5 Types Of Digital Art Prints And Pros & Cons Of Each

While I long to be disconnected from my phone, being an art lover in the digital age does have certain advantages, mainly in the form of 3D printers. Artists now have the ability to print their work directly on to wood, metal, and silk! The world of contemporary fine art prints has evolved and I’m here to be your guide. At least until the robot overlords take over...


 

There are 5 main types of digital art prints, each with their own set of pros and cons. I write this blog as an oil painter who has personal experience buying and selling each of the 5 options (I offer them on my website!). So, allow me to provide a quick overview of what your options are, as well as the factors to consider when deciding which one to purchase. 


 

What is an art print? 

A fine art print is a digital copy or reproduction of an original work of art. Artists have their original paintings professionally photographed and then the image is sent to a printer. When the photograph of the painting is of high quality, the digital print capability is amazing and allows you to see all of the texture and detail in the original. It can be difficult to tell the difference between the original and the print from a distance. The 5 main types of prints are: paper, canvas, xopzer,  wood, metal, and acrylic. 

 

Paper Prints

These are your well-known traditional prints. You likely already have one or two hanging in your home. They are images of art printed on quality paper and are the most economical option out there. You can choose to have them printed with or without a border, similar to when you get your personal photos developed. If money is a factor, buy it mounted on a gator board backing. This saves you the cost of framing, provides a minimalist, clean look, and arrives on your doorstep ready to hang.   

           

Pros     

Most economical option

Hang a group or large statement piece affordably

Framing options are limitless

Cons    

Needs to be mounted or framed to hang on the wall

Least durable option

Prone to fading

 

Canvas Prints

Canvas prints are just what they sound like. So it’s no surprise they are the second most popular. They come with a wire on the back, ready to hang, and the hardware included. Choose to have the image wrapped around the side if you want to hang it without a frame. This prevents seeing the white edge. Framing is always an option and still keeps that traditional art on canvas aesthetic. 

    

Pros

Traditional art look

Option to frame

Arrive ready to hang

Cons

More expensive than paper prints

 

Wood Prints

Wood prints are where the image is printed directly onto the wood! If you want the true colour of the painting to come through, you can have the wood painted with a white primer. Alternatively, you can have the art printed on raw wood. This is a fun option because the texture of the wood grain comes through and adds interest. Great choice for a lodge, cottage, or barn renovation and is inherently durable. The exposed raw wood on the side always gets attention and makes it a guaranteed conversation starter.

Pros

Fun texture

Comes ready to hang

Conversation starter

 

Cons 

If you choose to have print done on raw wood know that the print color will not be true to the original painting. As fun as this can be, I did choose to turn off that option on my website because I felt people would be disappointed when the image varied from the original. Something worth considering.


 

Xpozer Prints

Xpozer prints are high resolution prints on satin. When they arrive, you stretch them tight with an invisible frame on the back. Once hung, the framing creates the illusion that the print is floating off the wall. It arrives in a triangle box loosely folded on itself and you follow the instructions to install the stretcher bars (also included in the box) to the back. All together it takes less than a minute to stretch and it comes with custom hanging hardware that is easy to install. This is a super cool and affordable way to hang art.

Pros 

Minimalistic

Lightweight

Affordable

Guarantee no one else will have it!

 

Cons 

Limited sizes due to the stretcher on back

You install the stretcher yourself (video chat artist if you have questions)

No framing options available

 

 

Acrylic Prints

Acrylic prints are brilliant, high detail prints mounted behind acrylic that leave an leave the viewer in awe. Modern options are often seen in public spaces due to their durability and minimalist appearance. These prints always get attention and are statement pieces no matter the size. They typically hang so that they look like they are floating just off the wall by means of an unseen block attached to the back or with silver circle pegs at each corner. 

        

Pros 

Material itself makes a statement

Durable - great for public or high traffic spaces 

 

Cons 

Framing options are less available

More expensive (you’re paying for quality)

 

 

Metal

These are digital prints directly on to metal. You can choose to have true color or to have the metal show through. Metal prints are highly durable, sun resistant, wipe clean with water, and definitely make an impact on a room. You can choose to have an inset, flush mount, or traditional frame. Bay Photo Printhouse offers a special coating that allows metal prints to be featured outside as signage or as an installation in your garden or patio area.

 

             

 

Pros

Durable 

Statement material 

Can be hung in more places 

Fade resistant in direct sunlight

Scratch resistant 

Water resistant 

Comes ready to hang and with hardware

Numerous framing & hanging options

 

Cons 

More expensive (you’re paying for quality)

 


 

Metal and acrylic just garner attention, period. Wood definitely generates interest and is a great conversation starter. Canvas, Paper and Xopzer are great to showcase the art you want to enhance your living space.

Don’t let the amount of choices keep you from making a choice! 


 

Ellen

KESart | Let Art influence the energy in your life :)

 

PRO TIP

If you are hesitant about a bigger commitment, buy a small piece by the artist you like. This way you will see the quality of the art yourself and you can determine if you want to make a larger investment.

Another disclaimer: not all artists offer these types of prints and the quality can vary greatly. Do your research!