We often receive phone call inquiring about prints on metal. Often the customer is referring to sublimation and not digital printing. I will outlines these prints on metal choices and help you decide which is the one to pursue
The sublimation process uses heat to transfer dye onto a substrate. A flat metal surface is needed for the best effect when printing photos for décor purposes . Not just any surface, it needs to be able withstand the intense heat that is generated during the process. Finding a substrate that will work with sublimation will also be a challenge
Chromoluxe, located in Kentucky seems to be the leader in the metal surface field. They supply many sizes of metal sheets to printers all over North America.
A dye sublimation printer produces true continuous tones appearing much like a chemical photograph. An ink jet print produces droplets of ink scattered throughout the surface but under magnification you can see small droplets. Dye sublimation Prints on metal appear more glossy and shiny then digital prints on metal.
With a dye sublimation you need to have the image printed on paper before. After,the image is transferred onto the substrate by a press. Unlike digital printing where the image on file looks more or less the same when printing on the substrate, the same cannot be said for sublimation. The image on paper looks totally different once its transferred directly onto the substrate. This can lead to problems with colour matching and delays in production.
With printing on white metal, contours and colours come out rich and vibrant. But make no mistake its not as glitzy as sublimated prints- which i describe as ” prints on steroids ” Brushed aluminium prints feature a matted look and the complete opposite of sublimated prints.
Whatever you choose make sure you do your research and choose wisely.