I’ve been looking for projects to complete around my house lately, since I’ve been home so often. Usually, a lot of my home projects also happen to revolve around my photography.
I really enjoy hanging family portraits, and more often than not I’m using a canvas print for these portraits.
But, like you, I’ve definitely used terrible canvas printing companies before. In fact, I’ve even reviewed some printing companies on our website that could definitely use some work.
To prevent you from wasting your money on a canvas print that isn’t worth the material it's printed on, I figured I should highlight some qualities of good canvas prints.
You can spot a canvas print that uses crappy ink from a mile away. If your canvas print maker uses bad ink, the ink will fade quickly, it will smudge easily and it may even crack depending upon how they stretched the canvas print.
The best canvas printing companies will tell you exactly what kind of materials they use. For example, CanvasHQ, my favorite canvas print company, has an entire page dedicated to explaining what sort of ink they use.
Unlike Walmart photo center, for instance, CanvasHQ uses UV-resistant, commercial grade ink, which is one of the reasons why you can purchase a canvas print from them that comes with a lifetime guarantee.
Another important material you should be asking about when choosing a canvas print is the canvas itself.
Good canvas print companies like CanvasHQ use American-made canvas that is specifically designed for use in the fine art community so that the colors on your canvas will never shift and so that your canvas will not suffer from exposure to bright light.
The canvas that CanvasHQ uses is actually tested in a lab to ensure it features the perfect pH for fine art photography.
One other material that a lot of photographers forget to ask about is the wood used to create the frame of the canvas.
If you opt to go with a cheap canvas printing company, then this wood (if they even use wood) will warp easily and will take your canvas print with it. This is how you get cracks in your ink.
CanvasHQ kiln dries their pine to prevent it from warping decades down the line. Each one of their frames also comes with extensive bracing so that the structural integrity of your canvas is never compromised.
The Creation Process
When learning how to spot a good canvas print, you need look no further than the creation process.
If you are looking at a canvas printing company that doesn’t discuss how they make their prints on their website, run.
CanvasHQ is again another great example of this. From the moment you hand a photo over to them, they put an incredible amount of effort into your print.
This starts when they touch up your images for free (if you want them to).
They then print your photo with state of the art printers to prevent ink smudging. Next, they cut your image and put it through a quality control checkpoint to ensure everything came out correctly.
Importantly, they hand stretch every canvas. This ensures that the canvas doesn’t bubble at all. When you hit a canvas print, you should get a drum sound every time. With CanvasHQ, I don’t even need to think twice.
Finally, there’s no point in putting in all of this work if the canvas is just going to be damaged on the way to your house. That’s why CanvasHQ packages your canvas in a plastic slip, to prevent scratching, and worked with FedEx to design packaging that ensures “99.5%” of canvases make it to your door without any problems.
I’ve been talking a lot about CanvasHQ because they are a gold standard in what a canvas printing company should be.
Even if the quality of the materials used for your canvas print are incredible and there was a ton of love put into the creation process, if you work with a canvas printing company that doesn’t care about you, as a customer, then you are going to be disappointed by the product in the end.
CanvasHQ only hires employees who are trained in high levels of customer relations so that if, god forbid, a problem occurs, you will be kept in the loop and fairly compensated the whole time.
As another example of why CanvasHQ is one of the best canvas print companies around, they have a countdown on their website which is updated every morning. This countdown lets you know exactly when you can expect your canvas print if you submit an order today.
During a pandemic, I cannot think of a better way to ensure your customers remain happy. Personally, I’ve waited for months for a product to be delivered to my home this year and CanvasHQ ensures this won’t happen to you.