9 Best ways to hang photo prints

When you're looking to fill walls with art, the right arrangement is what really counts. Here are a few helpful ideas for effectively displaying prints on a wall that you can use in your studio showroom or share with clients. Start with the preparation. You want to make sure that everything will turn out perfectly, so before you hang anything, make a sketch or lay your prints out on the floor to get an impression of how they will look together and the overall effect of your arrangement.

Jan-Ole Schmidt
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Jan-Ole Schmidt

Tip 1: The statement piece: One wall, one picture

The statement piece is hung alone. This can be really effective in small rooms or in nooks. Find a place of honor for a particularly beautiful, eye-catching, or cherished image. You can create a really great interplay between different statement pieces by displaying single pictures on multiple walls of the same room.”

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Tip 2: The wall art cluster

You can think of a wall art cluster as organized chaos. It is an arrangement of numerous, tightly grouped pictures on one wall. It is important that there is some sort of method to the madness, though. The pictures should be connected in some way, whether that means images with a similar artistic approach, identical or similar frames or passe-partouts, or pictures of a similar size. A common element brings a certain harmony to the display.

Tip 3: On an axis

This picture hanging concept is a classic and is also great in rooms with low ceilings. Simply align the center of each picture along an imaginary axis. You can hang the pictures in a vertical or horizontal line, but it’s best to keep the distance between them the same.

Tip 4: In a row

It looks great when multiple pictures of the same size are hung evenly in a horizontal or vertical line. If you have pictures of different sizes, but would still like to hang them in a row, you can align them along one of the frame’s edges or along an imaginary axis through the middle of the pictures for a similar effect.

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Tip 5: The chessboard

A chessboard is a clear geometric concept for presenting many pictures of the same size. The pictures are hung above and next to each other with even gaps on all sides. I’d highly recommend using an even number of pictures for this and making the gaps equal in size on all sides, just like a real chessboard.

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Tip 6: Making shapes

Sometimes you might want to arrange various pictures within the confines of an imaginary geometric shape. This could be a circle or a diagonal line spanning your whole wall or a square—it’s up to you. There doesn’t necessarily need to be a connecting theme, you don’t have to have uniform gaps between the pictures, and you don’t have to align them along the edges. The pictures appear to be hung casually on the wall, giving it a sense of lightness. For a carefree feel, hang pictures along loosely defined geometric shapes like this diagonal line.

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Tip 7: Leaning pictures

Leaning pictures against the wall is an out-of-the-ordinary and relaxed way to display them. If you’re leaning the pictures along the floor, then they’ll really need to attract attention to themselves or else they’ll get overlooked. For that reason, I’d strongly recommend larger formats and also using images that are really expressive.

Tip 8: Picture shelves

You can also use shelves to lean your pictures against the wall. This gives the wall a sense of structure, and it gives you tremendous flexibility. If you place other keepsakes next to your photo, it can really help transmit the story behind the picture.

Tip 9: The split image

This is one image split into multiple pieces. The pieces don’t necessarily need to be the same size, but they should be hung in a row, not too far apart and with the edges level. A triptych is a classic example of this. At WhiteWall, we offer an image splitting function that can split your photo into up to 16 individual pieces.

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Jan-Ole Schmidt is a photographer and product manager at WhiteWall, an online professional photo lab based in Germany, providing gallery quality products since 2007.

Tags: printing