5 Things to Consider before Printing Your Photos

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These days most of our photos will stay in digital form. But some pictures are just too beautiful to keep stored away on our phones and computers, and cry out to be printed. And when you’re printing your very best captures, you want to get it right. So follow our expert advice on printing photos, and you can be sure that your prints will be admired and remembered for decades to come. We’ve collected the five key things you need to consider before sending photos to print.

1.    Glossy or Matte?

Would you prefer a glamorous sheen or a classically restrained matte finish? It’s an important consideration, because it could determine the print format you end up choosing. Some prints are available in both formats – this usually applies to traditional prints on photo paper, for example. But many alternatives like canvas prints are usually sold in a matte version only. Note: you’ve always got the option of making your matte canvas glossy later by applying varnish or laminating it!

2.    Edge Design

If you plan to order a print with a substantial physical presence, it’s good to think in advance about the design of the print edges. This is especially important if you plan to display your print without a decor frame.

For some print formats, it’s impossible to choose customized edge design. For example, acrylic prints usually come with one design option only: transparent edges that let you see the image from every angle. But if you order canvas prints then (depending on provider) you might be able to experiment with the appearance of the edges. One option is to have your photo printed on every inch of the sheet of canvas, so that the borders of your image appear on the sides of the frame – though if you choose this option you should make sure any crucial image detail is nearer the center of the photo so that it’ll be printed on the front of the canvas.

3.    Color Reproduction

If you’ve ever printed a digital photo, you’ll know that colors tend to look different in print than they did on screen. This is because different color formats are used for hard copy prints and digital images. So it’s always worth checking whether your print will be brighter or paler than the online mock-up.

The material your photos are printed on can make a big difference too. Some materials make colors look more vibrant, while others add a dreamy pastel overtone to the print surface. Acrylic prints bring a shimmering depth effect to the image, while prints on metal can enhance the clarity of line, and canvas prints add a slight vintage haze.

4.    Print Texture

Different print formats come with different surface textures, which can have implications for the look as well as the feel of your print. Canvas prints are great examples here, because they’re modern cousins to classical canvas paintings – the canvas materials used in painting and printing might be somewhat different, but both have a distinctive textured surface that impacts the overall visual presentation of the image.

The canvas texture softens the print and gives it a certain retro look. But if you’re looking for a sleeker finish, your first choice should be metal or acrylic prints with their sleek, reflective appearance.

5.    Overall Style

There are so many new print formats these days that it’s tempting to dive straight in and start experimenting. But before you send dozens of photos to print, think carefully about their style and overall aesthetics and whether they’ll suit your living space. What’s the atmosphere – is it a leisure/entertaining space or more functional? Does the decor favor dark or light colors? Is the room layout minimalist or more elaborate? These questions will help you select the right print format.

Note that while some print styles – such as classic framed photos or borderless canvas prints – should suit almost any design scheme, others require a specific environment to truly pop. Acrylic prints and prints on metal, for example, won’t be a great fit for a Provence-style bedroom, but they’re perfect for bold contemporary spaces.

Author: JanusGP