Plexiglass is a type of highly durable transparent acrylic plastic that can be formed and used in various applications. It is often used in place of glass and has unique properties that make it a better-suited option in many instances.

Plexiglas? Plexiglass? Acryclic? Acrylic Glass? What’s the difference?

The differences between these terms are largely semantic: Plexiglas is a trademarked term for a type of acrylic glass, plexiglass (with two ‘s’) is a generic term for acrylic glass, at the same time, acrylic is just short for acrylic glass.

What is commonly known as “Plexiglass”, is really a brand of acrylic and today it is sold under many different names, including Acrylite, Lucite, and Perspex. In most applications “plexiglass” or “acrylic” can be used interchangeably as they are both referring to a strong clear plastic.

What Types Of Acrylic Prints Are There?

There are two main ways of getting an image onto a piece of acrylic: direct-to-substrate printing and affixing an HD photo paper. So should you print directly onto the acrylic or use a photo-paper first?

Direct To Substrate Vs. Photo Paper On Acrylic

The fundamental difference between these two methods of acrylic art printing is that one prints directly onto the acrylic (direct to substrate) while the other places a photo paper on top of the acrylic. This results in a few key differences in the three most important qualities of an acrylic print:

  • Image Quality – While both methods produce quality prints, direct-to-substrate printing is considered sharper. For certain types of photos, this makes direct-to-substrate more viable.
  • Durability and Longevity – Generally, acrylic is a very durable printing medium so all acrylic prints will benefit from the inherent qualities of a strong acrylic. Direct-to-substrate printing has better longevity than photo paper because the image is fused to the acrylic surface.
  • Cost – Because the direct-to-substrate printing process allows for slightly better image quality and durability, it will cost slightly more than a photo paper affixed to acrylic.

Which Type Of Acrylic Print Is Best For What?

Direct-to-substrate printing on acrylic offers superior image quality, durability, and a three-dimensional appearance but comes at a higher cost. On the other hand, printing on photo paper and mounting it on acrylic can be a more budget-friendly option, but it may lack some of the advantages of direct printing on acrylic. The choice between the two methods depends on your needs, budget, and the intended use of the final product.

When considering application and use cases, direct-to-substrate printing on acrylic is the preferred choice for signs, displays, artwork, and decorative pieces that demand high-quality and durable prints. It excels in producing long-lasting, vibrant images integrated into the acrylic surface. On the other hand, if cost is a significant factor, printing on photo paper and then mounting it on acrylic is a suitable option, particularly for temporary displays or presentations. While it may offer a more budget-friendly approach, it may not provide the same level of durability and longevity as direct printing on acrylic.

What Acrylic Prints Does Artisan HD Offer?

Artisan HD offers both direct-to-acrylic prints as well as two types of acrylic face-mounted prints.

  • Direct To Acrylic Prints – The most durable, elegant, and visually stunning acrylic prints available.
  • Acrylic Face Mounted Prints – Using HD photo paper, a cost-effective alternative to direct-to-substrate printing
  • TruLife Acrylic Face Mounted Prints – Using the specialty HD Photo Paper, TruLife acrylic prints provides you acrylic prints that are anti-reflective

But Why Use Plexiglass For Art And Photo Prints?

A stylish and eye-catching alternative to canvas prints, acrylic glass prints provide superior results for high-definition custom prints. In many ways and for several applications, prints on acrylic glass are a better choice than canvas. Advantages of plexi over canvas include:

  • More durable than paper and canvas
  • Unique look for art and photos
  • Different mounting/framing options

Want to know more about why to choose plexiglass aka acrylic; check out this blog post: What is the difference between a photo print mounted to acrylic vs. a direct digital print on acrylic?

ArtisanHD plexi or direct to acrylic print landscape photography