What is photo mounting?

Photographic mounting describes a process of using adhesive to fix a photo print to a solid rigid material, known as a substrate. The type of photographic mounting we use at Metroprint uses large rollers to seal photographic prints to a substrate, as opposed to other warm techniques, such as heat mounting. Although photo mounting to card was common for framing photographs for some hundred years, other modern photographic materials such as foamboard, foamex and Aluminium have entered the photographic exhibition market from places like sign-making and museum exhibitions as photographers search for new and innovative methods of displaying images without a frame.

Photographic materials such as MDF and foamboard may be favoured for their durability, but would not be considered archival as they contain chemicals which will eventually colour or even disintegrate photographic paper. Where the archival longevity of a photo print is paramount, photo framing is the only truly archival technique of presenting a photograph, but materials such as Aluminium or dibond may be used where a frame is not desired for aesthetic reasons or those of weight. To help you decide which photo material to use we have prepared a chart below that outlines the relative benefits of each substrate.


Substrate Weight Rigidity Durability Archival?
Card Ultra-light Poor Poor Yes
Foamex Light Poor Good No
Foamboard Ultra-light OK Poor No
MDF Heavy Excellent Excellent No
Aluminium Medium Light Good Excellent Yes
Dibond Light Excellent Excellent Yes

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