Mounted vs Matted Prints – Which Should You Order?
Mounted vs Matted Prints
More than the majority of you are probably reading the title on this blog post and don’t know what either of those options even are, let alone which option is better… The truth is, I don’t expect you to know any of it! That’s part of my job, to educate you on the best product for your need.
Let’s be honest, to the eyes of most, a print is a print is a print. A piece of paper that has a photo on it and I can do things with it like frame it and it will last forever. Right? Not quite.
Not all prints are created equally, and this blog post is going to help you know the differences between them, know when you should splurge and invest in the quality ones, and know when you can take advantage of the bulk sale at your local print lab.
Mounted prints are very similar visually to a regular paper print, but with an extra rigid backing meant to provide stability and protection. In short, the art print is mounted onto the substrate for ultimate protection against warping and damaged corners. These are absolutely great for displaying individually or in a group on an easel for the smaller sizes, as keepsakes in an archival image box, or for use in frames.
Matted prints are likely more familiar to most, since they are commonly seen in framed pieces across the globe in family homes. The difference to those already in the frames, is that these prints come encased in the mat, rather than it just being a pretty topical piece for the frame. In other words, they are stand-alone pieces. They have the same quality art print placed in the ‘envelope’ of a beautiful mat (similar to a really thick cardstock, but with embellishments), meant to provide stability and protection warping and damage. These are also great for displaying individually in a beautiful frame, or as keepsakes in an archival image box.
Now before I get too much into detail on these ones, I do want to point out that there is a still a big difference in quality between bulk prints (proofs) at a photo lab, versus the low-quality paper prints at instant or one-hour printing places at department stores. The bulk proofs are awesome when you are ordering a ton of prints of the same size, for safe-keeping, or for scrap-booking. I personally print off all of the images I would be sad to lose if my hard-drive crashed, even phone photos. I typically print off anywhere from 50-500 at a time, depending on how many I have accumulated in the last few months (holidays typically mean more photos)–my wedding yielded something like 1200 prints! These images are printed on quality photo-paper that comes on a roll, which means that they can develop a slight curve to them if not stored flat or upright in a large stack (hence why we splurge on matting or mounting options for the important ones).
So, the verdict? For archiving purposes or for scrapbook projects, make sure you get the quality photo paper. For decorating dorm-room walls, go ahead and get the cheap insta-prints to save a few bucks!
So which is better? Mounted or Matted Prints
Now that you have all of the information, you can make and educated decision on which are best for YOU.
They are both high quality print products, so it really comes down to how you plan on using them, where you intend on displaying them, and which ones you think are prettier or best fit the space. It really is that simple, and you can’t go wrong!
My personal choice is matted prints of my all-time favourites in the linen folio box, swapping them into frames as life goes on and I capture new photographs. The rest are printed in bulk on high quality photo-stock and stored in a sleeve made with special acid-free materials to preserve the prints, in an archival linen image box. I look forward to sharing them with my grandchildren, and it acts as my secondary backup system. And of course, I provide that same backup-system to all of my clients when they purchase their digital keepsakes.