Let's talk Metal Art Prints!

For fine artists and photographers we've developed and expanded our fine art metal print capabilities, including aluminum and Chromalum, as a highly popular medium within Hawaii’s artistic community. We infuse our high-resolution images directly onto specially coated aluminum surfaces, creating artwork that dazzles with vibrant colors and stunning detail, while also offering durability that surpasses traditional canvas or paper prints. This innovative printing technique boosts the luminosity of your works, making it seem as though the images light up from within. The sleek, modern finish of metal prints resonates with contemporary art lovers and collectors alike, allowing you to showcase your creations in unique and captivating ways.

The collective shift towards aluminum prints stems from their numerous advantages. These prints not only come with a waterproof and UV-resistant surface, ensuring the long-term preservation of your artwork, but they also provide a lightweight yet robust alternative for your larger pieces, greatly easing the hanging and installation process. The durability and low maintenance of metal prints allow you to confidently display your work in diverse settings, without fear of damage or fading. Furthermore, the distinct aesthetic and premium finish of these prints allow you to set higher price points, enhancing the attractiveness and profitability of your product line. In a marketplace that recognizes innovation and endurance, aluminum metal prints stand as an exceptional choice, enabling you to differentiate your offerings and engage with a wider audience more effectively.

panoramic hawaii aluminum art print

What are aluminum art prints ?

In our years of participating in the evolving landscape of art reproduction, we've adopted the sophisticated technique of creating aluminum fine art prints, a process that marries the precision of modern technology with our color management skills. At the heart of this method lies the principle of dye sublimation, a complex but fascinating process we use to transfer our artwork onto aluminum. This technique begins with our high-resolution digital images being printed onto a special transfer paper using special dye-based inks. Once the image is ready, we lay it onto a pre-treated aluminum sheet, prepared with a polymer coating to receive the ink. The ensemble is then placed in a heat press, where we apply a combination of high temperature and pressure for a specific amount of time, a crucial step where the magic happens. The heat transforms the solid dye particles into gas without turning them into liquid—a process known as sublimation—allowing the gas to penetrate the polymer coating of the aluminum sheet. As the metal cools, the gas reverts to a solid state, embedding the image within the coating, not just on top of it. This results in a vibrant, durable print that showcases your work with incredible depth and color fidelity.

The technical skills involved in creating aluminum fine art prints ensures each piece is not only visually stunning but also remarkably resilient. The polymer coating on the aluminum provides a robust layer of protection, making prints resistant to water, UV rays, and even light scratches. This durability is a significant advantage, allowing our artwork to withstand the test of time and maintain its vibrancy for generations. Additionally, the lightweight nature of aluminum makes the prints easy to display in a variety of settings, offering flexibility in how the work can be presented and enjoyed. Adopting this technology has allowed Chromaco to expand the boundaries of traditional art forms, offering a new medium through which your creativity can be expressed and appreciated.

hawaii beach aluminum art print
blank aluminum art panel

And what about our "Chromalum" prints?

In our exploration of alternative materials for presenting our artwork, we've released "Chromalum," which is based on a material that serves as an excellent alternative to pure aluminum metal art prints. Chromalum combines a polyethylene core between two aluminum sheets, offering a blend of rigidity and lightweight properties, alongside fantastic color reproduction. This composition makes it an ideal choice for large or oversize prints, particularly when we're looking to decorate hospitality and commercial spaces where durability and visual appeal are paramount.

Unlike the dye sublimation process used for aluminum prints, Chromalum utilizes UV curable ink technology. This means we directly print our images onto the surface with UV-cured inks, which provides the added benefit of being both weather-resistant and vibrant over time. The versatility and resilience of Chromalum prints make them perfectly suited for the dynamic commercial environments of hotels, restaurants, and office buildings, where our art can add to the ambiance without the worry of wear and tear. Embracing Chromalum as a medium allows you to cater to a wider market, bringing your artistic visions to life in spaces that demand both beauty and practicality.

chromalum metal art print

Why sell metal art prints?

Fine artists and photographers have discovered significant sales benefits in offering art as aluminum prints, an innovation that elevates your portfolio and allows it to appeal to a discerning clientele. The medium of aluminum allows you to present your work with unparalleled visual clarity and vibrancy, thanks to its ability to reflect light and enhance the depth of color. This luminous effect, unique to aluminum, sets your creations apart, providing a modern and durable platform that accurately captures the essence of your artistic vision. Additionally, the durability of aluminum prints against water, UV rays, and even scratches assures your clients of the artwork's longevity, making these prints not just a purchase but a lasting investment. This resilience, paired with the striking aesthetic qualities, positions your aluminum prints as a premium choice in the art market, offering something truly unique to collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Compared to traditional mediums like canvas and watercolor paper, we find that aluminum prints offer unmatched advantages. While canvas has its charm and suits certain styles with its textured finish, it doesn't quite capture the vibrancy or detail achievable on aluminum. Watercolor paper, with its traditional appeal and texture, falls short in terms of durability and the modern aesthetic that aluminum effortlessly brings to photographic and digital works. Moreover, the ease of maintenance with aluminum prints starkly contrasts with the careful handling required for artworks on canvas and watercolor paper, which are more prone to environmental damage. This low maintenance aspect is particularly appealing , as it allows us to assure our clients of a hassle-free ownership experience. By choosing to sell your art on aluminum, you're not just offering a piece of art; you're providing a durable, vibrant, and modern option that aligns with the lifestyles and values of contemporary art buyers, making your work an attractive addition to any space.

aluminum art print hawaii

What are the surface and finish options?

In our exploration of aluminum art prints, we've delved into the various surface and finish options available, discovering that each brings its own set of advantages and considerations. The choice between white and clear (brushed) surfaces has been particularly intriguing. With white surfaces, we've found that the colors in artwork pop with exceptional vibrancy, offering a brightness and clarity that's truly captivating. This option enhances the depth and detail of your images, making it a fantastic choice for pieces where color accuracy and intensity are key. However, the white surface can sometimes mask the unique metallic texture that some people seek in aluminum prints.

On the other hand, the clear (brushed) surface option celebrates the natural metallic look of aluminum, adding a unique texture and depth to your artwork. This choice is wonderful for pieces where you want the metal's industrial aesthetic to complement the artwork, creating a dynamic interplay between image and material (such as black & white or surf photography). The clear surface, however, can slightly alter the appearance of colors, often muting them slightly and allowing the brushed metal texture to show through in place of pure white, which might not be ideal for all types of work.

As for finishes, choosing between gloss and matte has its own set of considerations. Gloss finishes bring an additional layer of vibrancy and clarity to your prints, making colors appear more saturated and details sharper. This finish is especially suitable for photography and digital art, where the sheen can enhance the visual depth. Yet, the reflective nature of gloss finishes might not be suitable for all viewing environments, particularly those with strong lighting, where glare can be an issue. Matte finishes, conversely, offer a softer, more subdued look that eliminates glare, making your artwork easy to view under any lighting conditions. This finish lends a contemporary elegance to your prints, though it may slightly reduce the perceived saturation and contrast of our images.

To navigate these options, you must carefully consider the nature of your artwork and the environment in which it will be displayed, making informed choices that best suit each piece's aesthetic and your clients' preferences.

aluminum art prints wall decor

How long do aluminum prints last?

Our metal prints were tested by Wilhelm Imaging Research and achieved a permanence rating of more than 60 years using two distinct ink sets.  For highly technical people, this test extrapolated to be 450 lux for 12 hours per day..  This rating is more than three times better than silver-halide photo papers (which are rated for about 19 years).  In other words, no noticeable fading will occur during this time, if displayed in proper viewing conditions

Aluminum prints are also highly resistant to water, high humidity and ozone, helpful to know in case your client has a challenging space or environment.

outdoor aluminum art print hawaii

How do you care for metal prints?

To keep your Chromaco prints in pristine condition, all you'll usually need is a soft microfiber cloth, readily available at your local grocery or hardware store. A gentle wipe with this cloth is enough to remove most dust and fingerprints, ensuring your prints continue to dazzle. It's important to avoid abrasive materials, like paper towels, as they could leave tiny scratches on the surface of your prints.

For those more persistent stains, applying a small amount of denatured alcohol, acetone, or goo gone to your microfiber cloth will work wonders. Regular maintenance, such as a monthly light wipe-down, will keep your prints looking their best, preserving the vibrancy and detail of your artwork. For artists who showcase their work at shows or exhibitions, we suggest investing in a high-quality, larger microfiber cloth and keeping a bottle of denatured alcohol handy to ensure your prints always make the best impression.

Like any other piece of fine art, metal prints are prone to get damaged if they are transported often or mishandled by a gallery or exhibition staff. When transporting these prints from one location to the next, it is wise to have a plan in place to reduce the likelihood of the prints getting damaged. When transporting, its important to protect the edges. You can do this by bagging each print, sealing it with tape and taping it down to an oversized piece of cardboard. Alternatively, you can buy cheap pipe insulation from Home Depot and use it to cover the edges and corners.

wall decor art print cleaning

How do you sign metal prints?

For those of you who love to personalize your prints with a signature, we've found that using a sharpie or a liquid paint pen yields the best results. In particular, we highly recommend the Liquitex brand of paint pens for their quality and reliability.

Should you need to remove a signature, a bit of acetone or denatured alcohol coupled with gentle scrubbing will do the trick. For an elegant touch, consider signing your artwork discreetly on the bottom left or right corner, choosing a spot where the ink stands out against the background without obscuring any vital elements of your print.

art signature

What kind of images work best on metal prints?

The type of image is key here. Metal prints do work best with bold, vibrant colors and deep contrast.  Soft subtle images generally don’t work as well on this media. The high contrast makes any image look bolder and its inherent sharpness brings out detail incredibly well.  If you have a relatively low resolution image or a flawed image, you might want to pass on metal.

Image categories that work really well with metal prints include:

  • Seascapes
  • Landscapes
  • Sunsets & sunrises
  • Black & white
  • Images for modern or contemporary interiors

For softer color images you’re best going with canvas, or a luster / matte finish art paper.

Should I release metal print Editions?

Edition planning is an essential part of the release of new art, and you should decide in advance your edition formats.  Its a poor marketing practice to change your edition structure after selling some prints and may cause customer concerns.

Open Edition Prints

Offering open edition (OE) prints is a great way to provide a cost-effective option for art lovers, making your work accessible to a broader audience. OE quantity is “unlimited”.

Limited Editions Prints

Create a sense of exclusivity with limited edition runs, driving up demand and value for your work among collectors. There are two popular types of limited edition prints:

  • SN (Signed and Numbered) - These are standard prints that are signed and numbered by the artist. Common sizes for metal Signed & Numbered editions range from 10-100 (higher if your art program is large)
  • AP (Artist Proofs) - usually NOT offered as metal prints are not easy to highlight/embellish.
  • PP (Printer Proofs) - may be offered as an exclusive, unique edition, typically the first 5 or so prints produced by the printer, often going through color correction process before final production printing.

In Hawaii, artists are legally required to provide Certificates of Authenticity with the sale of any limited edition prints. This document ensures the value of the print, and must include certain facts such as the artist name, year, date, and more.  For Hawaii artists, the State of Hawaii has a Revised Statute 194 governing certificates.

How Do I Choose an Edition Size?

Higher quantities allow for more sales (if demand exists), while lower quantities may allow an edition to “sell out”, which is a desirable marketing goal to support value and reputation.

limited edition art print certificate

Grow your business with art prints!

Growing a fine art business requires a combination of strategic planning, marketing, networking, and continuous creative development.

  1. Develop a Strong Online Presence: maintain a professional website showcasing your work, artist statement, biography, and contact information. Utilize social media to share artwork, process videos, and also “behind-the-scenes” content.
  2. Leverage Online Sales Platforms: Etsy, Saatchi Art, and Artsy provide artists with opportunities to sell their work to a global audience.
  3. Exhibit in Galleries and Art Shows: Participating in gallery exhibitions, art fairs, and local art shows to significantly increase visibility - sell your work, meet collectors, and network with other professionals.
  4. Offer Limited Edition Prints: make art more accessible to a broader audience and provide a steady income stream. High-quality prints, especially when signed and numbered, can add a collectible aspect to an artist's work.
  5. Engage in Networking and Collaboration: relationships with other artists, galleries, and influencers in the art world will open up new opportunities for exhibitions, collaborations, and sales. Networking can be done through social media, art events, and by joining art associations or groups.
  6. Collect Email Subscribers: Building an email list allows artists to directly communicate with their audience, share updates about new work, exhibitions, and offer exclusive deals.
  7. Create a Blog or Vlog: Sharing insights about the creative process, techniques, and the stories behind artworks can help artists connect with their audience on a deeper level. Content marketing through blogs or video logs (vlogs) can also improve an artist's search engine visibility and attract new followers.

Learn more!

Want to learn more about metal and other prints? Stop by our office to talk, we’re happy to share our knowledge and ideas!

Call us!   (808) 545-5511

Our sister brands...

Chromaco is a leading brand of Black Sand Publishing (diversified art business focusing on art licensing and distribution). We also operate 808Arts.com (Hawaii-focused online art marketplace), and Chromaco Ceramics (custom printed ceramic products for construction).

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