Metal prints are a contemporary style of wall decor, typically mounted to the wall without a frame, mat and glass. Similar to acrylic prints, metal prints can be made really large... up to 48" x 96".
And like every other option for displaying artwork, there are several choices with making metal prints....
The least expensive method is to print directly to the aluminum, but as with most rigid substrates, print quality is not so great.
The best way to make a metal print is by using the dye-sublimation process. This is a printing process whereby the image is first printed onto a transfer paper with dye inks, and then infused into the aluminum sheet with heat and pressure. The inks are bonded with the aluminum. Since ink is infused into the aluminum the image is scratch and water resistant.
Type of Finish
Glossy Finish: produces vibrant color and the most detail.
Matte Finish: shows fewer reflections but has less color intensity.
White Coated Aluminum
Clear Coated Aluminum
Type of Metal
Metal prints are typically printed on aluminum.... white or clear.
If you've seen metal prints in an art fair or gallery, chances are it was made with a white base and glossy finish.
White Aluminum Base: produces the most vibrant color, along with the most detail. All of the rich color of the photograph is preserved with this option.
Clear Aluminum Base: allows the brushed metal to show through the image. You really have to appreciate the texture of the metal in this case more than the quality of the image, because there is no white point in the image. The white clouds look muddy and the dark blue sky just doesn't have the same bright color as in the white base aluminum.