Digital printing has been an exciting business addition for many picture framers. It has seen exponential growth, providing framers with a significant supplement to their framing. But, savvy framers are still on the lookout to add even more value to their print service. Every day customers are asking for bigger, bolder, and more jaw-dropping prints. With the busiest retail season starting up, now is the perfect time to wow your customers with sublimation prints on clear-coated aluminum.
What Is It?
Sublimation printing uses heat to fuse inks onto a thin aluminum sheet, creating a vibrant, permanent display. Until now, FC Print on Demand has only offered this process on panels with a white, gloss coating on the aluminum. But now, you can add more shine to your sublimation print with clear-coated panels. The coating is a specialty polymer that bonds the image to the panel. Both the white and the clear-coated panels are treated with this layer, with the only difference the colour. The new clear-coated panel allows the base of the aluminum to shine through the image. White areas appear as the raw, glossy aluminum, while colours achieve an added luminance from the metal base. Clear-coated sublimation prints are produced with the same process as the white and include the C-Bar hanging system. You get the familiar durability and modern finish of sublimation printing with a dynamic colour shift that changes with your viewing angle.
How Does It Compare to Other Surfaces?
At first glance, clear-coated sublimation prints may seem similar to other printed products, but there are distinct differences. It is easy to compare metal-effect surfaces like Facemount on Moab Slickrock Metallic Pearl. Both offer a vivid and luxurious print. The pearlescent tone of the facemount is a subtle sparkle that lightly shifts tone. The high-gloss of the acrylic emphasizes distance in the image and is particularly effective with images with a shallow depth of field. The clear sublimation is a much more pronounced metal finish. The ink remains translucent in lighter areas of the image and the silver aluminum tone is strongly visible. This presents a more drastic colour shift that seems to change with different viewing angles. Because of this, clear-coated sublimation does lack the colour accuracy of a facemount print.
What Kind Of Image Should I Use?
There is never a “right” or “wrong” image for any surface. But, the glossy aluminum surface can be used to create specific effects in a variety of images. It can add mystery or an ethereal look to a landscape, a modern reflectivity with urban or industrial scenes, and an unexpected twist to portraits or digitally created art. Black and white images stand out, with the metal tone taking place of the pure white and adding depth to greys. The contrast of pure black ink and aluminum can create a striking, eye-catching image. Colour images glow and colours seem to dance as they catch the light. Be mindful of your subject matter and the overall aesthetic that you are aiming for when selecting a surface.
Sublimation prints on clear aluminum are available now in pre-cut sizes. Panel sizes and pricing match sublimation prints on white aluminum. Contact your sales rep or Customer Service for more information or to see samples.