Saal Digital Wall Art – Review
I love wall art, in fact my house is becoming a bit of a miniature photo gallery lately, with various sized prints on nearly every wall. There is something satisfying about having your artwork in large scale, forever immortalised for all to see; so when Saal Digital approached me again to ask if I’d like to try out some of their wall art, naturally I jumped at the opportunity. Last year I reviewed one of their photo-booklets, and the quality was excellent so I had no reservations about ordering something of significantly higher value. If their wall art is as colour accurate as their photo-booklets, they’re on to a winner.
Most of my artwork is in canvas format; it is a classic and somewhat timeless medium especially for the larger prints which are over a metre wide. Times have moved on however, and while the canvas is still a great choice, there are other more modern mediums which I have yet to sample. Saal Digital offer quite a wide range from the good old canvas, PVC foamboards, Alu-Dibond and even Acrylic glass. I opted to try out the Alu-Dibond; a mid range aluminium composite panel product. The material is somewhere between the cheaper PVC Foamboard and the full high end glass GalleryPrint. I wanted something hard wearing and durable, to stand the test of time in my studio space where getting splashed with water wouldn’t cause any issues.
The Alu-Dibond is a 3 layer composite panel with a polyethylene core sandwiched between 2 layers of matte aluminium sheeting; this makes it very hard wearing and resistant to fading from the sun. The image is then printed directly onto the aluminium sheet with a 6 ink direct UV printer. It all sounds very fancy and technical, and while I don’t really know what that all means, what I do know is it provides excellent results. I purposely chose a near-monochromatic image, with areas of deep blacks, super high contrast and the odd bit of colour to really put the process through its paces. The image also has lots of small details across the whole frame. Monochrome images can, at times, look a little flat and lose some contrast, and blacks can easily end up more of a dark grey than an intense black. The final results however, were amazing. The contrast between the black and white areas is damn near perfect with no edge bleeding and the resolution and detail retained is incredible. The aluminium has a very slight texture to it, while the matte surface means it looks great from any angle with very little reflection coming off it.
The material is incredibly light, especially considering the 70cm x 50cm size I opted for; this means the mounting mechanism does not need to be overly robust. Saal Digital offer a range of different mounting solutions, but they are all at an additional cost so bear that in mind when you’re pricing up the wall art. The basic wall art does not have any mounting solution included. As I was keep to avoid drilling too many holes in my walls, I decided to go without any kind of mounting, and instead use the grippy, Velcro style “Picture Hanging Strips” from Command. As the Alu-Dibond is so light, these adhesive strips were easily capable of holding the print firmly in place and gave a nice clean, flush look; I’m not sure I’d use them for something heavier like the glass GalleryPrint though.
Ordering, like last time, was super easy. As it was just a single image, I opted for the web-based upload system rather than the desktop application. Much like the desktop application, it was quick and simple to understand, allowing the user to upload multiple images and try out different ideas. Once ordered, the print took around 3 or 4 days to arrive which I was more than happy with.
Overall, another pleasant experience with Saal Digital. While they may not be one of the big brands you hear about on TV, their service and wide product range are excellent and they deserve more exposure. Their pricing is competitive, just watch out for extras like the mounting solutions and make sure you factor that in to your budget. Print quality, resolution and colour accuracy are all fantastic and place them very high on my list of recommended printers.
“Can’t go wrong with a print from Saal Digital. I love the Alu-Dibond material; it is a thinner and more modern solution to the classic canvas. I’ll be interested in trying some of the other materials on offer. Just watch out for the extra cost of the mounting mechanisms.”