Over the past few years, Google searches for “prints on glass” have skyrocketed. This is because many people see acrylic prints hung in a restaurant, a friend’s home, or in a gallery and assume they are glass because they look almost identical and glass is much more common than acrylic. You may have also seen TV ads for a company from the USA that prints photos on glass. While printing on glass certainly sounds cool, it’s not necessarily the best choice for many reasons.
Photos on Glass or Acrylic?
When visually comparing photos printed on glass versus acrylic, both products can look almost identical, so if you love the amazing, sleek look of this type of print, either one will be good. With that said, there are many reasons that acrylic prints are vastly superior over glass prints.
5 Considerations When Choosing to Print on Glass or Acrylic
1. Material Thickness
Both acrylic and glass sheets come in different thicknesses, but glass prints commonly found online are less than 1/8” (2mm) thick. For acrylic prints, 1/8” thickness is offered at some online photo print shops, but most premium acrylic prints, like the ones Posterjack make, are 1/4” (6mm) thick. The acrylic sheet acts as a lens, and a thicker lens means that the details of the print appear sharper. That is why people who view a photo on acrylic say it adds depth to the photo. In addition, the overall look of the piece of art looks more substantial and higher-end when the acrylic/glass is three times as thick!
2. Material Quality
There is a common misconception that acrylic is a cheaper alternative to glass. In reality, acrylic actually costs three times the price of glass because it is a specialty product, and for good reason. The acrylic used by Posterjack is a premium material made in the USA by OPTIX. For this application, the most important feature of acrylic is that it’s shatterproof, where glass can easily shatter into sharp pieces if dropped or impacted. In fact, OPTIX acrylic exceeds industry standards for quality. Its impact-resistance is up to three times greater than double-strength window glass, and five times stronger than wire glass.
3. Print Sizes
In theory, you could print a photo on a 36”x48” sheet of glass, but that would be a nightmare waiting to happen. Imagine dropping a piece of glass that size and the danger it could cause! In addition, it would also be next to impossible to ship a print like this with a courier. Because of these restrictions, the largest glass prints typically offered are just 21”x28”. This size isn’t really big enough for a statement piece over a couch or above a fireplace mantle. With acrylic, it’s common to print photos and artwork on an impressive 36”x48” or a 36”x36” Acrylic Print without any troubles.
Related: What is An Acrylic Print?
4. Colour Vibrancy
Because glass lets the light pass through unfiltered, rather than refracting it like acrylic does, colours on glass prints lack the vibrancy and pop that acrylic prints are famous for. One of the top reasons people love Posterjack Acrylic Prints so much is because of the vibrant colours, so a muted print on glass would surely be a disappointment.
5. Print Longevity
You might not need your photo or artwork to be fade-resistant for 200 years like acrylic prints can offer, but you probably want your print to look like new for at least 10 years. If you print a photo on glass and ensure it’s not exposed to any direct sunlight, it may not fade for 10 years, but absolutely any exposure to sun coming into a room and they can fade in under five years. Acrylic has UV inhibitors that protect the print behind it, whereas glass just lets the light pass through unfiltered, which will inevitably lead to fading.
Acrylic Prints Win By a Landslide
If you want to print your photo on glass, we strongly recommend that you consider printing on acrylic instead. It’s an overall better option and if you choose Posterjack, not only will you receive a premium photo art product that will look amazing for literally centuries, you are also supporting a local, Canadian company.