If you’re starting to explore the idea of printing photos on canvas, there is a lot you need to be familiar with.
For starters, you need to figure out what canvas printing company you trust enough with your art. This can be difficult, especially if you’re on a limited budget. For the purposes of this article I’m going to use my favorite canvas printing company, CanvasHQ, as a good example of a canvas printing company that provides a wide range of canvas print options to their customers.
But, once you’ve found a canvas printing company that you like and trust, you then need to sift through a bunch of different canvas print options. You’ll need to choose the size of your canvas, the border color of your canvas, and the finish of your canvas.
To make your canvas print options seem a little less daunting, I’m going to walk you through all of them. I’ll show you what options you have for your canvas print and which situations you’ll want to use them all in.
You can think of this article, more or less, as a slew of design tips on how to create the best canvas print you ever have.
One of the most important canvas print options you’re going to have is the finish of your canvas. CanvasHQ offers five different finishes, but this will depend on the canvas printing company you go with.
CanvasHQ’s five finishes include: matte, semi-gloss, glossy, iridescent, and vintage.
We’ll start with matte.
Matte offers the lowest glare of any of the other canvas print options. This means that you will want to choose a matte finish if you’re working with images that have high contrast. Wedding and family portrait canvases are frequently finished with matte.
A matte canvas will also look excellent in a home environment since it is the most classic finish available.
The second finish, semi-gloss, is exactly what you think it is. It is a semi-reflective surface that is reflective enough to catch light without creating glare in an environment with a normal amount of light.
If you opt for this finish when going over your canvas print options, you can expect your image to lose a little bit of detail at any given angle thanks to the light.
The next finish is the glossy finish. A glossy finish will essentially be a step-up from the semi-gloss finish. Glossy canvases are usually used for art reproductions because none of your image sharpness will be lost with this finish.
Glossy canvases are also beautiful if your image has a lot of bright colors in it.
An iridescent finish, on the other hand, allows light to be the main focus of your print. An iridescent finish is beautiful for images of the sun, like landscape images, or of nighttime scenes, like cityscapes or the stars.
Finally, you can choose a vintage finish if you want your image to look aged. It works well for images that have too low of a resolution for any of the other images, like old family portraits.
The Border Color
One of the canvas print options that a lot of people forget about, or rather don’t pay enough attention to, is the border color on your canvas.
CanvasHQ allows photographers to choose between a mirror wrap, an image wrap, and any color you could possibly want (though plain black or white are most popular).
A mirror wrap is when the tips of your image are copied and flipped around the side of the canvas. This is one of the more popular canvas print options because it provides an image wrap look except it ensures none of your image is lost to the side of your canvas.
I guess it would then be important to describe an image wrap. This is simply where the ends of your image are wrapped around the side of your canvas. Photographers aren’t the biggest fans of the image wrap border color simply because it messes with the composition of the original image.
If your canvas is a fine art print, then you very well may want to choose a black or white finish which can make it look as if your image is floating on your studio wall (depending upon the wall’s color).
However, another fun option is to pick a color in your image and use that color as your border color. If you want to choose this option, you can directly reach out to the CanvasHQ representatives to request it when you put in your original order.
Now, you very well may be wondering why I’m going over this option out of all of the canvas print options available since just about everyone understands sizing.
But, I have a few important points here. My first is that not every canvas printing company will allow you to get any size canvas you could possibly want. CanvasHQ does and it’s one of the reasons I refuse to work with anyone else. Having complete flexibility over the way your finished canvas looks makes all the difference.
CanvasHQ canvases begin at just 6” across. A canvas of this size is wonderful if you have a workaholic client who wants to decorate his desk with an image of his family or bride. Small canvases also work well for a whole generation of young people who are downsizing into tiny apartments and tiny homes.
On the other hand, a giant canvas can also be wonderful for small spaces because a canvas the size of your wall can actually make a room feel much larger. Don’t ask me about the science behind this phenomenon. All I know is that it works.
The next important point I had regarding canvas print options and size is that you shouldn’t feel limited to one canvas. This is why CanvasHQ offers diptych, or two images, and triptych, which is three.
These sorts of options work really well in large homes, or if you are going to be displaying your work for sale in a coffee shop or a studio.
Head over to CanvasHQ to see all the options you can select!