have a square corner (as one would expect). This can be quite sharp and the corner is more prone to chipping, so straight corners are only recommended if you have a particular look in mind.

The 1/8″-rounded corner is our most popular choice (the measurement refers to the radius of the circle). This subtle rounding eliminates the sharpness and fragility of the sharp corners yet doesn’t impact the overall look of the print excessively.

At the other extreme, if you would like significantly rounder corners, we can finish your print with a 1/4″ rounding.

The backing: easel or shadow mount

Prints smaller than 8″ x 8″ will receive an easel back by default, making your print ready to display on any flat surface! An easel may be added to prints between 8″ x 8″ and 8″ x 12″, though vertical prints may not be well supported. Easels are not effective for larger prints.

Metal prints 8″ x 8″ and larger will receive a shadow mount by default. (A shadow mount can be added to smaller prints at least 5″ x 5″ for a small additional fee.) A simple zig-zag hanging hole will allow you to easily hang your print with a lovely floating effect.

Don’t forget that aluminum prints can be creatively framed, as well! Frame the metal print itself, or add an informational plaque to a larger display!

Helpful additional notes

  • Multi-layer stacked prints are available. Floating a few small prints on a larger background makes for a really eye-catching collage!
  • Aluminum prints tend to come out a bit more saturated and contrasty than the same image would look on paper. If you have very specific color needs, never fear—a color matching service is available.
  • Custom sizes are also possible! Almost any rectangular size with dimensions below 12″ is possible in-house, and we can create larger custom sizes at our outlab. There are even a few non-rectangular shapes available.
    Speak to any imaging specialist for hands-on help with your custom project.
  • Of course, that applies to non-custom jobs as well. We are here to help! Stop into any Mike’s Camera to see samples and consult with an expert.

Ready to try one out? Click here to place your order. The site is even mobile-friendly!

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