8 Things to Consider when Buying Canvas Prints Online

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canvas print guide

Buying canvas prints online has become very popular in recent years. There are a number of services available today, all of which provide a wide choice of canvas styles and frames with a quick turnaround on quality prints.

However, with that wide range of choice, it can be difficult deciding what type of print to go for. There is also the issue of which photograph to send off for printing as well as where to position the finished result.

Add that to the fact it is impossible to know what your print will really look like until it is delivered.

So, if you are thinking about purchasing a canvas print online, this short guide should help you make the right decisions.

If you are ready, let’s jump to it…

1. Is the image really worth printing?

canvas prints online

This may seem like a cynical first question to ask, however it is important. We all take hundreds of photographs with our cell phones, whittling down an image for printing can be difficult.

The process of printing is also an expense and can take some time.

It is therefore necessary to ask yourself from the very beginning if the image is worth printing in the first place.

The most common reason for wanting to order a canvas print is that the photograph is of a loved one or a special moment.

However, if you have a choice of images try to be objective and choose one that will meet the scrutiny of being hung on a wall for all to see.

Is the image in focus? Is the lighting good enough for everything to be seen properly? Does the main subject have their eyes open? Is it framed correctly or are limbs cut-off?

You need to think about how the particular image will look blown up to a larger size. Only great photographs should be sent off for printing.

2. Is the image resolution high enough?

canvas prints online

If your camera (cell phone or otherwise) is not up to scratch or you have used a low-resolution setting when taking the photograph, it might not be good enough for printing.

Many online service printing services will have a minimum resolution that they will print.

This is because it will look too pixelated when blown up to canvas print size. The service provider does not want to send you an inferior product based on the inferior quality image.

(Although less than reputable providers may print the image anyway and then blame you afterward for the low-quality photograph. Read some of our reviews to avoid this.)

Essentially, there is also nothing that can be done if the resolution of the source material is too low.

The problem is, most everyday users do not understand the concept of pixel dimensions, file sizes, and dpi?

And who can blame them? The image looks great on a small cell phone screen. They expect the same once their print arrives.

We recommend that you check the details of the printing company you are interested in using. See what the guidelines are and ensure that either the photograph you send meets these, and/or images you take in the future will be okay.

3. Where will you put it? (Will it suit the space?)

canvas prints online guide

So you have a photograph that ticks the boxes in terms of quality and composition. It also meets the resolution guidelines of the main printing companies.

Another question to ask yourself before sending it off and turning the piece into a canvas print is where will you put it.

Some prints look great in a dominant position above the fireplace. Others are better placed in a hallway or other less assuming locations.

A print for a bedroom will generally be of a different style to something you might plan on having in a home-office for example.

Where you intend to hand the print will determine many other variables such as the size, style, and frame you will choose.

So knowing this before you start the online ordering process is a good idea.

4. Quality of the service

canvas prints online guide

You’ve followed the previous steps and now you are ready to think about ordering your canvas print.

For many of you, this is the point where you will start looking for a printing service online.

When checking out the various options you should read up on the company websites to see what they offer.

What sort of printing technology are they using? Do they print on quality canvases and provide a choice between matt and gloss? (Gloss will glare under too much light.)

What inks are they using? Pigment ink or dye-sublimation technology. The former lasts longer but has less “punch” than dye-sub.

What choice of sizes, finishes, and frames do they provide? Is the turnaround time good?

All of these will help you narrow down your options on what printing company to use. And if in doubt, you can also read reviews to see what previous customers have said.

5. Canvas Print Styles

canvas prints online guide

Part of the online ordering process will involve choosing a canvas print style.

There are a number of options these days beyond the plain old single image. You can choose the print to be split into a collage of multiple canvases for instance, or opt for different shapes.

If going for a collage, you might like the idea of a neat grid, or a series of jumbled squares, the choice really is wide.

The main shape options are squares, landscapes, portraits, or panoramic.

The place you intend to hang the print might also determine the style you go for, (space is clearly an issue). The subject matter and composition of the image are relevant too.

Essentially, having an idea of the style you want before reaching the online ordering page, is recommended.

6. A Question of Framing

canvas prints online guide (4)

The frame is another important aspect when ordering your canvas print online.

You are going to have to rely on images on a website to choose a frame, which means you won’t see the finished result until it has arrived.

Thankfully, most companies will provide high-quality photographs on the website, along with close-ups so you get an idea of the texture too.

As we all know, (but may take for granted), the frame can make or break a canvas when it is hung on the wall.

So much so, some opt to not have a frame at all because it can be difficult to match the style to the image.

7. Packing & Shipping

canvas prints online guide

How your canvas print is packed and shipped is another important factor to consider when buying online.

These prints can be delicate and when shipped over long distances you want to be confident that the end result will reach you in good condition.

Does the company offer refunds in case of transit damage?

If you are planning on sending a canvas as a gift, does the printing company provide the means to have the print especially wrapped with a note attached?

Check packing and shipping details on the company website, and also read customer reviews. If the reputation is good in this regard, you should hopefully not encounter any problems.

8. Printing and delivery times

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Finally, you should pay attention to the printing turnaround times and how long the company takes to deliver the finished product.

Are express service and delivery times available (should you need them)? Is the average standard time good enough anyway and better than the competition?

Some will offer international delivery if you live abroad and still want to use the service.

Again, this is something you will need to research as companies do vary in the speed of their delivery service.

Essentially, you need to choose one that will meet your demands in terms of turnaround and delivery, while also ticking the right boxes we have detailed above

And there you have it, 8 things to consider when buying a canvas print online. We hope after reading this you will able to purchase a high-quality canvas print that will meet your expectations.

About V50

The editorial team here at Vault50.com is made up of a number of writers based all over the world. Our interests and experience cover the full range of what we talk about here. Clare Turner is one of our key contributers writing about the home. David Lachance is our resident e-commerce and business guru, if it's anything to do with that, he's your man. Kevin Simpson takes care of the website layout and publishing and also heads up our education section, with in-depth reviews and articles on courses and training. Find out more about all of us here.

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