Why we love Dibond®

At WAIART, we love Dibond®. You may have noticed that many of our artworks are available as UV Prints on aluminum. These are digital artworks printed directly onto 3mm Dibond panels using UV-cured inks.

Profile view of a 3mm Dibond panel.

If you're not familiar with Dibond, it's a flat panel made from two thin aluminum sheets bonded to a solid polyethylene core, which form a sandwich. (Think of the aluminum sheets as the bread and the polyethylene as the filling.)

Dibond is frequently used for signage and architectural cladding, as well as a back panel in Diasec® photographic mounting. It also happens to be a great support for digital prints.

Direct-to-substrate printing and the interaction between an artwork and its support

We love how direct-to-substrate printing methods (used with Dibond and other supports) allow for a potential interplay between an artwork and its underlying support.

The surface of the underlying support may or may not be visible at all – this depends on the amount of white in a specific artwork: white pixels translate to areas with no ink. The greater the density of white pixels, the more the surface will show through.

The resulting interplay between the artwork and the support (if any) is determined by where the artist uses white and, once printed, how the artwork interacts with the chosen support (in those places where the support is visible). This indirect way of working is very familiar Yolanda del Riego, who as an artist/printmaker has decades of experience in relief printing (where the recessed areas of a matrix/plate are left ink-free, leaving the underlying support visible).

Aesthetic qualities of Dibond

Dibond panels come in a variety of finishes. We typically use the white lacquered finish, especially for artworks that have relatively small areas of white, for example: Spirits of Trees. We use the brushed aluminum finish for artworks that have been specifically created to interact with its soft metallic luster, like Scorched Foreset and Forest in Flames (see photo).

A Dibond Print can sometimes appear to be embossed, which is interesting when one considers the flat two-dimensional nature of a digital print. The optical illusion of three dimensions created by digital imaging effects seems to be enhanced by differences in texture of surface areas with and without ink.

Practical considerations

On a more practical level, using Dibond as a support has a number of advantages:

  • it’s very thin – our Dibond Prints have a thickness of 3mm

  • it’s extremely rigid and flat – no warping or bending

  • it’s very light – it allows for easier handling, especially of large artworks

  • it's moisture resistant - it can be used outdoors and other humid areas like kitchens and bathrooms

  • easy maintenance - just clean with a damp cloth!

We hope you'll be as excited about Dibond as we are.

Dibond is a registered trademark of 3A Composites Holding AG.

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