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Printing your travel memories: Should you go with metal, canvas or acrylic?

Printing your travel memories: Should you go with metal, canvas or acrylic?

Last Updated on November 25, 2016

Isn’t it great to have your favorite travel moments captured, preserved, and shared instead of keeping them forever—unnoticed and forgotten—in your camera’s memory card and computer hard drive?

Aside from having something to remember your travels by, displaying travel photos as wall decors at home or in the office is a great conversation starter. What better way to reminisce your best travel memories than by sharing them with your family, friends, and colleagues?Berlin Brandenburg GatePrinting digital images on photo paper (and framing them) is the traditional way to immortalize your travel memories. But if you’re looking for something unique and unconventional, you can consider one of these modern photo printing techniques: metal, canvas, and acrylic prints.

How exactly do you choose which type of print will suit your particular interior design and display needs? Here is a rundown on the three photo printing types to help you decide.


metalMetal prints are made of high-quality coated aluminum, making them lightweight, easy to clean, and generally resistant to warping, stain, water, and scratch.

They feature either a glossy or a satin/matte finish that adds a unique depth to images that is impossible to recreate with other printing techniques. Metal prints can be mounted on a back block hanger for a frameless profile and are hung the same way you would hang canvas prints.

Price range: $12.00 – $1,000.00

Advantages of Metal Prints Disadvantages of Metal Prints
+ Hip, modern look

+ Rich, vibrant colors

+ Lightweight

+ Durable

+ High image preservation (with normal indoor use)

+ Scratch and water resistant

+ Easy to clean

+ Highly customizable sizes and shapes

UV sensitive; not advisable for display in direct sunlight

Best used with high-resolution photographs for optimum effect

Susceptible to dents and warping with improper handling




Currently the most popular personalized photo display mounting technique, canvas printing involves taking a digital image and transferring it onto a heavyweight laminated artist’s canvas, which is then stretched over a wooden frame. The result is reminiscent of a museum gallery display but at very affordable retail prices.

Price range: $20.00 – $200.00

Advantages of Canvas Prints Disadvantages of Canvas Prints
+ Option to import digital photos from Instagram or computer

+ Option to print single or mosaic photo images

+ Lightweight and flexible

+ Multiple sizes, shapes, finishes (glossy or matte), and edging designs possible

+ Sturdy wood frames

+ Classic art gallery feel without the art gallery expense

+ Ready to hang without additional hardware required

+ Scratch resistant

Limited framing options

Not as sturdy or durable as other solid printing materials; subject to rips and tears

Careful image cropping required with the sides of the canvas taken in mind

Highest resolution images are ideal for best effect

Less sharp detail on the print compared to other mediums




acrylicPrinting your prized travel photographs on polished acrylic or plexiglass gives them an ultra contemporary and sleek profile. The high-gloss surface of acrylic refracts the colors of your photo, making them seem brighter and more vibrant. Also, the effect of the image (as though it is embedded in glass) magnifies each detail so that it appears crisper and clearer. Frameless acrylic prints also have the effect of floating seamlessly over walls with minimum obstruction (if using metal mounting studs) or even invisibly (when using wall float mounting).

Price range: $24.00 – $250.00

Advantages of Acrylic Prints Disadvantages of Acrylic Prints
+ Gallery quality


+ Acrylic mounts available in 1/8” and 1/4” sheets or 1” blocks

+ Can be freestanding or hung on walls

+ Available in a wide variety of sizes from 8” squares to panoramic 96”x 48”

+ Extremely durable

+ Resistant to moisture and spills

+ UV and fade resistant

+ Optional metallic paper printing to provide more depth and texture

x Ideal for use only with higher resolution photographs


x Best with bold colors


x May require special solutions for cleaning (glass cleaners NOT recommended)

x Available in specific aspect ratios (square and rectangular shapes) only; no irregular shapes

x Expensive when you go with large prints

x Require special mounts for hanging

x Prone to scratches


Have you tried transferring your travel photos to any of the mediums above? Do they turn out as great as they look? Share with us all your photo printing experiences and recommendations in the comments section below.