High quality photo prints are not known for their robustness. Humidity, direct UV light and mechanical impacts can ruin the best image. The online photo lab WhiteWall, part of the Berlin-based company Avenso, didn’t want to accept these limitations. What if we combined the beauty of print with the strength of metal?, WhiteWall’s creative team thought. And came up with a solution that does just that.
WhiteWall, a company specializing in fine art custom prints, specialty papers, and unique styles of framing, offers photographic prints on aluminum that combine sharpness and high resolution with durability and impact resistance. The company uses a unique thermo-sublimation printing technique that makes the print resistant against physical impact, UV light and humidity. The prints are not only suited for dining rooms and entrance halls but also for kitchen areas, bathrooms and even saunas, indoor swimming pool areas and covered patios.
Whitewall uses inkjet printers to print the photos onto transfer material before applying high pressure and temperatures in the thermo sublimation print process. The process uses steam to transfer the print onto the aluminum plate that has been coated with an extra layer to support the process. The heat opens up the pores in the surface layer so that the inks can sink in deeply. When the pores close again during the cool down, the image becomes almost permanent. In fact, it is not printed onto, but into the coated, 1mm-thick aluminum. Because the aluminum plate is so thin, even large format prints are lightweight.
The prints are available in smooth or brushed. Depending on the customer’s choice, the primer is either white or transparent. The white option allows for brilliant colors while the transparent option gives the images a metallic look, which is especially interesting when using with black and white images.
The service has been well received by photographers around the world. The serve the amateur market as well as the professional market. Since 2007, White Wall has been providing high-end photofinishing to more than 30 fine galleries around the world. The company offers a variety of sizes between 9x9cm up to six meter long fabric prints and are open to requests for customized sizes and shapes.