Throughout the peak of the crypto and NFT market’s massive boom in 2021, the NFT market was valued at a staggering $41 billion — just nine billion dollars shy of what the physical art market generated in 2020. But as things stand, it may take time before the two fields of art can truly compete head-to-head once more. Of course, there are many hurdles that NFT art pieces need to overcome before that happens, and a primary one is how to display them.
Physical artworks are easy to show off, since you can frame them and put them above a fireplace, in a gallery, or on an easel. The same can’t be said for pieces of NFT art. Oftentimes in the case of NFTs, creators and collectors may struggle trying to figure out how to showcase their collections.
So what’s the solution?
The straightforward route of NFT prints
If you’re looking for the cheapest way to showcase your still-image NFTs, you can print them like you would any other image — effectively creating a physical NFT print. You can even attach a QR code that can be scanned for verification or purchase. Simply go to a QR-code generator site like Scanova or QRCode Monkey, and enter the URL associated with your NFT artwork. Once you paste the URL, the website will generate a QR code.
If you aren’t sure which type of paper, print size, or finish is best for NFT prints, companies like Solid can help. These brands employ advanced technologies to provide high-definition NFT printing services to their clients. The NFT printing company handles canvas size, frame quality, print durability, or texture, and delivers your physical NFT to your door.
It should also be noted that certain NFT collections and marketplaces offer this utility directly to the consumer. For example, marketplaces like One of None offer collectors the chance to purchase “hybrid” pieces — NFTs with corresponding physical prints. On the other hand, some artists offer collectors this as a choice. In the case of Matt Gondek’s Fight Club, collectors may keep their prized baseball bat NFTs, or burn them for their real-world counterparts.
Digital NFT frames
Digital NFT display frames might be the coolest way to showcase your art. While printed NFTs allow you to display still images, digital displays allow you to exhibit NFTs that exist in the form of videos or GIFs. Given the rising popularity of the animated NFT format, this method may offer collectors the most future-proof way of displaying their favorite NFTs.
One option for digital NFT frames is Tokenframe. Each of these frames comes equipped with an anti-glare display, stereo speakers, and an auto-rotating function. As an added benefit, these NFT frames come in several sizes ranging from 10 inches diagonally to 43 inches. Moreover, these digital frames can be controlled by your smartphone, so you can also switch between multiple NFTs and their respective QR codes on the same frame. Obviously, the same can’t be said for any of your hanging physical artwork.
But Tokenframe isn’t the only player in the digital NFT frame market. In January 2022, Web3 media company Atomic Form received the (CES) Innovation Award for its 4K NFT display — called Atomic Form Wave. This state-of-the-art digital NFT frame is connected to the user’s crypto wallet and verifies every NFT on the blockchain before displaying them. Users can also share, manage, and lend their NFTs to each other using the Wave device on Atomic Form Hub.
In September 2022, Atomic Form followed up the success of its Wave NFT display with a new product: the Photon. Instead of attempting to reinvent the wheel in the highly-competitive monitor and display market, the Photon instead hopes to take advantage of how consumers are currently spoiled for choice when shopping for monitors and displays.
The Photon isn’t an NFT display at all — it’s a hub that enables any display you own to be turned into an NFT display, synced in real time with your actual crypto wallet. Speaking on how the Photon can make life easier for NFT collectors, Atomic Form Co-Founder Garrette Furo stated in a blog post, “You don’t need to wait for a major hardware manufacturer to include our app, you can just use a Photon as if it were Roku.” Whether you’re helping curate an NFT art gallery and exhibition, or just setting up an NFT corner in your home, this could become a great option.
Another player that aims to bring NFTs into the real world is Infinite Objects, a startup that offers electricity-powered display frames for video NFTs. To get your video NFT, you are first required to upload the file on the Infinite Object website. Next, you pay between $79 to $450+, depending on the type of frame you choose, and, within a couple of weeks, you receive your NFT.
Since the frames from Infinite Objects can support videos that run for even 24 hours, the concern is low that your video will be cut off. Moreover, if you are an NBA Top Shot NFT holder, then you also receive an authentication certificate along with your printed NFT. They accept payment in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and USDC.
Just like the NFT industry, the NFT display market is also expanding fast, so Tokenframe, Atomic Form, and Infinite Objects aren’t the only companies that offer digital NFT display frames. However, if you don’t want to spend hundreds of dollars on a fancy digital frame, you can consider multi-functional products like a smart TV. Notably, certain Samsung smart TVs come with an “Art Mode” functionality that can be used to display your NFTs or any other artworks on those off times when you aren’t scrolling Netflix. Similarly, LG also offers owners of its smart TVs the option to display NFTs, courtesy of its new in-house NFT marketplace.
Online NFT galleries
The credit for the success of NFTs also goes to NFT marketplaces like OpenSea, Raribe, Nifty Gateway, and SuperRare. Millions of buyers visit these NFT marketplaces every day, and most of the revenue generated by the NFT industry comes from them. As such, users of these marketplaces have their on-site purchases up for display on their individual profiles, as corroborated by their crypto wallets. Because of this, they are a great go-to choice for displaying your digital art collection.
Apart from online marketplaces, you can also try display websites like Showtime, Collectors Hub, and Lazy, where artists and collectors post their NFTs on a regular basis. If you already have a decent number of followers on social media websites like Discord and Twitter, then launching your own NFT art website is also an option.
Additionally, as part of Meta’s NFT roadmap for its pilot sites Facebook and Instagram, now Instagram users can proudly display NFTs they’ve created and collected directly on their profiles. As of its last announcement, Instagram has even extended support for this functionality to more than 100 countries, and counting.
Finally, a private website or portfolio allows you to display and sell your NFTs any way you want. You don’t have to follow any unwanted terms and conditions, plus you are free from any marketplace fees and restrictions.
NFTs are multi-dimensional assets, and their presence isn’t limited to online marketplaces and digital frames. Virtual worlds in the metaverse also have their own art galleries or spaces perfect for displaying NFTs. For example, in Decentraland and Sandbox, people can buy digital land where they can organize an NFT art display event (or exhibition) and invite other users.
Once you’ve signed up and purchased virtual land, you can organize art shows, auctions, and other events to display, promote, or sell your NFT collection. You can also create special passes and tickets for such events and share them via social media platforms.
However, if you are a new artist and platforms like Decentraland are very costly for you, you can also try Cyber, where users can freely exhibit their NFTs. Obviously, the footfall in less popular spaces is low, but they are great for organizing immersive NFT art exhibitions and attracting an audience of your own.
Some parties, like noted NFT collector Punk6529 have even teamed up with several other people in the space to develop what’s called an open metaverse. Spearheading its launch is a digital museum district — built from the virtual ground up. Through this, users can share and feature their favorite NFT pieces amongst other members of this community. These alternative NFT display methods have the potential to narrow the gap between the digital art industry and the real world. They can help introduce NFTs to audiences that may not otherwise be aware of the developments taking place in Web3. With their unique visual appeal, NFT displays could accelerate a broader acceptance of blockchain technologies.