A canvas print is a rarity in today’s age. Compared to standard posters and even acrylics, they deliver a unique experience and aesthetic appeal that other mediums cannot replicate. Today, there are more print on demand services than ever before, which has simplified the process of getting high-quality printers significantly.
But, not all of the services online are created equally. Thus, we’ve compiled a list of the top five printing services that provide excellent canvas prints for the price. And now, you can convert your favorite memory into a compelling masterpiece with a beautiful aesthetic that will wow every audience.
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What to look for in a canvas?
Since many print-on-demand services in today’s market offer canvas prints as a part of their selection, let’s first clarify what qualities are essential.
A canvas print is a fabric or fine art paper that’s bound and stretched over a frame, ideally wood. Not all of the print-on-demand companies make these frames by hand, which becomes a distinguishing characteristic between average and top of the line services.
Look for services that provide handmade frames, and wrap the canvases individually by hand. Avoid factory-made frames, unless you desire fast turn around time and lower costs. An indication of a poor design or build is the canvas comes loose after only a few months.
When it comes to canvas, the printers used are everything, as they determine the final print quality. Higher-end printers and ink will yield better contrast, details, and resolution. Lower quality services use technologies that merely displays images on the canvas surface, resulting in a loss of detail, dynamic range, and muted colors.
All of the high-end supplies will have turnaround times that are under 14 business days. If you’re ordering a single print, shipping times should never exceed that estimation.
The higher-end services offer some level of customization over the print in the form of an editor, custom sizes, or other enhancements. Most of these suppliers also have teams of skilled designers, specialized in color correcting and adjusting sharpness.
These designs help preserve maximum details and the overall aesthetic appeal of your images. However, for seasoned shooters, designers are not necessary, particularly if you’re already familiar with this medium. For beginners, however, they’re a must.
5 – SnapFish
SnapFish is a long-time established name among the industry and one renowned for excellent quality. They’re veterans in this arena, with over 20 years in the business. And that amount of experience has created an extremely intuitive and seamless experience for new users. Their site allows you to import images directly from social media; from there, it’ll greet you with extensive customization and personalization over the image.
They also offer the ability to wrap the edges of the canvas in a custom color, an interesting option. From a build quality standard, their canvases provide colors that are accurate and keep your images sharp. They also go the distance by using environmentally friendly materials, a rarity in this segment of the industry. This gives their products a very distinct edge over competitors. While they’re companies on the larger size and offer a vast selection of products, it’s good to see they don’t push their canvases to the wayside. And while on the pricier side, their experience shows.
4 – Walgreens
When you think canvas, Walgreens may not be the immediate choice that comes to mind. However, if you need a canvas with the lowest possible turnaround time, your local store is your best bet. Most people don’t realize that most chains are fully equipped to tackle these printing needs. And with tens of thousands of branches throughout the US, they can turn around a print within 24 hours. And the reality is that even the best print-on-demand services can’t match these times, regardless of their workflow. And Walgreens also offers a level of convenience that rivals can’t match.
However, just because they’ll print quickly, doesn’t mean the quality is awful. In actuality, the quality is quite good. They use a solid selection of printers that offer relatively accurate color reproduction and enough latitude that makes them still pop. The only drawback is that they don’t offer custom sizes, and each location will differ in their capabilities with printing on canvas. Their site also provides limited editing and enhancements, so it’s best to retouch the images prior.
Nevertheless, the print quality is better than you’d expect, and pictures come ready to hang. The materials they use aren’t of a similar quality found in rivals. Thus, the prints are unlikely to stand the test of time. So, if longevity is important, they’re not the right choice. However, considering their convenience and middle of the road pricing, they’re a solid choice. Sure they lack the consistent flash sales of competitors. However, their respectable quality and ultra-fast speeds make them unbeatable if speeds are of the utmost importance.
3 – Canvas HQ
Canvas HQ is a family-owned print-on-demand service that offers a more genuine and authentic approach. Compared to rivals, they’ll go the extra mile to ensure the customer is happy, and that says something. Like CanvasPop, they also send digital proofs before printing the final image, and it’s also free of charge. However, they offer free image retouching, whenever applicable, plus a 100% money-back guarantee with every product.
They use an archival poly-cotton fabric, locally sourced, and inks that are designed for outdoor use, providing an exceptional degree of resistance to fading. They also use a dried pine frame, creating a solid structure to prevent warping. They don’t hide any secrets about the production process, or information regarding your order. And they have quite a level of transparency that’s hard fast to match, and it’s quite refreshing to see. Though on the costlier side, they’re an excellent option for more seasoned shooters looking for an upgrade in customer service and a level of professionalism that’ll surely wow you.
2 – Canvas Discount
Canvas discount provides the lowest prices around, and they even generously offer a 110% discount as a guarantee to every customer. Their key selling point over rivals is their low prices. Yet, despite their low price, they offer quality that matches the seasoned pros in this arena. They provide canvases, as well as acrylic and metal prints, among other products. Their sizing options automatically compensate and change depending on the resolution of the image you upload.
This automatic generation guarantees that the final print will be compatible with the image quality of the photo you uploaded, completely avoiding nasty pixelated prints. It also frees you from the confines of the standard sizes offered. They also offer free shipping on orders over $70 and quick shipping within 24 hours of placing an order.
For quality, their prints are printed using HP latex inks and bound by hand. While their workflow is more streamlined, these printing techniques deliver results that outcompete the work of printers far above their price. Overall, don’t let their name fool you. This company delivers the best bargain over rivals and proves to break the often negative connotation between quality and price. They’re an excellent choice for first-time buyers, looking to get a hands-on feel of their prints.
1 – CanvasPop
CanvasPop produces canvases using the highest quality materials around, and their passion shows with the product they provide. Founded in 2009, they offer printing services for enthusiasts wanting to get their photos printed. Every order is assigned a personal designer who works with you hand in hand for personal recommendations, adjustments and gives customer service along the way. The adjustments offered can be as simple as saturation and contrasts to guarantee accuracy.
However, they also provide photo touch up and full digital enhancements, such as object removal, facelifts, retouching, or background replacement as well. Before they print each image, they also send digital proofs, to allow you to get a better idea of the final print and make changes. And, unlike competitors, they don’t have minimums on the picture size or resolution.
Instead, they can turn any size, format, or resolution into a high-resolution print. So, even your Facebook or Instagram shots are options, and their site also supports printing directly from these platforms. They use archival-grade printers, which print on fine art paper and mount to a handmade wooden frame. Overall, the build quality is top notch and will provide prints that last the test of time. And best of all, they’re affordable.