Which is the most suitable acetate for my print project?

This is a question we get asked a lot! Acetate is a fantastic material to print on and can produce incredible results. We offer different types, all with their own features. Here’s a handy guide to help you choose the most suitable acetate for your project:

Standard acetate

Standard acetate is transparent and has a blue hue. It is mainly used for screenprinting. As mentioned below this is the only type of acetate that can take heavy black ink and this still may not reach 100% density, although it can come close.

Clear acetate

Clear acetate can be used for cyanotype printing and can be used from the front or the back.  It is also used for overlays, x-rays, exhibition displays, negatives, etc.  Please note: unless the colours are rich in the file, they will print as transparent. This material takes 24 hours to cure so factor in a longer turnaround.

Lightbox acetate

Lightbox acetate is clear acetate, which has a white front, so the mechanics cannot be seen. It does allow the light through, but only for use in boxes with no Perspex panel. If you have a lightbox with a white panel in front of the bulbs, you will need clear acetate. If the entire image is printed,you will need standard acetate. Lightbox acetate is not suitable for Screenprinting or Cyanotype Printing.Please contact us if you would like advice regarding which acetate to choose.

Self-adhesive acetate

Self-adhesive acetate is ideal for sticking to most surfaces and can be used for art projects, window stickers, lightboxes and more. The material and glue aren’t waterproof so this is for indoor use only.

Colour opacity and acetate printing

For all acetate printing, black is the only colour which will print opaquely on acetate and for this, you to need to choose the standard acetate. The other colours will have show-through due to the way that the ink binds with the substrate.

Please contact us if you would like to discuss your printing requirements in more detail.

Ordering Bespoke-Sized Acetate Prints

If you’d like a non-standard size, see our step-by-step ordering guide with notes about costing and invoicing here.

PLEASE NOTE: white automatically prints as clear and all of our acetates are 120 microns thick. The acetate cannot get wet as it will go very sticky.