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Choosing the Best Images for Wall Art: A Picfair Guide

Tips and Inspiration

24 August 2018

Posted by Philip Mowbray

We’re incredibly excited to be launching our Print service at Picfair, this means that now, selling your images as wall art for homes or offices is about to become much, much easier.

From our platform, your images will be available to purchase as a variety of stunning printed products; professional-grade photographic prints, canvases and framed fine art prints, in exactly the same way an image can be licensed online via our website, the whole print process managed by Picfair, and shipping is available across the globe.

We've been asked frequently by our community of photographers, what type of pictures work best for wall art, so we’ve put together our guide on choosing the best images and what to consider when editing and selecting pics.

1.) Choose your Themes Carefully

When it comes to the context and subject of a piece of wall art, the possibilities, like personal taste, are endless. However, there are a number of common themes that are universally popular for wall art in the home and/ or work-based environments, which can be interpreted in many, many ways. 

Themes tend to be reflective of interests, feelings and emotions, and common themes that have consistently proven popular are based around the following: 

Memory & Nostalgia | Pleasure & Excitement | Wanderlust | Serenity | Escapism

When put into the context of a photographic subject, the following areas are extremely popular:

Travel | Landscape | Abstract | Black & White | Sport | Nature | Macro | Formal Elements & Architecture

Imagine what images you might see based on these themes. For example, when thinking of a scene of serenity, what would you envision? A lake, flowing water, mist at dawn perhaps? 

And, for a pleasing or wanderlust-inducing scene, how about the bright lights of New York City and other exhilarating and iconic travel destinations, or perhaps an action-packed sports scene?

Here are some examples across the Picfair collection of what we might consider when thinking of the above themes:

Standard serenity a


Standard excitement a

Pleasure & Excitement

Standard memory nostalgia a

Memory & Nostalgia

Standard wanderlust a


Standard escapism a copy


Also, think of different types of rooms and what kind of photographs may be displayed in them. For example, in a kitchen, abstract images of food would fit well, and for example, a calm forest scene may be suited to a doctor’s or dentist’s waiting room. Imagine your photograph and then place it in the type of room you think it would compliment.

Also look at demographics, hobbies and lifestyles. Do your photographs fit with a certain demographic of people, and/ or reflective of certain lifestyles and hobbies? Choose themed photographs that fit.

2.) Contemplating Colour and Form

Always think of photographic wall art as something that should be ultimately striking, inject life into an interior space, and be the centrepiece and talking point of any room. Again try to imagine how your images would feature in a particular room. Would it be easy viewing or are there any distractions in the picture? Would it be pleasing to the eye… does it give that ‘wow’ factor?

Colour (or no colour at all) is of utmost importance when choosing pics for wall art, and should be carefully considered. Images should be striking, but this doesn’t mean that colours need to be saturated, bright and vivid all the time. Strong colour for wall art can also mean subdued and muted, again, imagine the place setting. Does it fit?

Black and white photos are equally as popular as colour pics for printed products. And as a general rule of thumb, black and white images should be strong in contrast, and have a varied tonal range. Some examples:

Standard prints dominant colours a

Dominant, Vivid Colours

Standard prints soft subdued colour a

Soft, Subdued Colours

Standard prints black and white a

Black and White

3.) Keep an Eye on Trends

Keep abreast of trends and frequently take a look at interior and lifestyle magazines, keep an eye on what’s happening in the art world, and take note of trending fashion, travel destinations, food and recreational activities and lifestyles.

4.) Technical Specifics are Important

When selecting an image for a printed product, it is important to remember that an image printed on paper will often look very different to the image as it appears on the screen, and printed products are much less forgiving when it comes to flaws in image quality. Blurry, pixelated, over-processed and over-compressed images may look acceptable when viewing on screen, but on paper, any quality imperfections will be much more noticeable.

All images for printed products should be at least 300dpi. This means dots per inch and refers to the physical dots of ink when reproduced on paper (you can find a more in-depth description of dpi here). 300dpi is the minimum standard, however, reproducing images 400dpi is now more common for higher-quality printed products. DPI can be easily checked, set and adjusted in photo editing programmes.

Considering the pixel dimensions of an image is also crucial, and we would recommend an image be at least 3000px longest dimension at the very minimum. As a general rule of thumb, the greater the pixel dimensions of an image, the more flexibility it will allow for printed products. If an image with a low pixel dimension is printed as a large print, pixels can be visible, and pixels can also become more noticeable when an image is overly-compressed, this often occurs when an image is saved as a low-quality JPEG file. Save image files as uncompressed file formats (for example TIFF), or the highest JPEG quality possible to avoid increased pixelation.

Beware of over-processing, whilst images should be sharp, over-sharpening an image can compromise on quality, this is also the case when levels, brightness, shadows and contrasts are adjusted too much in post-processing, resulting in colour bands ‘breaking’ and loss of detail.

Standard prints technical a

Examples of Over-Saturation, Over-Compression, Over-Contrast and Over-Sharpening

5.) Create a Picfair Album of Wall Art Pics

The best way to methodically sort and market your images for wall art is to create a dedicated album on Picfair. This way you can market your Picfair album via social media and help buyers find your most stunning pics for wall art, as well as keeping an organised collection of images.

Standard album 1
Standard album 2 copy

We hope you find this guide useful, and if you have any feedback, or additional hints and tips for our community. We would love to hear from you. Send us an email: and let us know your thoughts!

Team Picfair.

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