Tuesday, May 19, 2009

AluminArte Digital Prints

I recently learned about a cool option for digital photo prints. It's known as AluminArte, and the prints are made by

Seemingly, AluminArte isn't the best option for smaller prints, because their convenient online pricing calculator seems to offer 12" as the minimum dimension for one side, and 20" is the minimum dimension for the other side when one selects any dimension smaller than 20" for one of the two sides. So in other words, you could have a 12"x20" print, a 14"x20" print, a 16"x20" print, etc., with either portrait or landscape orientation, but you couldn't have a 12"x12" print or 12"x18" print. For a square print, the minimum size would seem to be 20"x20" judging by what I've seen there.

However, one of the photos shown online seems to suggest that they can in fact make prints considerably smaller than 12"x20". The photo shows an arrangement of 24 small prints (4 columns, 6 rows), next to a staircase. So maybe the online calculator just doesn't reflect all of the options they offer.

In any event, for larger prints, they offer extreme flexibility, since the sizes can be adjusted in 1" increments, up to a huge 48"x96" (4 feet x 8 feet).

What I like about these prints, apart from their "HDTV" image quality and the fact that they're offered with 3 different finishes (one of which is more expensive than the other two), is that it would appear that they're extremely durable, and they need no mounting, matting or framing. From the standpoint of a person selling (or wanting to sell) larger prints, that would make things much easier (as opposed to trying to arrange a complicated setup in which I'd first need to contact the lab or giclee printing company to make the prints, and then I'd need to arrange to have the prints sent to the framing company in order to have the prints framed before sending them to my customers). Provided that has the ability to drop ship prints directly to one's customers (preferably with flat shipping charges which are the same regardless of the zip code, so that I can price my products in advance without knowing who will order them or where those people will be located, and without any fancy e-commerce programming), that could make things a lot easier when selling larger prints online to customers who don't want to have to hassle with framing the prints themselves or with the help of local frame shops.

It would appear that AluminArte prints are being marketed exclusively to professionals. But any photographer attempting to sell his or her photos online would appear to qualify as a professional in their book. So it's definitely one of several options I intend to fully explore.

I'm also wondering how easy it would be to subsequently add clear acrylic gesso or primer to an AluminArte print, in order to use the print as the foundation for a mixed media work of art which would also incorporate painting mediums (e.g., pastel, acrylic, etc.). If so, I'm guessing that the sturdy aluminum would make for a great support for such works of art. The main issue would be whether or not the gesso or primer would adhere properly to the print. I'm guessing that the White Aluminum Satin or Brushed Aluminum Satin finishes would be better in that respect, inasmuch as the White Aluminum High Gloss might conceivably be too slick to hold the gesso or primer.

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