What is custom canvas printing?
Custom canvas printing is currently the most popular form of wall décor in North America. Every year there are millions of photos that get transformed into canvas art, many of them online.
Canvas printing refers to the practice of printing an image, with very expensive high-powered ink jet printers, onto a roll of specially treated art canvas. There are generally several steps that go into making custom canvas prints.
- A digital image is provided to the manufacturer, of sufficient size
- That image is then enhanced to the customers’ wishes, and processed so that it can be printed with mirrored edges. These edges are what will be stretched around the edges of the wooden frame.
- The image is then sent to a special printer, which applies the image to the canvas.
- This printed image will then be precisely cut, and then a wood frame will be built to the exact size of the image.
- That image will then be stretched around the 4 sides of the stretcher, and permanently attached to the back, leaving the original image entirely on the front face, and the additional mirrored edges along the sides. No part of the frame is visible from the sides or front.
How big does my photo have to be?
Canvas printing is very easy to order, however when problems do arise, it is typically due to file size/quality. While some customers are very familiar with digital photography, and understand terms like pixels, DPI, color space, and resolution, many people don’t.
There are a few easy things you can do to check to see if your photo (or the particular version of a photo) is appropriate for canvas printing. If you provide an image which is of poor quality, the results will appear blurry or pixelated.
- Check the actual file size of the photo. If the file is smaller than 1 MB, there’s a good chance it’s not large enough. Between 1-2 MB, you can print smaller size prints, up to 20 x 30. If it is 2 MB or larger, than most sizes will work with your image.
- If you know how to check for pixel size, you want to ensure that the dimensions are at least 1000 x 1500, or larger if possible
Is it really canvas that you print on?
One of the reasons that canvas printing costs more than just normal printing is that the material is actually specially-treated and formulated canvas. Although some of the discount providers use polyester fibre, which not only is a poor durability but also fades easily, most high-end providers like Art Innovations use a true cotton canvas.
Art Innovations in fact has their own special formulation, which is unique to us; it gives us a perfect balance of vibrancy, sheen, durability, and texture. A single roll of this canvas can cost upwards of $500, however our industry-leading volumes ensures that this cost isn’t unfairly passed on to you.
How long will they last for?
Custom Canvas Prints are expected to last for decades. Their specially-protected UV Inks resist fading, and their rich color profiles mean that there is plenty of ink applied to the canvas. The canvas that Canvas Busters uses is ~420 GSM, one of the most durable printable fabrics in the industry. Also, we use kiln-dried bass wood, a hardwood with incredible strength-to-weight properties.
We build these as collectible heirloom pieces, something that you can keep and enjoy for years and years.
How fast do they arrive?
Art Innovations typically works on a 2-3 week turn-around time. Although there may be times of the year where this is lengthened due to high demand, you can expect to receive your product within the normal industry average.
What kind of photos work the best?
In our experience, almost any type of photo can be good. For the best results, use a photo that has a good range of darks and lights, neutrals and colours, to achieve some really great contrasts. Even though our canvas printing process uses the very top printer in our industry, the Epson 11880C, and uses the world’s leading processing software, Shiraz UK, a dull or flat image will still appear fairly dull and flat. If you want a vibrant look, then choosing a nice bright image will be the best place to start.
In terms of what’s in the photo, we have noticed that the most well-received images generally come from these categories:
- Family Photos
- Urban Photography
- Baby / Infant Photos
How do diptych, triptychs, and 4-panel canvas work?
It has become popular to use multiple pieces of canvas to create one piece of wall décor. They can be referred to as multi-panels, diptych/triptychs (2 or 3 pieces), or wall-packs.
They all generally refer to the same practice though; the use of a SINGLE image, spread out over MULTIPLE canvases. So if you had a three panel (triptych) format that you wanted to work with, you might select a wide landscape photo. We would then take the left third of the photo, and put it on the left canvas, the center third to the center canvas, and the right third to the right canvas. Leaving you with a panoramic, 3-panel version of your original photo.
I don’t have any nice photos – can I choose from yours?
If you are excited about custom canvas printing as a decorating option, but don’t feel that you have any great photos to choose from, here is a list of websites that will sell you a photo for very low pricing. Remember you will generally need a ‘Large’ or X-Large size to get good results.