Quality Explained - Canvas Prints
Canvas prints have become more popular over the past few years - mainly due to their relative cost effectiveness per size compared to other photographic media and mounting processes, as well as being very light, and easily hung on walls where permanent hanging hardware is not allowed.
The process is similar to a photographic print - where ink is laid on the surface of the canvas, but due to the texture of the canvas it does not represent the finer details of the image as well as a photographic print - hence the feeling that canvas is more ‘arty’ than photographic.
As with any product, not all canvas prints are made to last. There are varying degrees of quality in the canvas itself, as well as the coating. Standard cheap canvas prints such as those done ‘on the spot’ by places such as Harvey Norman are generally a budget canvas, with no lacquer. This means that your print will be easily scuffed or scratched off. It also makes for a short lifespan unless you frame it behind glass - as you are unable to wipe them clean from dust etc. Framing behind glass however negates the cost effectiveness of having a canvas print to begin with, and also loses that ‘arty’ effect.
I use the highest grade museum grade canvas which is optimised for photographic printing. It boasts fine detail capabilities on an acid free, water resistant surface, enabling precise reproduction of very high resolution photos. The canvas is guaranteed not to yellow, crack, or curl and is naturally acid free due to the very high content of alpha cellulose in cotton, and is made without the use of optical brighteners which are known to affect the longevity of images. This canvas is specifically designed for High End Art and Photographic reproductions that require precision and very high resolution.
After printing and appropriate drying time, we then coat all our canvas prints with a roll-on lacquer, which is not visible to the eye, but provides UV protection, and waterproofing, enabling you to simply wipe your prints over if they become dirty or dusty. For more on UV light, protecting your print and what the lacquer does. Read Here
Canvas's are produced with a gallery wrap which is a mirroring of the edge of the image and placing it again around the image before printing. This extra mirrored edge then becomes the side of the frame removing the white edge or the need to use the image as part of the wrapping process. This means the finished size mounted on the wall is the full image.
Advantages of Canvas:
- ‘Art’ appearance over the traditional photograph look.
- Good for the budget, with large pieces stretched and ready to hang with much less cost than a traditional framed print.
- Enables a modern borderless finish on your wall.
- Do not exhibit glare or reflections.
- Weigh much less than framed prints.
Disadvantages of Canvas:
- Lower reproduction of fine details and sharpness is lost.
- The texture of canvas must be considered with the image chosen; it can be distracting in certain images
- You cannot change the image like a paper print inside of a frame; once stretched and mounted it is permanent.
- Unless produced to the highest standards, will have a short life span.