Being able to look at one’s own picture in physical form has a very special charm. In addition to traditional printing on paper, there are a number of other materials on which you can print your photos. In this post I will be focusing on three of them: canvas , Alu-Dibond and Forex . All three have different properties and accordingly their advantages and disadvantages, and also other things to look out for .

Canvas Print

In the case of lamination on canvas, the picture is printed directly on the canvas. Depending on the provider, the print technology ranges between 6 to 12 color printing. The printed canvas is usually pulled onto a wooden frame, then fastened.


Which motifs should you print on a canvas?

The photo canvas is ideal for abstract & classic motifs, picturesque photos & art prints.


“Normal” motifs such as portraits, landscapes or cities can also be printed on a  canvas.

What are the advantages of printing on canvas?

1. The canvas painting gives your motif a very special, and unique like character.

2. The surface of the canvas feels structured and soft, similar to a linen surface.

3. It is matt and therefore reflection free, there are no reflections.

4. Canvas prints have a brilliant and strong color rendering.

5. The material is very lightfast – it can therefore hang in a place that is exposed to direct sunlight for a long time during the day.

A canvas is light and easy to hang up due to the frame (no extra hanging is required).

What should you watch out for when printing on canvas?

Make sure there is enough space to the edges of your picture. Because by pulling the canvas onto a wooden frame, the edges of the print are wrapped around the frame. As a result, a small part of the image area is lost at the edge.

Dirt can be removed from the canvas with a conventional feather duster. Careful wiping with a damp cloth should also be possible without any problems.

Alu-dibond Printing

Alu-Dibond consists of an approximately 3 mm thick plastic core. This is enclosed by two very thin aluminum plates. Depending on your choice, the print is made directly on the aluminum plate or as a paper photo print. I am concentrating exclusively on the first variant, i.e. direct printing on the aluminum plate.

Which motifs are suitable for printing on Alu-Dibond?

Photos with a high proportion of white are particularly effective on Alu-Dibond.

Blurred views and long exposures also benefit from the special properties of the material.

Cities, architecture and industry as well as black and white motifs in general also exert their very special charm on the viewer when presented as an Alu-Dibond print.

What are the advantages of printing on Alu-Dibond?

1. The material is made up of is matt and low in reflection. This gives it a simple elegance.

2. Individual parts  shimmer in sidelight.  The print  looks elegant and graceful because of this subtle sheen.

3. Alu-Dibond is very thin (mostly around 3mm) and therefore looks very minimalistic (in a positive sense).

4. Prints on Alu-Dibond are UV and weather resistant – they can therefore also be placed outdoors or in rooms with high humidity without any problems.

5. The high stability with relatively low weight is particularly suitable for large prints.

What should you watch out for when printing on Alu-Dibond?

The edges can be a bit sharp, depending on the provider. You should therefore be careful when attaching it.

The material (or the pressure on it) is more sensitive and prone to scratches than other materials. Fingerprints and other contamination are to be avoided or only carefully wiped off with a dry cotton cloth. Rubbing with high pressure should also be avoided in order to avoid the risk of color erosion.

When ordering, you should plan on how you would like to attach your picture to the wall – many providers have a corresponding suspension on offer, which either has to be purchased with it or is already included in the scope of delivery.

Printing On Forex

If you choose this material, your picture will be printed directly on a rigid foam board (plastic). The most common plate thickness / thickness is 5 mm, but thicker plates are also available for printing, depending on the provider.

What motifs should you print on Forex?

Forex is suitable for many things, but very specialized for landscape shots and architecture.

In general, all motifs with particularly intense colors and shapes are suitable for printing on Forex (direct printing on the material has a high level of color brilliance and great sharpness of detail).

Advantages Of Printing On Forex

1. The surface of a forex print is matt and reflection-free.

2. Forex panels weigh very little (even less than Alu-Dibond & canvas). Therefore, even very large prints can easily be attached to walls that are not suitable for heavy weights. If you don’t want to drive dowels or nails into the wall, you can easily attach this material to the wall with double-sided adhesive tape, but caution has to be taken when attaching it, as it can be a bit difficult to remove after fixing.

3. Forex is the right material for those who value very good color brilliance and high detail sharpness. The rough surface gives the print an additional haptic component.

4. The material is very easy to process and is therefore particularly inexpensive.

5. Forex is weatherproof and therefore also suitable for outdoor use.

Things to note about printing on forex

Forex panels cannot easily be attached to the wall. Plan to buy a corresponding suspension when buying them (available separately or already included, depending on the provider).

Forex prints should be cleaned with a non-linting tissue in conjunction with isopropyl alcohol. Conventional cleaning agents could damage the surface.


I  hope with this overview, I have provided a decision-making aid that will help you with your next print job. I also hope you enjoy the next print of your favorite picture – whether on canvas, Alu-Dibond, Forex or a completely different material.



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