Get Creative With Glass Printing

What Is Glass Printing?

Top photo: Ford Theater Museum

Glass printing is a direct to print technique that involves placing a panel of glass on a flat bed printer and printing graphics directly onto the glass. Printers used for this service use specialized inks that are also cured using UV light as the inks are being laid down. CMYK is the format used as are most print projects. Also, like most print projects, bleed and margins are also taken into consideration. To enhance the print definition and to ensure colors pop, sometimes a back-paint layer is applied to the opposite side of the glass. On the other hand, without a back-paint layer, you can adjust the opacity to allow as little or a much light transfer that is desired. This is great with interior glass walls where daylighting is needed or for better sight lines.

mimaki uv glass printer

Files used for printing are either photos in a minimum of 300 dpi at the size or close to the size of the glass it is being printed on, or a vector file. Our art department is fully set up to work with  you on adjusting your files to work perfectly and to get you a quick turn around. We also offer a Photo & Graphic File Preparation Guide to help you understand the process a bit better and to aid in setting up your files before submitting them.

Printed Glass Samples

What Can You Print On Glass?

Anything you can print on paper, you can print on glass, but there are also a few special print techniques you can do with glass such as a faux glass etching. Another great technique is printing onto the opposite side of etched glass or even a mirror! With a a direct print on a mirror, you create a stunning 3d parallax effect.

City Center Custom Printed Laminated Glass

City Center – Lexington, KY

Is Glass Printing Durable?

Glass printing is absolutely durable as long as the print exposed to a heavy traffic area. That means, if you were to use wayfind glass panels and clad them to a wall, the print would be on the back of the glass panel and visible through the front part of the glass. This helps protect the print from scratches. If you wanted the print on the opposite side of an etched glass panel, and have the print exposed, take into consideration the traffic and area of the glass panel to ensure it will not get scratched as people walk by.
Another protective layer can be added by applying a clear seal. Also used to protect against water stains in glass shower panels, it’s also a great product to protect glass printing.

Surface Tension

What Is Glass Printing Used For?

Glass printing is used for a multitude of projects and products along with amazing creative ideas. You’re only limited by your imagination. But, in most real-world cases, glass printing is used for glass whiteboards, photo prints , wayfinding, signage, glass tabletops, glass walls and partitions, and back splashes.

Due to the fact you can print anything from geometric shapes from vector files, to solid colors of various hues, photos, and any other graphic you can imagine, along with adjusting opacity, glass printing has no limits as to what application it is used for.

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