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Endless Possibilities with Acrylic Prints: Unique & Enduring

For centuries, only a few materials were commonly used to create art and décor – paper, boards, canvas, and cave walls!  It’s just in the last 50 years or so that acrylic artwork has become a go-to medium, giving artists, photographers, designers, and collectors another option to suit their contemporary aesthetic.  There are endless possibilities for acrylic prints.

What Is an Acrylic Print?

float framed acrylic print close-up

Colorchrome uses high-resolution image files to print directly or photo mount onto a premium-grade acrylic sheet.  Light refracts within the clear acrylic to create a glass-like effect while also adding depth and dimension to the piece.

Acrylic is less prone to shatter or crack than glass and it’s also lighter, making acrylic the perfect substitute for traditional glass. High-quality acrylic prints also heighten the contrast in the image allowing for brilliant color palettes and rich blacks.

Polished and contemporary, acrylic prints are an ideal choice for corporate offices, hospitality, healthcare, modern homes, and more!

Acrylic Artwork Options – Printing, Cutting, Polishing, Framing, and Displaying

When deciding on the best medium for your photograph or artwork, you’ll first want to understand the variety of printing, mounting, framing, and hanging options available to you.  There are often several different ways to describe each acrylic treatment so understanding the terminology will help you get the results you want. 

3 dimensional effect with layered acrylic prints
3D effect using layered acrylic prints

Direct Print

The image is printed directly onto the acrylic sheet either on the front (first surface) or on the back (second surface) or both.  When printing second surface (also sometimes called verso printing), the image shows through the acrylic creating depth.  Adding first surface printing can highlight other areas of the image to create a truly 3D effect.

For the pieces shown here, we printed the landscape on paper and then second surface printed the birds on acrylic to layer over the landscape adding a life-like dimension. The thicker the acrylic, the greater the dimensional effect.

Be sure to let your printer know the result you are trying to achieve as size, weight, and the installation location will all come into play.  Collaborating with a printing partner you can trust is key.

Dimensional effect using layered acrylic and paper prints

Face-mounted Acrylic

The image is printed on high-quality photographic paper and then adhered to the back of the acrylic sheet with a protective backing. Depending on the image and the look the artist wants to achieve, chromogenic paper or a metallic paper may be used for a little extra iridescence. 

Sizes and Thicknesses

Artists and clients can choose from several thicknesses when using acrylic as their medium – from 1/16” up to 1”.  Individual pieces can be printed as large as 4 feet x 8 feet or they can be pieced together to create larger installations.  All edges are polished to a sleek, smooth finish allowing the finished pieces to be displayed unframed for a modern look or float framed for a transitional design. To add a more industrial touch to your space, metal standoffs are the perfect choice.  

Photo-mounted  acrylic print with modern aluminum back frame
Aluminum back frame
Photo mounted acrylic print framed in float frame
Float Frame, Artwork ©Nicole Landau
Direct printed acrylic print with modern stand-offs
Stand-offs

Materials and Finishes

We offer a wide range of materials and finishes for your acrylic projects, including: 

  • Clear
  • Non-glare/Anti-reflective/UV-inhibiting/Protective 
  • Frosted/ Matte 
  • Opaque & Translucent Colors, including Fluorescent
  • Mirrored 
  • Polycarbonate & PETG for Behavioral Healthcare settings

Acrylic prints offer a natural UV protection factor.  If face-mounted, the acrylic prints have additional layers of protection as the print is sandwiched between the acrylic sheet and a protective backing. The print is essentially protected from external factors (such as dirt, debris, sunlight, moisture, etc.) which increases its longevity.

Printed acrylic mirror in float frame
Printed acrylic mirror in float frame

Cutting and Polishing Acrylic

Hand-crafted, custom-designed frames
1' thick printed and laser cut acrylic prints

Acrylic can also be cut into various shapes and sizes to create multi-dimensional artwork.  We can router cut or laser cut.  The edges can be polished or frosted, beveled or flat.  The corners can be straight or curved. 

We can even create acrylic frames for your giclée prints or canvases!  There are myriad possibilities so let your creativity run wild and our team will bring your vision to life.

Are Acrylic Prints Suitable for My Project?

Acrylic artwork offers sophistication without compromising quality or durability making it compelling for practically any décor.  They look equally at home in a hotel lobby, a physician’s waiting room, or in your living room.  

By nature, acrylic substrates are exceptionally versatile which makes them well suited for any project and environment.  From direct printing and laser etching acrylic signs to designing an acrylic mirror, our team of specialists is always available to find the perfect solution for your special project. 

Laser cut flourescent acrylic
Laser cut acrylic with flame polished edges
Laser Cut Acrylic
Backlit router cut acrylic
Backlit Router Cut Acrylic
Laser etched acrylic
Laser Etched Acrylic
Laser cut acrylic with dichroic film

Flexible and functional, acrylic prints also offer creative flexibility for any project. You may consider adding dichroic film to the back of an acrylic piece for a lively, shimmery effect.  As light passes throughout all ranges of the color spectrum, the dichroic film creates an iridescent glass-like glaze. You may also choose to cut acrylic to any size or shape which results in brilliantly polished laser-cut edges or add laser-etching and engravings to your acrylic pieces.

How to Care for Acrylic Prints

Face mounted photographic acrylic print
Artwork © DouglasStrattonPhotography.com

While durable and functional, acrylic prints must be handled with care when cleaning. To avoid damage and scratches, refrain from using harsh chemical products. Instead, use a damp microfiber cloth to gently wipe away any dust or lint. Simple as that!

Whether you’re looking to personalize your office space or you are in need of high-volume corporate signage, acrylic prints provide compelling results. Choose from a variety of shapes, sizes, colors, and finishes to bring your project to fruition.

If you’re interested in seeing more of Colorchrome’s collaborative efforts on acrylic artwork click here. If you have an idea that you think Colorchrome can help you bring to life, let’s start a conversation.