- How Metal Prints Are Made
- Pros and Cons of Metal Prints
- How Canvas Prints are Made
- Pros and Cons of Canvas Prints
- Canvas vs. Metal Prints: The Conclusion
- They’re waterproof and therefore clean really easily
- They’re scratch resistant
- They’re incredibly fade-proof
- They’re expensive
- Not all photographs work well on metal
- They may look out of place in a more traditional setting, like a home
- Their versatility (they’ll never look out of place)
- All images work well on canvas
- They are glare free
- They are inexpensive without sacrificing durability or quality
- They are not waterproof or scratch resistant (maybe don’t hang them where your toddler can get to them)
- They don’t last as long as metal prints
Deciding how to display your photographs is almost as important as deciding how to shoot them. Canvas prints and metal prints, both, can act as precious family heirlooms, announcing the happiest day of your life every single time you come home from work.
They allow family and friends who come into your home to not only admire your work but to see what is really important to you. While you’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, people are judging your home and the artwork you have hung up in it the moment they step inside.
Here are some tips for making sure all judgements made are good ones.
Table of Contents
How Metal Prints Are Made
Metal prints begin as a plain sheet of aluminum in either white or clear. A special coating is put on top of the aluminum to allow it to absorb an image.
A metal cutting machine then goes in and cuts the metal canvas. Metal prints can be sharp and dangerous if you DIY it, or use a cheap company who doesn’t care about the finished product.
As you can see in the video above by , the printing process for metal prints is fascinating. The image is put onto transfer paper which is set on top of the newly cut metal sheet.
The metal sheet and the transfer paper is then put into an oven at an incredibly high temperature. Through the baking process, and another process of putting tons of pressure onto the metal, the image is transferred into the aluminum.
The last step is to remove the paper to reveal the beauty of the metal print.
Metal prints, like canvas prints, have different finishing options. The metal base (in either white or clear) basically works like paper, and will be finished (just like paper) in either glossy, matte or satin.
This combination of a base color and a finish is why some metal prints allow the brushed aluminum to show through while others don’t.
To explain it in layman’s terms, metal prints on clear metal (especially if the print is a black and white) will probably look quite vintage in a modern, hipster way. It’s the type of print you might see hanging in the new coffee shop down the block.
Pros and Cons of Metal Prints
Metal prints are God awful expensive. While this doesn’t mean you should never buy one, it is going to be a shock the first time you set out to find a metal printing company.
Metal prints also only work with some images. You need vibrant colors and deep contrast in your photos to ensure the aluminum can showcase your photo in the best light.
Pretty much all landscape photographs works really well as metal prints, since nature is already teeming with such incredible colors.
Black and white photos will also work on metal. Blacks are aren’t usually as deep on canvas, and the metal allows your black and white photo to exhibit even more contrast.
Get the scoop on the pros and cons of metal prints in the video above by f64 Academy.
The pros of metal prints include:
The cons of metal prints include:
How Canvas Prints Are Made
The most important part of the canvas printing process is to choose a company that touches up your photos for free, like CanvasHQ.
If your photo is so much as a half inch off center, or you forgot to remove some acne on your teenage son’s face, the photo will not look good as a finished print and you’ll never hear the end of it.
For those of you who are not new to the printing game, you also know it’s pertinent to ensure you like the look of the colors that will be printed and not just the colors on your laptop screen. For this reason, CanvasHQ uses 6 different inks to perfectly match your photo’s original colors.
Once you’re happy with your image, a state-of-the-art printer will be used to reproduce your image onto canvas.
Once the image has printed, the print makers will cut it and ready it for stretching.
Part of the canvas printing process that most people forget about is the creation of the wooden frame.
Good canvas printing companies will use kiln-dried wood to ensure the canvas won’t warp two decades down the line.
Good canvas printing companies will also never use glue. Glue can lose its usefulness in extreme weather conditions, which is why CanvasHQ uses brads and staples in the development of their wooden frames. Today you can easily buy canvas prints online from many companies.
The frames are then sanded down to make sure you don’t catch a splinter while hanging it up on the wall.
Finally, the next step is the hardest part of creating a canvas print. Canvas makers need to align the canvas perfectly to the frame and staple the taut canvas onto the frame.
If the canvas maker messes this step up, the stretch could be uneven or the corners could be bunched.
Pros and Cons of Canvas Prints
Canvas prints, unlike metal prints, are not waterproof.
Unlike some canvas printers, though, CanvasHQ does use water-resistant prints! Their ink is made for outdoor use, so you can clean their canvas prints with a wet washcloth.
Canvas prints are also much, much cheaper than metal prints. They don’t last as long as metal prints, but a well-made high quality canvas prints will still last for decades.
Canvas prints also look good in any setting, whereas metal prints could look out of place in your home, if the decor of your home isn’t extremely modern.
The pros of canvas prints include:
The cons of canvas prints include:
Canvas Vs. Metal Prints: The Conclusion
If you have the money to spend hundreds of dollars on a metal print, do it. Metal prints last forever and are a good investment once or twice in your photography career.
If you’d rather spend that couple hundred dollars on a new lens like I would, though, canvas is the way to go.
Plus, if you go with a company like CanvasHQ that uses the highest quality ingredients, like ink crafted for outdoor use, and the highest quality employees who are always watching your back, your canvas print will give you the same joy as a metal print, but without spending nearly as much money. After all, there’s a reason why CanvasHQ was the big winner of my $100 secret shopper canvas print shootout!