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If you’ve ever thought about working directly with a canvas print company to get a canvas print made for one of your clients, or even for yourself, then you may have been tempted to work with the cheapest company you can find. After all, can there really be that big of a difference between a regular canvas print and a high-quality canvas print?
Unfortunately, the answer is yes. I can tell a high-quality canvas print apart from a low-quality canvas print from a mile away. Cheap online canvas prints may start to crack or fade within a year or two of the original purchase, and if I’m a client of a photographer and buy an expensive canvas print that starts to fall apart so soon after my purchase, I wouldn’t be returning to that photographer again.
In order to prevent this from happening with your clients, you need to work with a printing company that specializes in creating a high-quality canvas print for their clients.
I recommend CanvasHQ, because they are a small, family-owned business that genuinely cares about the qualities of their materials for canvas prints.
Here’s how they make a high-quality canvas print, from start to finish.
It Starts With the Photo
Your print will never truly be a high-quality canvas print unless the photo you’re starting with is high-quality.
CanvasHQ ensures that all of their canvases are a high-quality canvas print by offering free touch ups to all of their clients.
They have Photoshop experts on staff who can help you to remove blemishes or red eye, as well as noise in your image.
Of course, they will never change your photo without asking you about it first. They’ll send you proof notes via email so that you can have an input on what you want your image to end up looking like.
It Requires High-Quality Ink
A high-quality canvas print also requires high-quality ink. A lot of ink isn’t designed for heirloom prints. However, CanvasHQ uses museum-grade ink. This ink will not fade if you put it in direct sunlight, so every print from CanvasHQ is designed to last a lifetime if your print is stored indoors.
Since their inks are designed for outdoor use, you also won’t have to deal with your image smudging if it accidentally gets wet. In fact, you can even clean your CanvasHQ prints with a wet washcloth. That’s how confident they are in the quality of the ink they use.
Of course, you also want your print to be as accurate as possible, which is why CanvasHQ uses a blend of six colors of ink. It allows every print to accurately match what you see on your computer screen.
It Needs to Be Hand Crafted
If you get a canvas print from a cheap canvas printing company, then your canvas print frame is going to be made by a machine.
This is a big issue for you because a machine isn’t able to catch any potential issues that a person could. For this reason, CanvasHQ builds all of their frames by hand. So, if the wood splinters, they are able to throw it out and start from scratch.
CanvasHQ only uses kiln-dried pine to create their frames. This ensures that your frame doesn’t warp in the future, even if it is stored in a warm or humid environment.
All of the stretcher bars used on your canvas are also hand-picked so that they won’t contain knots or cracks.
If you get a canvas print from a cheap canvas printing company, then your canvas will also likely be glued together. CanvasHQ doesn’t do this. They only construct their frames with brads and staples so that your frame lasts as long as your canvas itself does.
It Also Needs to Be Finished by Hand
While you may not think about this, what truly makes a high-quality canvas print is the way that the canvas is stretched over the frame.
If a machine does this, then your canvas may end up being either too tight or not tight enough. If it is too tight, then your ink may start to crack or peel as your canvas ages. If the canvas isn’t tight enough, it will be a pain to take care of.
So, CanvasHQ has their technicians stretch each canvas by hand. They start by making sure the canvas is exactly where it should be on the frame. Then, they staple one corner of the canvas and work from there.
Finally, It Needs to Be Packaged Carefully
Regardless of how good your canvas looks when it is packaged at the studio, you need it to look good when it arrives at your door. Unfortunately, a lot of canvas printing companies don’t really worry about this step. CanvasHQ does though.
They put your canvas print in a plastic sleeve so that it doesn’t get scratched in its box during transport.
They also worked directly with FedEx to figure out a way to ship each canvas so that they are not damaged during transit. This means that CanvasHQ has a 99.5% success rate during the shipping process. It’s incredibly unlikely that your canvas will get damaged during shipping.
Of course, if you are unlucky, then CanvasHQ will start the entire process over again in order to get you a canvas that is in pristine condition. It’s just one of many reasons why CanvasHQ is a two-time winner of our Best Canvas Print Company shootout!