Wall Murals vs Wall Graphics: A comprehensive guide

By James Weber on Jun 12, 2023 3:49:39 PM

9 min read
Wall mural vs wall graphic digimura-1 one piece wall covering

Wall murals and wall graphics have become increasingly popular in recent years, transforming empty walls into captivating visual experiences.

These decorative elements offer a range of possibilities to add personality, style, and aesthetic appeal to both residential and commercial spaces.

But which one do you need? What’s the difference? In this article we will explore the key differences and purposes of wall murals and graphics, comparing their characteristics, applications, and who normally uses them.

You can use this article as a comparative guide, helping you to choose the option that best suits you.



What is a wall mural?

Wall murals are large-scale artworks that transform blank walls into captivating visual displays. They can be hand-painted or digitally printed and are directly applied to the wall surface.

The defining characteristic of wall murals is their ability to cover a significant portion of a wall, creating a stunning focal point or immersive environment.


Wall murals offer a vast array of design possibilities. From breathtaking landscapes and nature-inspired scenes to intricate illustrations and abstract artwork, the options are virtually limitless.

These murals can be customised to suit individual preferences, allowing homeowners and businesses to express their unique style and personality.


What are wall murals used for?

Wall murals provide an opportunity to transform walls into captivating works of art that leave a lasting impression on those who experience them.

They bring beauty, inspiration, and storytelling to both residential and commercial spaces, enriching the visual landscape and evoking emotions within the viewer.

Wall murals are used by the residential, commercial and public sector.


Residential Applications

In residential settings, wall murals have gained popularity as a means of transforming living spaces. Homeowners often utilise wall murals in their living rooms, bedrooms, and children's rooms to create visually striking and personalised environments.

A mural depicting a serene beach scene can transport you to a tranquil getaway, while a whimsical mural of cartoon characters can delight and inspire the imaginations of children.


Commercial ApplicationsDrytac_ReTac75 wall mural graphic

Wall murals have also become a popular choice for businesses aiming to enhance their branding and create memorable experiences for customers.

Restaurants can feature murals that reflect their cuisine or create an inviting atmosphere, while retail stores can use murals to highlight product lines and engage shoppers visually.

Entertainment venues, such as theatres and music halls, often utilise murals to set the mood and immerse visitors in a unique ambiance.


Public Spaces and Institutions

Educational institutions, healthcare facilities, and government buildings often employ wall murals to educate, inspire, and create visually appealing environments.

Schools may feature educational murals depicting historical events or scientific concepts, fostering a stimulating learning atmosphere. Hospitals utilise murals with calming nature scenes to create a soothing environment for patients.

Additionally, public spaces such as libraries and museums may showcase murals that represent cultural heritage or convey powerful messages.


What is a wall graphic?

Wall graphics, also known as wall decals or wall stickers, are digitally printed designs or graphics that are applied to walls using adhesive materials.

Wall graphics can be as large or as small as required and can be arranged in various configurations to create desired effects. They offer flexibility in terms of design, size, and placement options.


Wall graphics are produced using high-quality vinyl materials that adhere well to smooth wall surfaces. They can be created in a wide range of designs, including intricate patterns, typography, illustrations, and even photographs.

The advancements in digital printing technology have made it possible to achieve vibrant colours, sharp details, and precise cutouts for wall graphics.


What are wall graphics used for?

Wall graphics offer a flexible and customisable solution for transforming walls into visually appealing displays.

They provide an opportunity to add personal touches, convey messages, or create a specific ambiance without the commitment of permanent changes.

Let's explore there applications.


Home Interior Applications

Wall graphics have gained popularity among homeowners and apartment dwellers due to their ease of application and versatility.

They provide a cost-effective way to personalise living spaces without the permanence of paint or wallpaper.

Homeowners can choose from a wide variety of designs to suit their style, whether it's a minimalist geometric pattern in the living room or inspirational quotes in the bedroom. Additionally, wall graphics can be easily removed or replaced, allowing for flexible decor options.


Commercial and Business Applications

Wall graphics offer businesses an effective tool to enhance branding, communicate messages, and create visually appealing spaces.

Businesses often use wall graphics to display their logos, taglines, or product images, reinforcing brand identity.

Restaurants and cafes may feature wall graphics with menus, specials, or food-related illustrations to engage customers visually.

Wall graphics can also be used in office settings to create a motivating or collaborative atmosphere, featuring inspiring quotes or company values. It's a convenient non-permanent method of branding an office to reflect your company culture. 


Events and Temporary Installations

One of the advantages of wall graphics is their suitability for temporary applications. Event organisers and exhibitors often utilise wall graphics for trade shows, exhibitions, conferences, and other events.

They can be used for branding purposes, showcasing sponsors, providing wayfinding information, or creating thematic backdrops.

The portability and easy application and removal of wall graphics make them a practical choice for temporary installations.


Differences Between Wall Murals and Wall Graphics

Whilst there are differences between Wall murals and wall graphics, the terms are often used interchangeably and will bring up similar results in Google.

This is because sometimes they are the same thing. For example, a large wall graphic that covers an entire wall with abstract art is exactly the same thing as a wall mural.


However, a smaller logo or artwork is more likely to be called a graphic than a mural, even though they may be manufactured in the exact same way, and smaller graphics will often be called wall stickers or decals.

That being said there are general differences which we will cover below.


Materials and Production

The materials used in wall murals and wall graphics differ in terms of their composition and production methods.

Wall murals can be created using various materials such as paint, vinyl, or wallpaper. Hand-painted murals involve artists using brushes and paints directly on the wall surface, allowing for intricate details and unique artistic expressions.

Digitally printed wall murals are created by printing high-resolution images onto vinyl or wallpaper materials, offering a wider range of design possibilities.

Wall graphics, on the other hand, are predominantly made from adhesive vinyl materials. These vinyl materials are digitally printed and cut into precise shapes or patterns using a plotter or a laser cutter. The adhesive backing on the vinyl allows for easy application to smooth wall surfaces.


Customisation Options

There isn’t really much difference in terms of customisation between a wall graphic and a wall mural.

Painted murals provide slightly less customisation opportunities than printed, which allow you to print high resolution photographs. Printed murals and printed graphics allow complete artistic freedom.

Designs can be customised with specific colour palettes, text, branding, sizing, personal photographs or artwork.


Installation and Removal

Installation processes for wall murals and wall graphics differ in terms of complexity and ease.

Wall murals, particularly hand-painted ones or those using vinyl or wallpaper materials, usually require professional installation. The process involves careful measurement, surface preparation, and meticulous application to ensure a smooth and visually pleasing result. This is necessary to avoid potential issues such as air bubbles or improper alignment.

Larger wall graphics may also require professional installation, but the smaller ones are designed for easy self-installation. They typically come with detailed instructions and can be applied using a peel-and-stick method.

The adhesive backing allows for repositioning during installation, ensuring proper alignment. In case of errors or the need for change, wall graphics can be removed without damaging the wall surface or leaving residue, making them a practical choice for those who prefer a DIY approach.

It’s worth noting that vinyl murals, wallpaper and general graphics may be a better choice for you if you are looking to decorate a home or office if you also lease or rent. Vinyl products are almost always removable unlike paint which is a permanent aesthetic change. If you want to paint it’s therefore worth checking your contract and contacting your landlord first.


Longevity and Durability

The longevity and durability of wall murals and wall graphics differ based on the materials used and the level of aftercare.

Wall murals, particularly those created using high-quality vinyl or wallpaper materials, can last for many years with proper care. They are resistant to fading, moisture, and UV damage, ensuring their vibrant appearance over time.

Hand-painted murals, when sealed and protected, can also withstand the test of time. However, factors such as exposure to direct sunlight or high-traffic areas may affect their durability.


Wall graphics, although generally durable, are not intended for long-term use like wall murals. Their lifespan can vary depending on the quality of the vinyl material and the environmental conditions.

While they can last for several years, wall graphics, particularly smaller options like decals, are more commonly used for temporary or semi-permanent applications.

However, the advantage of wall graphics is their replaceability. If desired, they can be easily removed and replaced with new designs or styles.


Which is right for you?

In summary, both wall murals and wall graphics offer unique opportunities to transform walls into visually captivating displays. It’s worth noting that the terms wall graphic and mural are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing.

Wall murals, whether hand-painted or digitally printed, cover large areas and provide an immersive visual experience. They are suitable for residential users looking to personalise their living spaces, office overhauls, businesses aiming to brand enhance branding efforts, and educational institutions and public spaces seeking to create inspiring environments.

Wall graphics offer flexibility in terms of design, size, and placement. They are ideal for office overhauls, homeowners who want to personalise their homes with temporary decor options, small businesses looking for cost-effective branding solutions, and event organisers and exhibitors seeking visually striking backdrops for temporary installations.

The materials used, customisation options, installation processes, and longevity differ between wall murals and wall graphics. While wall murals require professional installation, offer extensive customisation, and can last for years, wall graphics are designed for self-installation, provide flexibility in design modifications, and are more suited for temporary applications.

Ultimately, the choice between wall murals and wall graphics comes down to your individual preferences, the desired visual impact, and the intended purpose. Whether you prefer the immersive experience and longevity of wall murals or the versatility and temporary nature of wall graphics, both options can transform blank walls into captivating works of art or branded backdrops.


Where to buy

If you’re looking for custom wall graphics and murals, Raccoon can help. We print on premium grade long lasting vinyl films and papers, suitable for any type of design wherever that be an artistic masterpiece or high resolution photograph.

We have the supersized equipment required to print removable wall graphics or photorealistic murals in any size required.

Our online design tools allow you to quickly tailor the design, size, and finish to your specific requirements.

If you have any questions just shoot us a message, we will be more than happy to help you.


James Weber

Written by James Weber

Content Manager