Not Just Paper: the New Materials for Photo Printing

Glass and Acrylic Photo Prints
article by Arya A. author
Photos printed on paper don’t always make as strong a statement as you might want. To really catch someone’s eye, you’ve got to think outside the box. This article covers everything you need to know about printing on glass, wood, canvas, and metal, along with the print dimensions and prices offered by top photo printing services.

Print on Glass

Glass is the most unconventional material on this list, so if you’re really looking to turn heads, this is the way to go. But choose your placement wisely. Due to their fragility, glass prints should probably not go in a nursery, for example. Instead, consider hanging them in the master bedroom, away from a lot of foot traffic. Photos on glass are generally safest to order in sizes under 16×20 cm because of the high break risk with larger sizes. Below is a table of the sizes and prices of glass prints offered by three major photo printing sites.

  • Shutterfly
    • Sizes:  5×5 – 10×12 cm
    • Price range: $39.99 – $84.99
  • Snapfish
    • Sizes: 30×45 – 50×75 cm
    • Price range: $89.99 – $199
  • Mixbook
    • Sizes: 14×11 – 20×16 cm
    • Price range: $99.99 to $129.99

 

Shutterfly’s glass prints are rare in that they are offered on curved glass prints and unique glass frames, along with the standard flat glass prints. Snapfish’s print dimensions are larger than what are normally recommended, but they are printed on 6 mm thick bevel edge safety glass and include a sealed glass etch primer for extra protection. Mixbook only offers photos on acrylic glass, a material similar to standard glass.

 

Print on Wood

Wood photo prints add a warm, homey touch to any kitchen or den. Shutterfly, Adoramapix and Walgreens offer great wood printing options. Shutterfly offers many display and layout options including single or multiple panel displays. Adorama allows you to transfer pictures from your computer or directly from many of the most popular social media platforms. Prints can be ordered with or without a stand. Photos on wood at Walgreens are transferred to a unique black woodgrain. A couple of the smallest options are eligible for in-store pickup.

  • Shutterfly
    • Sizes: 8×10 – 24×36 cm
    • Price range: $89.99 – $989.91
  • Adoramapix
    • Sizes: 4×6 – 16×24 cm
    • Price range: $14+
  • Walgreens
    • Sizes: 5×7 – 20×30 cm
    • Price range: $16.99 – $99.99

Print on Wood

 

Print on Canvas

Hang canvas prints in a nursery or child’s bedroom, or add an artistic touch to a guest bedroom. Shutterfly has the most diverse choices when it comes to canvas photo prints. You can buy a single canvas, canvas stacks, or a horizontal display. Unlike other services, Shutterfly gives customers the option to choose from famous art prints, rather than just their own personal images. Snapfish allows you to “color wrap” your photo by adding a frame. Walgreens stands out from other photo printing sites when it comes to canvas prints because they offer in-store pickup for most sizes.

 

  • Shutterfly
    • Sizes: 8×10 – 24×36 cm
    • Price range: $89.99 – $809.91
  • Snapfish
    • Sizes: 8×8 cm+
    • Price range: $39.99 – $179.99
  • Walgreens
    • Sizes: 8×10 – 20×30 cm
    • Price range: $29.99 – $129.99

 

Print on Metal

Metal prints are a great fit for a living room, or any room that gets a good amount of natural sunlight (under which they won’t fade, unlike other mediums). Metal photo prints are available at Shutterfly, Snapfish, and Walgreens, with Shutterfly offering the most variety within the medium. Shutterfly’s photos printed on metal can be ordered in matte or glossy finish. Designs include stand-alone photos or photos along with text art. Display options include single panels, panoramic spreads, stacked spreads, and horizontal spreads. There are also spreads that look like symmetrical pieces of a puzzle. Metal prints at Snapfish can be ordered in landscape or portrait orientation. Snapfish provides a wall mount, which creates a floating effect. They also offer a scratch and UV protective coating on their prints.

 

  • Shutterfly
    • Sizes: 8×10 – 24×36 cm
    • Price range: $54.99 – $719.91
  • Snapfish
    • Sizes: 11×14 – 20×24 cm
    • Price range: $79.99 – $110.99
  • Walgreens
    • Sizes: 5×7 – 20×30 cm
    • Price range: $14.99 – $99.99

 

Where and How to Display Alternative Material Prints

As far as how to display these prints, no matter what material, the same principles remain. Recognize the unique nature of whatever material you choose, order with intention and display boldly. Hang these prints above statement furniture like bar carts or cribs. Embrace scatter displays or design your own display.