Art and design has arrived in the glass industry with recent improvements in glass printing technology. Architects, designers, builders and the general public now have access to high quality glass products with endless designs.
Photos on Glass
You can now capture your favourite moments on camera and transform those digital images into large format glass prints. Family portraits, weddings and photos of other special life moments can be hung with concealed fixing and frameless design, which produces a beautiful glossy finish that jumps off the wall.
Designs on Glass
Any digital image or design can be applied to glass. This opens a world of design opportunities for interior designers and artists. Sophisticated contemporary designs include two or three glass panel designs, print series that combine to create a piece of art and sometimes large format designs to cover large portions of wall space.
Commercial Glass Applications
Many buildings including shops, offices, hotel and other commercial premises are taking advantage of the vibrant colours and designs available in glass. Many retail stores are printing logos, products and artwork on glass to take advantage of the high quality finish of glass.
How are images printed on glass?
Digital prints adhered to glass
Some suppliers are choosing to adhere a print onto the glass rather than printing onto the glass. This technique will result in a solid colour as the background. A translucent image cannot be achieved with this method.
Print direct to glass by printer
Producing some of the highest quality printed glass solutions are Ceramic printers. Capable of printing precise high resolution results for many applications. The durability of this finish enables use of vibrant design in a outdoor environment exposed to the elements.
What types of glass are used for glass printing?
Ordinary Float Glass and Low Iron Glass are the most common types of glass used. Clear Float has a very light green colour, which is acceptable for windows, doors and other glass products. The advantage of Low Iron is that it has less colour on the glass giving the clearest possible solution.
Ultraclear or Starphire are two brand names commonly found in the Australian glass market. Either are suitable for glass printing.
Toughened glass may be required depending on the position and type of installation. As with most glass, compliance with Australian Standards is an important consideration when using glass.
Are there alternatives to printing on glass?
Acrylic is the most comparable product to glass.
- Acrylic is lighter
- Similar appearance to glass
- Glass gives a glossier finish
- Acrylic will scratch over time
- Acrylic bends
- Extremely light
- Easy to install
- Can be stuck on the wall using velcro stick on tape
- Easier to damage
- Matt finish
- Flat image compared to the depth of glass
Mounting and installing printed glass and acrylic
Most pictures or wall hung art are installed using frameless or semi frameless hanging systems such as split battens or with standoff hardware. Refer to drawing below.
What are the benefits of printing on glass?
Strong & Durable
Most printed glass is toughened. Toughened glass is approximately five times stronger than normal float glass. When broken this glass will shatter into small pieces reducing the risk of injury.
Most printed glass panels are frameless in design, which means there are no edges to collect dust. The image is printed on the rear side of the glass, therefore a simple spray and wipe will clean the glass like any other glass product.
Frameless printed graphics and photographs on glass are minimalist in appearance, which fits in with current interior designs. Appearing as though they are floating on the wall, photographs have great depth and pop off the wall.
Glass Versus Traditional Prints
Glass provides a sleek and seamless appearance, which suits many modern homes and current architecture. Canvas prints and paintings can attract dust and are difficult to clean. The use of standard traditional aluminium picture frames tends to cheapen the look of the print or photo.
Where to buy prints on glass and acrylic
USA – Photos on glass and acrylic
Fracture is an American based company that has a great video about the process of ordering through them.
White Wall tend to have a variety of Acrylic options available.
Australia – Photos on glass
Examples of printed glass applications.
In the home
- Photo Prints – Wedding, portaits, family, etc.
- Wall Art
- Kitchen Splashbacks
- Feature walls
- Office partitions
- Architectural displays