Use Wall Graphics to Create Trompe L’oeil

by Alicia Peregory on October 20, 2015

Wall graphics can be used to create a lot of things — text on a wall, cutouts of your favorite sports star or superhero, and even giant wall murals to make you feel like you’re at the beach.

But what about trompe l’oeil, the art of optical illusions?

Pronounced “tromp lay,” — and it’s actually spelled “trompe lœil” (note the mashed-together o and e) — it’s a French term meaning “to deceive the eye.” These are the paintings, photos, and even chalk drawings that look like something is falling into or out of a hole or crack. A quick Google Image search for the term will show all kinds of trompe l’oeil in the world.

Could you create that in your own home or office? Thanks to the wide format 4-color printers we use at Signarama, you absolutely can. The general rule of thumb is if you can see it on your computer, we can print it on our wide format printer. (With some exceptions. See below.)

Escaping Criticism by Pere Borrel del CasoIf you’re interested in trompe l’oeil wall graphics, the first thing you need is an image. For some images, there are copyright issues to be concerned with. You can’t always download a photo from the Internet and have it printed. A photo needs to be in the public domain for it to be used.

For example, the photo used in this post — Escaping Criticism, by Pere Borrel del Caso — is a public domain painting. We’re able to use it in this blog post because it’s public domain, so it’s free to use, share, or even print and place on your wall. But the images you see in your Google Search may not be in the public domain, so you need to check first. Do your research!

Second, your wall graphics should be fairly high resolution. If you find a photo you like (and can use), make sure you’re getting the highest resolution possible. If you’re not sure, or if you can’t find it, speak to your local Signarama staff. They have access to all kinds of stock photography and art, and may be able to find a large version of your chosen artwork.

Finally, consider adding some “real world” elements to your trompe l’oeil wall graphics. For example, add a vase or plant in front of the wall graphics to add another dimension of the illusion. If you were to use the Escaping Criticism painting, place pieces of a picture frame around the painting itself.

For more information on wall graphics of any kind, please visit the Signarama website. And to find your nearest Signarama store, please use our online store locator.

Photo credit: Escaping Criticism, by Pere Borrel del Caso (Wikipedia, Public Domain)

This post was written by...

– who has written 79 posts on Signarama Blog.

is a marketing coordinator at Signarama headquarters in West Palm Beach, Florida, working in all facets of the marketing department. She has been with Signarama since she left college, but has also had internships in business development, a consumer product launch, and events and trade show coordination. She frequently writes about issues and developments in the sign making industry, the Signarama company, and its franchisees.

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