The Timelessness of Metal Prints


Ever since Louis Daguerre first presented his invention publicly in 1839, photographs on metal have been timeless keepsakes for both families and collectors alike. Metal prints last far longer than paper prints, and they’re just as gorgeous when done correctly.

What are the Advantages?

Aside from the obvious longevity benefit, the chief plus to prints on metal is that they can be of almost any reasonable size and still keep the resolution of the original photo. In fact, prints of 4 feet by 5 feet are possible. Additionally, photos on metal can be printed in high definition. Imagine the popping colors of a springtime forest picture on a print that covers almost 20 square feet.

Because the photographic image is embedded into the metal instead of embossed on it, there is no need for either traditional framing or a protective glass cover. When one figures in the cost of a frame, matting, and the protective glass covering, the cost of a traditional print of 20 square feet would be much more prohibitive than the cost of a single print on metal. Metal prints are even waterproof, so they’re perfect for decorating bathrooms.

Are They Really Indestructible?

As with any photographic image, direct sunlight is detrimental. Despite being waterproof, prints on metal are not good for outdoor settings unless the venue is never exposed to direct sunlight. Prints on metal are scratchproof in all but the most extreme circumstances and will last for decades, however The Rochester Institute of Technology performed tests that simulated 150 years of wear and tear on some of these prints, and many of the tested prints came through the treatments unscathed. Of course, not every print will have the same amazing results, but most of the tested prints displayed longevity an order of magnitude better than paper or canvas prints.

What Material is Used?

The most common metal used for these prints is aluminum. It’s lightweight and provides a terrific combination of malleability and tensile strength. It also doesn’t corrode or rust.

In conclusion, aluminum prints are the best way to preserve photographs for a lifetime. More durable and lightweight than traditional prints of equivalent size by a large margin, they provide the owner with many more options on where to hang them than traditional prints. They are impervious to fingerprints or other damage resulting from the touch of human skin, and they’re also fire resistant. In most cases, aluminum prints can be produced in about a week, perhaps slightly longer if the owner wants a frame.

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