Great Big Canvas Review – My Experience Ordering in 2021
A canvas print of traditional artwork, movie posters, or even a photograph that you have taken can be a great addition to the home. Especially during this time when we find ourselves indoors so much more.
Who wouldn’t want a nice splash of color on an otherwise bare wall. That’s why online canvas printing services with home delivery have proved so popular during the pandemic.
However, with so many competing services around, which one should you go for? Is Great Big Canvas the pick of the bunch?
That’s exactly what we are going to look into today. What follows is an in-depth look at Great Big Canvas and my recent experience ordering a print through them. Are they the guys to be using in 2021?
- Great Big Canvas Review Summary
- Who are Great Big Canvas?
- An Overview of Great Big Canvas’ Services
- Printing with Great Big Canvas
- Digital Images with Great Big Canvas
- Frames with Great Big Canvas
- How much do prints cost from Great Big Canvas?
- The Pros and Cons of Great Big Campus
Who are Great Big Canvas?
GreatBigCanvas was established in 2006 with about 20,000 images in its art collection. Its founding was inspired by the success of CanvasOnDemand, which is a brand that is owned by the parent company Circle Graphics, Incorporated.
CanvasOnDemand was founded in 2002 as an online source where a client could create a personalized digital image that was then printed on canvas.
Apart from these 2 brands -CanvasOnDemand and GreatBigCanvas – another brand owned by Circle Graphics, Incorporated, is ImageKind. Circle Graphics, Inc., acquired these brands in February 2015.
In 2009, GreatBigCanvas started to offer framed canvas prints, besides expanding its repertoire of canvas designs. In 2012, it has licensed over 100,000 images, and this allowed for the expansion of the canvas printing business.
By late 2015, it had expanded the production facilities for producing canvas prints, as well as increased the rate of print production.
Moving forward to 2019, it launched its patented impact-resistant canvas print that has a solid face. Currently, the headquarters of GreatBigCanvas is in Raleigh in North Carolina.
An Overview of Great Big Canvas’ Services
GreatBigCanvas is a digital printing company that specializes in converting inspirational wall art into wall-mountable canvas prints, as well as producing its patented (proprietary) solid-faced impact-resistant canvas print.
It also comes with a curated collection of art that one can choose from, and have the chosen art reproduced as a canvas print. Currently, this art collection has more than 730,000 art pieces.
Each art piece is designed by an artist and is licensed to the company, which means that one must buy the art before it is printed. Likewise, it allows the client to upload a high-resolution digital image for printing.
Printing is done using fade-resistant archival ink, and the size of the canvas print ranges from 24inches by 18inches to 60inches by 45inches.
It is owned by Circle Graphics, Incorporated, alongside ImageKind and CanvasOnDemand.
The collection of licensed digital art offered by GreatBigCanvas has been grouped into 40 different art types based on art styles, subject, décor style, and art movement.
This creates a large variety of art styles for the client to choose from. As expected, it prioritizes framed prints over frameless prints.
For frameless prints, they are produced using the gallery-wrapping technique that allows for the production of a full-bleed print.
The hand-crafted wooden frames can either be 0.75inches or 1.5inches thick., and either of them can be used for framing the solid-faced canvas print. the solid-faced print uses a matboard as its solid backing.
Relatedly, there are 3 options for wrapping the canvas print on the frame borders: colored border, image wrap, and mirror wrap.
Regarding pricing, it is determined by 4 key – the cost of the licensed art, canvas printing cost, cost of canvas material, and frame cost.
Printing with Great Big Canvas
GreatBigCanvas offers the client both digital image and canvas printing services. This means that the client just needs to choose an image and place an order of what needs to be printed.
Relatedly, it allows the client to upload his/her digital image to be printed. This business is not only limited to canvas printing, as it can print digital images onto pillow fabrics, paper boards, wall peels, and photographic paper.
It can therefore produce a mounted print. Even so, non-canvas printing is considered specialty printing, and this includes printing on poster paper, picture board, bus roll, banner, and fabric. Printing on paper allows for the production of posters, mounted prints, and peel-and-stick prints.
The museum-grade art offered by GreatBigCanvas is licensed digital art that has been printed on cotton canvas. This is guaranteed by the quality and resolution of the licensed digital art, as compared to the digital image uploaded by the client.
- Related Content: CanvasHQ Review – Best Canvas Printing Service?
Digital Images with Great Big Canvas
As mentioned, GreatBigCanvas does offer its own licensed digital arts for printing, as well as allows the client to upload his/her digital images.
The uploaded digital image must have a high resolution, or else it can be rejected by the software that profiles and sorts images for printing.
Licensed Art Collection
The collection of licensed digital art offered by GreatBigCanvas have been grouped into the following types based on art styles, subject, décor style, and art movement:
There are 15 types of art styles, each based on a different art design.
There are 10 different types of art, each based on a unique art subject.
There are 9 types of art styles, each based on a specific art movement.
Moreover, GreatBigCanvas allows one to sort the art collection based on artists. This allows one to see the art produced by an individual artist.
Frames with Great Big Canvas
Unlike other canvas printing services, GreatBigCanvas prioritizes framed prints over frameless prints. This means that frameless prints can be produced, and this is usually done using the gallery-wrapping technique which allows for the production of a full-bleed print.
Still, the priority is on framed canvas prints which have higher aesthetic and functional value than a frameless print.
The frames used are made of wood and have smooth edges.
There are two basic types of frames – the stylized frame and the plain frame with straight borders. The frame color adds an aesthetic value to the finished canvas print.
Moreover, the frame can feature bracings, either corner or center bracings.
Currently, the frames are graded into 2 based on their thickness:
- 0.75-inch – A standard thickness for a normal portrait.
- 1.5-inch – Suited for a large canvas print.
The key advantages of framing the canvas print are:
- The frame can be changed when needed.
- The frame color can be matched to the wall color.
- Frame design can be used to evoke an artistic mood. For instance, stylized frames add an intrinsic emotional mood to the print.
- Ease of Protection as is discussed below for the solid-faced canvas print. For the normal framed print, the print can be laminated between sheets of plexiglass before framing so that it has a dust cover (behind the print) and protective plexiglass (in front of the print).
Solid-Faced versus Normal Framed Canvas Print
There are two types of framed canvas prints made by GreatBigCanvas – the normal stretched framed print and the solid-faced print.
In the solid-faced print, the canvas print is first tautly laid over a black matboard which serves as the solid backing, and then this print is wrapped by a 1.25-inch thick wooden frame.
As expected, the mat board backing also serves as a dust cover, as well as makes the entire framed print to resist breakage when it falls on a hard surface, such as a marble or tiled floor, hence its characterization as an impact-resistant canvas print.
Usually, the frame used is a solid frame painted with walnut, black, or white colors.
In the normal framed print, the canvas is stretched onto the frame and then stapled onto it to ensure that it remains taut.
This means that there is no backing, and if the frame breaks, then the canvas print can be torn or damaged. Even so, this framing allows the canvas to be stretched on a stylized frame.
- Related Content: CanvasChamp Review: Quality Canvas Printing or Best Avoided?
GreatBigCanvas provides 3 options for wrapping the canvas print on the frame borders: colored border, image wrap, and mirror wrap.
In image wrap, there are 3 main options: rolled print, and 2 gallery wrap options – the thin gallery wrap and the thick gallery wrap for the -.75-inch and 1.5-inch thick frames respectively.
For the colored border, the main types of border colors used are black, white, and golden yellow. Even so, the client can choose the border color that (s)he desires.
For the framed canvas print to be hanged on the wall, mounting hardware needs to be used. The main types of mounting hardware shipped by GreatBigCanvas are the hanging hooks, easel stand, and sawtooth hanger.
As expected, the mounting hardware chosen is determined by the size of the frame, which is in turn usually determined by the size of the canvas print.
Usually, large frames are bulky and heavy, and thus require heavy-duty mounting hardware, while small frames can do well with hanging hooks or easel stands.
- Related Content: Paint Your Life Reviews – IS IT WORTH THE MONEY?
The use of licensed art narrows the choice of available sizes of canvas print as each art is created to fit a specific canvas size.
However, because clients can upload their digital images for printing, then GreatBigCanvas allows the client to choose a custom size for the canvas print.
The size of the canvas print is also influenced by its shape.
There are two main shapes of canvas prints that can be produced:
- Rectangular – This shape is suited for standalone canvas prints that can be oriented either vertically or horizontally.
- Square – This shape is suitable for canvas prints that are to be assembled together in a specific layout so as to create a multi-panel grid layout.
The placing of the canvas print on the wall is influenced by 2 factors – available wall size and desired orientation of the print. As mentioned, a single canvas print can be oriented vertically or horizontally on the wall.
This also applies if 2 or more canvas prints are hanged on the wall, and depending on the orientation, the layout of the art on the wall is created.
As mentioned earlier, GreatBigCanvas uses fade-resistant archival ink for printing the image, and this creates a fade-resistant canvas print with a museum-art artistic feel.
This also means that it cannot create true gloss and iridescent finishes on polyester canvas. Therefore, the two best finishes that GreatBigCanvas can produce are:
- Matte – This ultra-low glare finish is produced by using archival ink to print a high-contrast image on cotton canvas, thus preserving the image details while creating a printed art that evokes the artistic feel of museum art.
- Semi-gloss – This low-glare is produced by using archival ink to print an image on polyester canvas. It reflects just enough light to make the print mimic – or evoke the artistic feel of – an oil painting.
How much do prints cost from Great Big Canvas?
The price of prints varies as there are a few variables that have to be factored in. Namely, the size, whether it is a licensed piece of art, and the framing. When compared to the market overall, Great Big Canvas is good value for money. Their prices on some items are low when compared to the competition, because, one assumes, they are large enough to work on smaller margins.
At the time of writing this review, they even have a 40% off your total order (if you download the coupon). Using that makes them very hard to beat.
They allow payment with major credit cards or PayPal; the latter being very convenient for me. The company also provides good hands-on customer support via email and a very responsive live chat. There’s also phone support should you prefer.
- Related Content: A Short Introduction to Canvas Printing Technologies
The Great Big Campas Ordering Process
The process of requesting for a canvas print is quite straightforward, and it can be summarized as follows for a framed canvas print created from a licensed digital art.
One can then preview the chosen canvas print as it appears in a simulated virtual room. This allows his/her to determine whether the print meets his/her desires or not.
If it meets, one makes the payment and waits for the canvas print to be made and shipped to the address provided during registration.
The Pros and Cons of Great Big Campus
Overall, I love the fact Great Big Canvas has such a wide selection of canvas prints available. Browsing their website is a potential purchase overload. There is so much on there that I want. Being able to choose “Art by Room” is especially useful, (hello Man Cave).
The ordering process is smooth and the range of options with frames and finish is good too. Their current 40% off coupon offer is a masterstroke in getting you to buy.
If you are looking for a canvas print you will not be disappointed with these guys.
- Related Content: Where to Buy Tapestries Online (Best 10 Vendors in 2021)