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Author Topic: glass-less display  (Read 7289 times)

mstevensphoto

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glass-less display
« on: May 30, 2014, 01:46:35 pm »

Hey folks,
   I'm working on a corporate art project and need to do several large pieces fairly quickly. I'm curious about your inclinations. The project will feature several historic airplanes and cars, but it's all detail shots and abstract-ish. The work basically will be shiny painted metal and chrome things. I'm trying to come up with how I want to do this.

for longevitiy and durability I'm inclined to do framed canvas mounted to 1/2" gator (no glass no mat) - it's relatively easy for me to get good results like this and they seem to do well in a busy environment. I don't so much love shiny sharp lined metal things on canvas where we lose some of the definition and gloss and general slickness.

I kind of like a metallic or high gloss photo paper for this but I'm not sure about display w/o glass. thoughts? treatment?

At large format (40x60" or so) can I think about frame with glass and no mat using spacers between the image and glass?

what else, other than prints on metal, might you think would look good in a modern designer space with auto/air images?

thanks for helping me brainstorm!
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dgberg

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2014, 01:52:48 pm »

Other then metal nothing I can think of.
Shiny aircraft or auto photographs just beg for dye sublimation on the clear hi gloss aluminum.

mstevensphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2014, 02:12:31 pm »

I like them behind acrylic too, considering that as an option. 3/4" thick acrylic with a back mounted photo.

so if you did them on metal, float mount it? wonder if I could frame a metal print in a neat way.  my biggest problem with metal prints is that I can't find anywhere that shares my tastes. pixel2canvas is way reasonable but they always blow my highlights or shadows. do you have a favorite provider?

I'm unable to do them myself, which is a huge motivation for canvas.
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Paul2660

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2014, 02:32:17 pm »

Just one question, have you priced the mounting and acrylic cost?  On a print that large, unless the location is really clean, you will get something under the acrylic and it's a one trick pony.  Also, that is a lot of Acrylic to scratch, and it will somehow get scratched.  I know it looks great but when it all comes down to it, most designers, won't pay the price unless the location is aware of it, costs involved etc. 

Your idea of canvas is a good one, easy to work with, and you might try the Breathing Color or Moab Metallic canvas.  I believe Moab has one now, I know BC does. 

Most places I have worked with, with an image that large, are using a firm that can print onto a panel, then the panel is just placed on the wall.  Not sure of the process as the work I have done was all printed and then placed in the location. 

One other note, BC's glossy canvas is not IMO given the greatest QC, as one lot will have a bunch of flaw, or seeds etc.  Crystalline, the BC glossy I am familiar will is OK, but due to globs and flaws etc. I only use it for prints where I don't have a large solid color.  Not sure if their metallic has the same issues, but I figure it does.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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mstevensphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2014, 03:13:06 pm »

thanks for the ideas and note on acrylic.

I adore Lyve and have been entirely unimpressed with the crystalline canvas. I don't think I've tried the metallic canvas but I was thinking that was perhaps because it's a fortune? Do you varnish your metallic canvas? Even something like crystalline which says it doesn't have to be sprayed should be for public spaces like this in my opinion. The appeal of canvas is high because I do yards and yards of it every month. I'm 100% comfortable printing, spraying and mounting it, but I don't want that comfort to keep me from a better process for the look.
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Paul2660

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2014, 04:31:00 pm »

BC Lyve is excellent as you point out, pretty much flawless.  I had coating, but have gone back to Lyve due to constant issues with Crystalline. 

With Crystalline, I still run a top coat since as you mention just one drop of water will smear the ink, and in public places, way to much chance of water, cleaning solvent etc.  or problems when the print is hung with fingerprints.

I preferred Crystalline due to the great DMAX, and easier approximation for soft proofing.  Blacks don't block up etc and I can use relative colorimetric intent. 

Coated Lyve is pretty bomb proof indeed.

Paul
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Paul Caldwell
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mkihne

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2014, 05:43:03 pm »

Other then metal nothing I can think of.
Shiny aircraft or auto photographs just beg for dye sublimation on the clear hi gloss aluminum.


I would suggest metal also. Look is similar to acrylic without the fragility of the surface. Probably less expensive also. Not sure without seeing the images, but if hi-tech looking subjects, I would question the use of canvas.
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bgphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2014, 11:18:03 pm »

I would suggest metal. If the images have the detail, you will be hard pressed to get a better look. Check with Image Wizards for printing that large onto metal. Realize anything that large will need to be trucked to you in a crate.

Also, I have been testing the Hahnemuhle Metalic Canvas and have been pretty impressed. I am going to start adding that to my companies offerings in addition to metal printing.

Ben
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PeterAit

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2014, 08:22:56 am »

How about a paper like Slickrock metallic pearl mounted on dibond panels?
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bgphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2014, 10:45:40 am »

In reality some questions must be answered before you determine the substrate:

1. Is this a permanent installation or temporary?
2. If it is temporary how long will it be hung and what will be done with the pieces after it has been removed?
3. Are these pieces for sale or just show?
4. Who is paying for the pieces- you or somebody else?
5. Is there a budget?
5. How will they be hung? Are the wall's able to sustain the weight of the pieces or if hung from the ceiling, can the ceiling sustain the weight?
6. How will the pieces be transported to the venue?
7. What kind of lighting is in the venue?
8. Who is responsible for hanging the pieces? Do they know how to hang the pieces that you will be providing?
9. Who is responsible if any of the pieces get damaged or the pieces fall and something/one gets damaged or hurt?
10. Can the pieces be produced in the time frame required to deliver.
11. What will happen if you/venue is not satisfied with the pieces after they are produced?

...and many more questions could be asked but this should give you an idea.

Ben
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bill t.

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2014, 05:26:03 pm »

I'd probably use BC Pura Smooth or Epson Hot Press adhesive-mounted on Dibond.

Before mounting, spray with 3 coats of Polycrylic or Timeless or Glamour II gloss.  You will never get a perfectly smooth gloss with that, but you will get something that looks just a bit glossier than the classic, unferrotyped "F" surface that looks quite handsome and which to my eyes is less tacky than mega-gloss.  Mounted mega gloss has issues with less than 100% dead-flat mounting, the "F" variation is much more tolerant of minor bumps and ripples.  With mega-gloss, you're pretty much dead from the tiniest chunk of crud trapped under the print.  With semi-gloss, you have some leeway to press the dump down with say the rounded edges of a butter knife or spoon.

Mount on Dibond or one of the many cheaper knockoffs, some of which cost about the same as Gator.  Use the type that's matte white on the mounting side, and bare aluminum on the back.  Use aggressive adhesive.  If you're new to adhesives, start out a roll that has a cover sheet on BOTH sides of the adhesive, that's much easier for newbies.

Have found cutting Dibond with a utility knife is easy, and in fact for the 3mm stock you can easily score-then-snap with extremely clean edges, provided you have at least 2 inches or so on one of the pieces to be parted.

To prevent flexing on a 40 x 60 inch print on 3mm Dibond, you will definitely need to attach to the back a rectangular pattern of epoxied aluminum "L" extrusions, 1/2 x 1/2 x 1/8".   Pre-drill two holes in the top L piece for hangers.  Buy some scrap at your supplier and try it out.  I made several test pieces with a $160 roller bought the 'bay, works perfik, just make sure your rollers are 2" wider than the workpiece, on both sides.  And if your Dibond has sharp edges, debur them very slightly so they don't cut your rollers.

Pura and EHP will not be as absolutely contrasty as the gloss metallics, but neither will they tend to blow out highlights.  You should not have trouble conveying the feeling of hard metal surfaces in a most elegant way.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2014, 05:28:31 pm by bill t. »
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mstevensphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #11 on: June 02, 2014, 10:17:20 am »

How about a paper like Slickrock metallic pearl mounted on dibond panels?

I have to be the only one who just flat doesn't like slick rock. (I like ink press even less) I adore Moab's people and papers on whole but I have yet to meet a metallic paper that I like even a little. I think it I did metallic paper (which would look great) I'd have to have it done on someone's light jet on a "traditional" photo metallic paper. one of my big issues is that the images I want to put on metallic always have a fair bit of white and I always see a gloss differential.
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mstevensphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #12 on: June 02, 2014, 10:22:47 am »

I'd probably use BC Pura Smooth or Epson Hot Press adhesive-mounted on Dibond.

…..

Pura and EHP will not be as absolutely contrasty as the gloss metallics, but neither will they tend to blow out highlights.  You should not have trouble conveying the feeling of hard metal surfaces in a most elegant way.

you like the pura more than optica one? I actually thought about optica one, even with a roller to get some intentional rolled on texture with the timeless. I'm not set up to do my own mounting except where miracle muck is involved (no roller system for proper adhesive) and unfortunately no one wants to mount them for me despite me promising that it's ok if they need a new print because of mounting issues.

I'm wondering about gator mounted optica one with timeless finish in a frame. not sure if that can be accomplished and look good with miracle muck.
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bill t.

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #13 on: June 02, 2014, 12:31:12 pm »

Well Optica 1 is the brightest of the bright, and would be a good choice for your pieces.  I didn't mention it because I have not tested it for coating.  Most matte papers suffer in the highlights from coating. I like Pura because it comes through coating looking better than any of the matte papers I have tested.  When coated, it actually looks more brilliant than the Epson OBA equivalents.

Oh wait, don't coat Optica or the Epson "Bright" papers with Timeless!  The UV blockers in Timless will mask the effect of the OBA's in the papers.  Dullsville.  Stick with the naturals if you're going to coat with Timeless.  For the OBA papers, GII might be a better choice, even though it has a minor amount of hazing.  I'd use super-transparent Polycrylic, but be warned that Poly can be finicky, and you need to be sure you are getting reasonably fresh cans.

It is a good idea to create profiles from coated targets when using coated fine art papers.  Coating pulls down the densities of paper more than you see with canvas.  This causes the profiled prints out of the printer to look too light, until you coat.  For testing I keep a 6", Polycrylic wet roller in a large baggie.  I put down a quick, thick coat on the test strips right there on my ever-so-utilitarian cutting matte table, wiping up the excess on the table with a wet paper towel.  No need to make a production out of it.  Anybody who doesn't have a cutting matte as the permanent surface of their 4x8 foot work table is making life needlessly complicated.

Have made many framed pieces with Polycrylic-coated Pura Velvet, Gator-mounted with Muck.  Looks great on the wall!  I actually prefer the Pura tonality and color to any of the canvases I have used, but consider that I do landscapes.  I use slightly textured Pura Velvet, rather than Pura Smooth.  It has a sort of canvas-like presentation, but IMO is better because the texture is non-polarized.  Definitely a fine-art-like presentation.   And glare issues are better with Pura than with canvas when the ambient light source is coming from behind the viewer.  You need to use almost twice a much glue for mounting fine art papers as with canvas to overcome the natural sides-up curve in the paper.  Pay special attention to getting those edges down onto the Gator, you need to work a longer rubbing down paper than canvas.

When coating I put down two coats of about 10ml per square foot on each coat.  Have found that if I wait about 45 minutes between coats, the post-coating paper curl is almost zero.  You can Muck mount those prints about 4 hours after the last coat.  However, I have noticed that it takes more like 24 hours for the tiny amount of paper shrinkage to completely stop, so if you plan to adhesive mount with flush edges, give drying a day or two after the last coat so the print won't pull back from the edges.
« Last Edit: June 02, 2014, 12:34:17 pm by bill t. »
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mstevensphoto

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #14 on: June 02, 2014, 02:52:44 pm »

thanks for the info. I got a pura sample roll so I might try a few. I love the optica 1 and don't care a lick that it has OBA's. little prints roll really nicely, bigger need spray to keep from having a gluey mucky mess. 

I'm not doing anything that comes in an aerosol can. I don't seem to have the talent needed to make it look perfect when spraying and it takes a godawful amount of toxic crap to get anything covered to the level I want to cover it.

when you miracle muck paper to gator are you just rolling it down (j-roller?) and waiting or do you compress it for any period of time?

care to share which $160 roller you got off the ebay?
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bill t.

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #15 on: June 02, 2014, 06:26:42 pm »

Forget the aerosols.  Get a good HVLP and spray water based only.

I roll the prints out on the Gator from a 3" tube, pressing down more than tugging along.  But don't press too hard...dents in the Gator.  You need to use relatively more glue with paper prints than with canvas because the extra moisture helps relax the curl out of the paper.

Then I smooth down the print by running my flat hand over it, several times.  Sometimes cotton gloved, sometimes not.  Properly coated prints are rather smooth and skin loss is minimal.  No roller involved.  Pay special attention to the edges, especially if your paper has developed a curve.  It may take a minute of gentle patting at the edge before you feel they are really down.  Don't overdo the finger pressure, or you will get subtle dents in the Gator.  For paper, I spend maybe 5 minutes to smooth down a 24 x 72 print, much longer than with limp canvas.  Check the surface against a steeply angled bright light bulb, press down any bumps with a burnisher like the rounded plastic end of a Sharpie, the edge of a butterknife, the tip of a slot or x-tipped screwdriver, etc, as appropriate.  Have a pin ready if you get an intractable air bubble.

I used this 29" laminator for my 24" x 72" test prints.  Be aware the numerous 25" machines out there are simply too challenging for use with typical 25 to 25.5" laminate rolls, and 24" prints.  You need at least a couple spare inches on either side.  Laminators are geometrically more expensive at larger sizes.  If the edges of my adhesive mounted test prints stay down for another month or so, I may buy a bigger machine.  You definitely want an electric feed if you plan to do serious work of this type, along with at least a tensioned feed roller for the adhesive.


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shadowblade

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #16 on: June 03, 2014, 10:56:32 am »

Have made many framed pieces with Polycrylic-coated Pura Velvet, Gator-mounted with Muck.  Looks great on the wall!  I actually prefer the Pura tonality and color to any of the canvases I have used, but consider that I do landscapes.  I use slightly textured Pura Velvet, rather than Pura Smooth.  It has a sort of canvas-like presentation, but IMO is better because the texture is non-polarized.  Definitely a fine-art-like presentation.   And glare issues are better with Pura than with canvas when the ambient light source is coming from behind the viewer.  You need to use almost twice a much glue for mounting fine art papers as with canvas to overcome the natural sides-up curve in the paper.  Pay special attention to getting those edges down onto the Gator, you need to work a longer rubbing down paper than canvas.

I'm having trouble visualising how a glossy or satin coating would look on a textured paper such as Pura Velvet. With my printer out of action until the new inkset arrives, I'm also in no position to find out... I would have imagined it would have a cheap, plasticky laminated look, quite different from the F-type surface of true semi-gloss fibre-based papers like Canson Platine or Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Baryta. The fact that diluted Timeless soaks deep into the paper through the image layer is a huge plus for longevity, though.
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bill t.

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #17 on: June 03, 2014, 11:38:07 am »

"Cheap" is a matter of opinion.  To my eyes, the ultimate cheap look is facemounted metallic paper which raises plastique to Olympian levels.  I feel glossy coated Pura Velvet is rather dignified looking, with or without comparison to other forms of presentation.  In galleries it presents very favorably beside other forms of artwork, and sometimes looks better because of relatively lower surface diffusion when the pieces face bright windows or doorways.

Keep in mind that being mounted gives such prints a much different surface look than you would see with a loose print.  An extreme example is the way a mounted glossy canvas is a completely different creature than a stretched glossy canvas, due to the way a stretched glossy canvas still has enough surface ripple to create lurid specular highlights from ambient light sources, whereas the same canvas mounted does not.

It is possible to obtain a very wide gamut of surface gloss variations by varying the method and amount of coating application.  Using only gloss coating, anything from almost matte, through satin, up to shiny is possible.  All of which takes practice and careful technique, so unfortunately it's hard to judge from a single test application.  But if you plan to mount coated paper, be sure to defer judgement until you have your tests actually mounted.
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shadowblade

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #18 on: June 03, 2014, 12:13:37 pm »

"Cheap" is a matter of opinion.  To my eyes, the ultimate cheap look is facemounted metallic paper which raises plastique to Olympian levels.  I feel glossy coated Pura Velvet is rather dignified looking, with or without comparison to other forms of presentation.  In galleries it presents very favorably beside other forms of artwork, and sometimes looks better because of relatively lower surface diffusion when the pieces face bright windows or doorways.

Do you have any photos of how the final surface looks?

I'm just imagining a glossy surface with low-frequency, orange-peel-like (or toilet-paper-like) bumps. A bit like a laminated movie poster, but bumpy. Or a bit like plastic-coated, unprimed canvas. Or is the final effect much finer, like the stippled texture of a lustre paper (e.g. Hahnemuhle Photo Rag Pearl)? Is it obvious that there's a layer of acrylic spray on the surface of the paper? Or does it look more like the paper itself is glossy, rather than a glossy overcoat?
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aaronchan

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Re: glass-less display
« Reply #19 on: June 03, 2014, 01:28:04 pm »

Fujiflex with plexi front mount?
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