After nearly two years of searching, brainstorming, and prototyping, I have finally settled on a new print display method that I am extremely happy with. To share my excitment with you, I am putting all 15x23in and larger prints that use this display method on sale (20% off + free shipping) through May 13th (Mother’s Day)! Use discount code “mothers” on checkout.

For the past several years I have offered my prints with a simple but elegant gallery style framing option, and all the prints in my own home as well as shows were in the same style. Unfortunately, unless there is custom overhead track lighting, glare from lights and windows makes viewing prints through standard UV protective acrylic or glass a frustrating experience. As a result, you don’t get to appreciate the image from all angles at all times of day – which is heartbreaking to me! I am happy to announce my new glare-free display option, at a new low price ($295 for a 15x23in ready to hang print, shipping included).

First, I make the prints myself on my Epson 7880 Professional Photo Printer with Moab Slickrock Pearl paper. This paper has a smooth, medium glossy surface and a slightly metallic or pearly sheen, somewhat like the surface of mother of pearl. I then send the (hand signed) prints out to Duraplaq in Colorado, where they are mounted onto a thin (acid-free) wood board and coated with a hard acid-free UV protective satin coating. The coating has a light texture to it, resulting in a finished print that has a similar surface texture to the baryta papers I have used and loved for the past 5 years, but with a slightly metallic undertone that works wonders for my style of photography. The best part? The hard coating eliminates the need for glass or acrylic, and it hides any bronzing that occurs with inkjet prints. For the critical finishing touch I have the prints framed with a simple but elegant black frame. Below is a photograph of a 16x23in print displayed with this approach (of course, the metallic sheen can only be experienced in person, and yes, the print is signed, it’s just a little hard to see).

Pearl print, mounted and framed by Duraplaq in Colorado.

The only downside of this display method is that it only works well for larger print sizes (else the frame overpowers the print). This is not inherently a bad thing, as I believe my prints should be enjoyed at these large sizes anyways.

In my design process I worked a lot with Tim Emerson, CEO of Duraplaq, to get my custom display idea into practice. He was incredibly kind and helpful, and the quality of the finished products is fantastic, and set at a very reasonable price. Furthermore, getting the colors just right is always a challenge that anyone who has produced their own prints can surely attest to. To calibrate both my printer and paper, as well as the Duraplaq coating, I sent finished color patches to Michael Gordon, who makes great custom printer profiles for a very affordable $25. By making my own prints I have complete creative control, and can manage the colors properly from start to finish. Full disclosure: I am not sponsored in any way by Duraplaq; Michael Gordon is my friend, in addition to being a great photographer and professional printing czar.

My Personal Thoughts on Other Mounting Methods

Traditional Framing
There are many variations, but essentially the idea here is that the print is displayed behind glass or acrylic, and typically the print is not adhered to any surface.
Pros: easy to swap prints in and out, leaves the print in as-is condition, customized matting and framing options, and good seperation from cluttered environments.
Cons: acrylic and glass glare is hard to overcome, print can warp if not mounted (which can come undone over time), large acrylic sheets warp, and custom jobs are very expensive for large prints. It’s easy to pay more for the frame than the art it contains!
Note: anti-reflective coatings for glass and acrylic are available, at sky-high prices.

Acrylic Face Mount
This has recently become a very popular display method, where the print is mounted directly to a piece of acrylic for a simple modern look.
Pros: If you have gallery style track lighting, it is a simple and modern look with high contrast and colors.
Cons: Same glare issues as traditional frames, and the smooth surface finish looks too artificial for my tastes – like a large flat screen TV. Also, this process generally requires outsourcing print production (which I dislike), and is overpriced.
Note: anti-reflective coatings for glass and acrylic are available, at sky-high prices.

Colorbox Mount and Float Mount
These processes are similar to the approach that I settled on, however instead of a frame the mounted print is hung directly on the wall – several styles are possible.
Pros: just about all the same as my display option except that I find the frame makes a huge difference. Very affordable.
Cons: without a proper frame the images don’t quite come across as “art” in the way I want them to.

Canvas Wraps
This is another popular approach these days, where images are printed on canvas, wrapped onto a stretcher frame, and (optionally) placed inside a wood rim-frame.
Pros: relatively inexpensive, no acrylic or glass, hides noise and digital artifacts because of the heavily textured surface.
Cons: looks tacky, in my opinion, and carries much less detail than a proper print.


4 Comments to “New Print Display Option & Sale!”

  1. I’m glad you finally got this all worked out, Floris! Your finished product looks great. Thanks for the link and the shiny Printing Czar badge 🙂

    Canvas wraps: I’m with you 100%. Ironically, canvas wrap sales have skyrocketed in the last few years and lots of consumers enjoy the look 🙁

  2. Pam Colander says:

    Hi Floris,
    Happy you found Tim and Duraplaq! IMO, there is no finer way to display photography and no one better to do it. It’s the only way I display my work and Tim is an absolute dream to work with. Your plaque shown here is stunning!

  3. […] One week left to order prints at a 20% discount – see my previous post! […]

  4. […] 11pm every day What’s on display: A series of 16x24in abstract images displayed with my new display option. Stopping by? Contact me and I’ll try to find time to grab a cup of coffee with […]