April 28, 2021
You now have beautiful printed artwork from your wedding and are ready to furnish your home – your wedding album for your living room coffee table, a large framed canvas for your bedroom, and different pieces of wall art to go all over your home!
If you have not yet read my blog posts on my top 5 reasons on why prints matter or if you should go with a professional or consumer print lab, then go read those first!
But, now what? There are things to consider to ensure the investment made into your artwork lasts for years to come. So, before you start nailing your walls, here are my 5 tips to consider when it comes to caring for your cherished heirlooms.
The main concern with any form of printed artwork is fading overtime. This can be seen through discolouration of the pigments and dyes (i.e., ink) and can also be seen in the paper itself.
Sunlight contains ultra-violet (UV) light/radiation, which essentially has large amounts of energy. When your printed artwork absorbs this energy from direct sunlight, it causes a breakdown of the molecules found in the pigments and dyes resulting in fading.
The simplest solution is to have your prints away from direct sunlight altogether.
However, it’s not just the sun that is the main culprit…
Fluorescent light also emits UV radiation, however nowhere near the amount found in sunlight. Because this type of light emits low levels of UV light, your artwork is still prone to fading overtime, even if it stored away from direct sunlight.
The solution: switch all bulbs to LED (Light Emitting Diode). LED bulbs do not emit UV light. Plus, they are way more energy efficient and there are even smart bulbs that can change colours via an app on your phone! Sounds like a win-win to me!
This one is mainly for your wall art. With picture frames containing standard glass, UV light can penetrate its way through causing fading of your photographs with ease. Find yourself frames with UV-protection glass or acrylic to block out these harmful rays. This form of glass can block at least 97% of UV light, giving you peace of mind.
It isn’t just harmful UV light that can cause harm to your photographic prints. There’s also temperature and humidity that can factor into its longevity.
High temperatures cause thermal reactions within the chemicals found in the ink, which leads to fading. Ensure you keep your prints at room temperature or slightly cooler.
High levels of humidity will also accelerate deterioration. The paper will absorb this excess moisture causing warping. It is recommended to keep humidity levels between 30 to 40% and no higher than 50%.
If you did not purchase your printed artwork through me or from a professional print lab, keep on reading!
Ensure your prints are of the highest quality material! This includes paper and matting that only use acid-free materials. Lower quality paper products have chemicals (acids) to make the paper appear whiter, but this acid causes discolouration (yellowing) overtime. Professional archival paper does not contain acid. In fact, the best type of archival-grade paper is cotton-rag, often considered as museum-grade quality.
In summary, taking care of your printed artwork is just as important as purchasing the best quality products! Keeping these 5 tips in mind should give you peace of mind knowing that your cherished heirloom will last for decades to come! With Brian Ly Photography, only the best printed product solutions are offered to make this part of the process seamless.
One of the most important vendors is your photographer that you select for your wedding. You can learn more about my approach towards your wedding day here!
A Durham wedding photographer in Ontario, Canada, Brian Ly Photography specializes in candid wedding photography, storytelling real moments for laid-back couples who live in the now.
Brian Ly Photography provides services at wedding venues in Durham Region as well as the GTA.
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