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The Perfect Printing Materials for Unique Art

our amazing substrates

All the amazing substrates you can print on!

Each substrate option has its own unique characteristics. Keep it simple with canvas or paper, or get creative with birchwood or aluminum for a true original!

To make things easier, we asked one of our printing experts, Drew Schwemer to provide some tips for each material…


Canvas: Classic and simple. Canvas will add a subtle texture to the piece, creating depth. Add a frame for a twist, or opt for a gallery-wrapped style for a modern, gallery feel.


Paper: Timeless and straightforward. Pick from a variety of frame options to add character—from simple modern black, to traditional ornate metallic.

analogous colors

Acrylic Glass: Sleek and minimalist. The light that shines through acrylic glass adds vibrancy to the image. Drew’s Tips: Almost anything works on Acrylic — there are really no limits. I really like bright colors on Acrylic because they refract the light better and show up better.

neutral colors

Aluminum: Industrial and edgy. A piece printed on shimmering aluminum will have unique dimension and texture.

Drew’s Tips: Deep colors look great on aluminum—rich reds and purples come out especially nicely. Keep in mind that you’ll lose some detail, so pick pieces like landscapes and abstracts where very fine details aren’t as important.

neutral colors

Birchwood: Birchwood: Rustic and earthy. The wood’s visible natural grain interplays with the image to add dynamic texture and character. Drew’s Tips: Again, most images work well on Birchwood. I think lighter shades tend to look best—think teals, turquoises and fuchsias rather than navy blue or deep violet. That said, darker colors really showcase the wood grain so if that’s the look you’re going for they work!

For more details about the cool things we print on, click here.

About Drew:

Drew Schwemer operates multiple HP flatbed printers and Zund cutting tables at Gallery Direct, all while providing comic relief for the rest of his department (though not always on purpose). If not at home watching a movie with his pug, Shorty, Drew is probably somewhere trying to write a script for a movie he can watch with Shorty.