An extremely common question that we receive is how do canvas prints compare to traditional framed and matted prints, and what are the differences, advantages, and disadvantages of each. This is a question that must be answered with careful consideration, and only the consumer can truly decide what is the best fit for them.
If you are looking for a short answer, it all comes down to the final location of where the canvas print or traditional photograph will be hung, your personal preferences and tastes, the budget, and interior design style of where the photograph will be.
In this article, we will take a look at the disadvantages and advantages of both canvas prints and traditional framed photographs so that you can decide the best option for your photograph and space you are looking to fill.
Both traditional framed prints and gallery-quality canvas prints should be printed by professionals printing services. We know a lot of time, effort, and sometimes money goes into capturing the perfect photograph. Because of this, it is important that the final print represents that photograph beautifully.
We will examine the best location for each style of print, the color depth of both canvas and traditional prints, as well as what goes into making a wonderful final photo print. By the end of this article, you will be able to determine what type of print you should order for your next piece of wall art.
Prints on Paper
One of the most traditional ways of displaying a photograph is by printing on paper. Printing a photograph onto paper has a certain aesthetic value that is unique and widely accepted in the photography industry.
Framed prints are typically seen in smaller frames and not as pieces that take up the entire wall. Printing onto paper can have various textures and finishes. The popular paper used for fine art photography printing includes cotton-based matted paper and high gloss photo paper.
Additionally, a variety of thicknesses are used for papers resulting in a different amount of ink absorption. Glossy prints create an image that truly pops off of the paper, while matted and framed prints create a wonderful dramatic finish.
How Are Framed Prints Made?
Unlike gallery-quality canvas prints, traditional framed prints can be made by both a DIY project or by a professional. Although you can do a great job of framing your prints at home, outsourcing to a professional will result in a much higher quality final product.
When hiring a professional to print and frame a print, you will want to be very involved in the process.
A true professional will work with you on figuring out the best style for the print. This includes the type of wood, the color of wood, and the frame style. Additionally, you will want to confirm whether they will be using glossy or matte paper. Each of these options is great, it just comes down to personal preference.
Moreso, it is important to find out what thickness the paper will be. A professional printing company will start by printing your photograph with high-quality ink. Be sure that your photograph has a high resolution for the best possible results.
After the photo is printed, the company will build the frame and install the mounting hardware. A frame color like black, white, or espresso is great to ensure your photo stands out while also leaving the opportunity to change the picture out down the line. It is important that the company uses low-glare glass to enclose the frame. This helps minimize glare and reflections from light.
Advantages of Framed Prints
- The wood frame adds elegance to the print
- Traditional look
- Very high level of detail
- Fiber-based papers are great for black and white prints
- The frame protects and preserves paper photographs
- Makes a statement on the walls
- Makes thoughtful gifts stand out more
- Inexpensive options
- Wide variety of sizing and frame options
- Leave less trace on the wall
- Adds an extra dimension to the photograph
- Leads the eye towards a focal point
Disadvantages of Framed Prints
- Lighting may cause glare and reflections
- Frame border takes up four to five inches of space
- The price quickly increases with larger sizes
- Large sizes may be heavy and require additional mounting points
- Creates the perception of being separated from the print, whereas canvas prints create a feeling of being right there
- Frame colors and styles must match the style of the interior decorating
- Size is limited compared to canvas prints
- Commonplace – Nothing new about traditional framed prints
- Often times lack the “wow” factor
- Shorter lifetime than canvas prints
- More fragile than canvas prints
- Easily smudged and collects dust
- Wood frame styles easily become outdated
- Likely to break if dropped
- Must be carefully packed for shipping and moving
- Glass does not provide the photograph with UV protection
Traditional framed prints are a great option for those looking for a classic way to showcase a photo. They are elegant and are great to pass on as a gift.
Canvas prints are an up and coming photo print option that resolves many of the issues of traditional prints. We have been perfecting the canvas making art for years and have learned how to create gallery-quality prints for affordable prices.
Up until recently, canvas prints had a connotation that they were printed at a lower quality. However, thanks to state-of-the-art printing technology, canvas prints are now packed full of detail and descriptive colors.
Additionally, canvas prints are 100% American made. Through using UV waterproof inks, canvas prints dry instantly, while Canvas prints that are made with aqueous inks lose up to 40% of the ink in the drying process. By using advanced automated stretching to stretch the canvas onto the custom made frames, canvases are perfectly stretched reducing the risk of stretch fractures. This also minimizes the opportunity for the canvas to slacken over a few years.
Through utilizing this process, consistent quality canvas prints are created. These canvas prints have the look and feel of a canvas print that would be found in a fine art gallery, but are available at budget-friendly prices. This allows companies and individuals to purchase wall art and photographs that typically would not have been available to them. This makes canvas prints a great gift for friends and loved ones.
How Are Canvas Prints Made?
Creating a stunning canvas print is an intricate process. After your photo has been received, it is sent to a UV inkjet printer. This printer creates a unique process within the ink that causes them to waterproof and dry immediately. This traps in the ink, resulting in a canvas print that is full of color.
After the canvas has been printed, the frame is made by hand. Using MDF boards, the custom in-house frame shops craft each frame to perfectly fit the canvas. Upon completion of the frame, the canvas is stretched over the frame with an advanced automated stretching machine. This reduces errors that are often made by DIY hand stretching.
Advantages of Canvas Prints
- Eliminates the chance for glares and reflections
- Frames do not intrude on the image
- Large sizes available at lower costs
- Much lighter when compared to traditional framed prints
- Custom cotton blended canvas
- Handmade frames
- Last for over 100 years
- More economical than framed prints
- A single picture can be broken into multiple pictures to create a seamless gallery wall
- Creates an effect that makes a photograph look like a painting
- Can be installed in bathrooms and somewhat humid environments
- Fits well into any style of interior decorating due to lack of frame
- Can be installed into a wood floater frame that does not intrude upon the image
- Waterproof inks
- Many sizes are water-resistant
- Pre-installed with hanging kit
- No size limit
- Great texture
- American made
- Almost all photos look great on canvas
Disadvantages of Canvas Prints
- Texture can be distracting if high-quality cotton canvas is not used
- The photograph can not be switched out like in a traditional canvas frame
- Can not be created as a DIY project
- Higher startup cost for the proper printing technology
Canvas prints stand out in a sea of traditional framed photo prints. Their affordability makes them a great option for all buyers, while their versatility makes canvas prints great for any space. Canvas prints are hundreds of dollars cheaper when compared to the same size photo print and the options for customizations are vast and exciting.
Choosing the Right Print for You
Deciding between a traditional framed print and a photo canvas print truly comes down to a personal decision.
It is important to factor in your tastes, preferences, and needs. Additionally, it is crucial to research where you will be ordering from to ensure that you will be receiving a print of the highest quality.
Canvas prints are the perfect addition to any home or office. Canvas prints also offer a much more affordable price, more customization, and a wider range of sizes. The frameless look of a canvas print creates a feeling that brings the viewer right into the picture. Additionally, canvas prints allow for greater flexibility.
They do not require specific lighting to avoid glares or reflection. Canvas prints fit into almost any setting and lighting situation because of their unique finish. The non-glare feature, the flexibility of sizes, and extremely descriptive colors make canvas prints a great choice.
Undoubtedly, traditional framed prints provide a wonderful and classic look. This type of look, much like that of a canvas, will never go out of style. Although the settings are more limited for traditional framed prints, when the right setting is found framed prints truly stick out. When a photograph is matted and framed, the image stands out and creates a great accent to any formal setting.
The great thing about each style of print is that you can always buy another of a different style down the line. With many options to choose from you should never feel limited to a certain style of printing. What matters are the memories you cherish that will be printed onto a traditional or gallery-quality canvas print.