Photo Lamination & Protection
Lamination is the ideal method for adding years to the life of your displayed images and graphics. It is paramount to protect your prized works from the destructive properties of harmful U.V. and everyday atmospheric pollutants such as cleaning solution vapors, tobacco smoke, ozone and hydrocarbons, just to name a few. We use only Cold Pressure Sensitive Laminates – so your artworks are not subjected to unnecessary heat. And we offer several options for pH neutral substrates as well. From Genuine Gator Board to Komatex, we have a mounting substrate that is ideal for your needs. Please feel free to contact us with questions.
Cold Pressure Sensitive Laminates
You have a variety of pH neutral lamination options:
|3 mil||Gloss or Lustre||Polyester||High Gloss, does not reduce image contrast or saturation. adds UV protection. Ideal for display prints where reflections from windows or lights are not a concern.||Very reflective. Easily scratched, shows fingerprints. Prints must be mounted to plex or Aluma-Bond to not show ‘orange peel’ effect|
|3 mil||Luster||Vinyl||Not highly reflective, adds UV protection. Ideal as an alternative to the weight and expense of glass over a fine art print when image is framed.||Slightly Reduces contrast of graphic. Somewhat fragile to handling.|
|5 mil||Velvet||Vinyl||VERY durable. Ideal for floor graphics, very non-reflective||Reduces contrast and saturation of graphic.|
|5 mil||Crystal||Vinyl||Durable surface, crystal like faceted surface maintains clarity, contrast, saturation and color without glare. Hides fingerprints, adds UV protection, easily cleanable. Ideal for fine art or commercial graphics. Also good for locations with lights or windows that may show glare on the print.||Not as durable as Velvet laminate.|
Photographic papers come in such a variety of surfaces and manufacturers, making a choice can sometimes seem daunting. The following bits of information should help you make a choice you are comfortable with. If you still have questions please feel free to contact us.
A note on surfaces: Glossy, Crystal, Luster and Velvet:
We offer several different laminate surfaces similar to the prints surfaces. Any laminate surface can be used on any of the print surfaces. The laminated print will take on the characteristics of its final surface. In other words; if you laminate both a glossy and a semi-matte print with a glossy lamination, the prints will look identical. There is no difference between the two print surfaces if they share the same laminate.
Glossy laminates have a high sheen and reflect ambient light to the viewer much like a mirror, or a panel of un-coated glass. This is less than ideal if the print is to be hung on a wall directly across from a bright source of light such as a window. The reflection can obscure the viewers ability to see the image below the lamination. If the print is to be illuminated from above by spot-lights etc., or by ambient room illumination, then glossy may be a viable option. Glossy tends to be of a higher contrast than semi-matte or matte and gives the illusion of a higher level of detail in the print. This higher contrast provides the image with more “snap” and punchier color. This surface shows fingerprints, dust and water-spots easily.
Luster is a softer looking surface that reduces the likelihood of distracting reflections. This surface also has a reduced contrast over the gloss material and therefore has less visual snap, and lower color saturation (punch). This should not necessarily be viewed as a negative factor. Some images, such as portraits and moody scenes can benefit from the qualities of a matt surface. Because matt surfaces have a lower sheen, they are less likely to show fingerprints and surface dust.
Velvet surfaces are the least reflective. They have a soft and slight pebbly texture, allowing for maximum light “break-up” at the surface. This type of surface may be ideal is difficult environments where the image hangs directly across from large windows or bright sources of light. This material hides scratches extremely well. And the 5 mil vinyl material is very durable. Because of the fragile nature of photographic emulsions, we strongly recommend that any photographic print used for display be laminated or placed behind glass.
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