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Alternative options for printing?

Rachel McLain

New member
Right now most of my work that is exhibited is mounted, matted, and framed. I'm trying to explore other options for printing.

What I like about the way I do it now: It's interchangeable, so I can reuse a frame and glass on a new work without the larger investment of frame and glass. This is very very handy.

What I don't like: It's gotten boring for me. Also, I've been invited to participate in a small works kind of show later this year (12" max size), and I don't think the mat and frame look works as well for smaller works.

I may contemplate metal or plexiglass printing so if you have places that are quality and decent prices to recommend please do!

I also thought I'd check what other options there are out there, too, so if you have other kinds of printing or ideas for me, I'd love to hear them.



nicolas claris

OPF Co-founder/Administrator
Hi Rachel
I use for long prints on adhesive paper stuck on Dibon + laminating or mat varnish protection.
Full image with no "Marie-Louise" or other matting.
Very contemporary!
Also I always put some foam thing behind the print (one inch or even more) so the print pop-out of the wall…

Robert Watcher

Well-known member
I am kind of a cheapskate and like doing things myself ---- so a method I have used since the late 1980's when I needed a sleek artsy looking but inexpensive way to display prints in my studio ---- was to use coloured papers from an art store, and glue these onto 1/4" or 1/2" mdf board and then use black masking tape to seal the edges.

It turned out that many of my portrait clients requested that styling of mounting for their home. I was actually amazed to visit such a client a few years ago, and found the spray glued paper and prints and black masking tape - were still in tact and still looked good after hanging there for over 20 years.

Now if I were exhibiting in a gallery or where stipulations deman otherwise - I would use more traditional methods.and the taste may not be to some photographers liking ---- but I thought I'd throw it in as an option.

Several years ago I had a display at a Starbucks/Chapters store in the city. I had to wait 2 years after signing up for the spot, so wanted to put on a captive and professional looking presentation. Fortunately my buddy took some video footage of me setting up so I could remember. It is easy to see the look of the 24"x34" panels - and the wood blocks I use behind to fasten to wall and keep the print parallel to the wall.


Chris Calohan

Well-known member
I've found the "thin wraps" made by Bay Photo to be a ready to hang, good alternative to doing it at home. I'm not rolling in the dough but after mounting works for my AP students over a long period of time, I'm just, stick me with a fork, done with that. A 12 x 12 Thin Wrap, mounted and blocked for easy hanging is $34.50 + $5.00 if you want it on metallic paper. These are all archival papers and inks. With their pricing you can figure about $0.25 a sq inch and be pretty close.

Rachel McLain

New member
Thank you, Nicolas, Robert, and Chris! This is all very interesting.

I need to check with this gallery and see what their requirements are. I've worked with some galleries that require wire on the back of 2d works because other hanging methods can be much trickier to get level. This is one of the more "big deal" galleries in town, so their requirements are even more stringent than a lot of galleries I've worked with.

Nicolas, what do you use on the back of the dibon to hang?

Robert, thank you for sharing your method. I see you have got wire on the back of yours for ease of hanging. I can't use this method for this gallery, but I do like the look a lot! They also look really light which is nice when you're hanging your own. I always hate being up on a ladder trying to hang a 23x27 framed piece with glass and everything. I'm always afraid I'll drop it!!

Chris, I really like the look of those thin wraps, but it looks like wood blocks on the back. I might order one and see if I could attach wire to it.

Thanks again!