Among the different sizes of large format photo printing, canvas printing has grown enormously in recent years due to a very good quality / price ratio and a qualitative result. This is also the first medium that I used to print my photos and two prints on canvas still sit in my living room, after several years of hanging.

Curious to know a little more, especially about the different options and good practices to know for a photo on canvas, I got some information from the online printer PosterXXL , which also realizes this type of print on canvas .

Presentation of the print on canvas

As its name suggests, canvas printing uses a cloth fabric (usually linen, or also polyester fabric) on which the photo is printed. This photo is then mounted, stretched and stapled on a wooden frame that will serve as a structure and support for fixing the canvas to the wall.

One can easily draw a parallel with the painter’s canvas, except that the fabric used is specially designed for printing and a little different from the painting canvas.

Finishes and borders

The prints on canvas are often proposed with different finishes, especially on the edges of the canvas. Indeed, it is extended and stapled to the back of the frame. It is possible to choose generally between two finishes: printed edges, or plain edges (of a color to be defined :

With the edges printed, the image goes around the frame, for a more immersive effect. By choosing a solid white edge for example, you decide that your entire image is on the face of the canvas. This is a matter of taste, and for testing both, I prefer when the edges of the picture are stretched on the sides. Note that some printers print the original image on the borders while others stretch the last pixel on either side of the image : Slim Wallets from Kisetsu

Good news, the majority of the printers allows to visualize the final rendering, including the borders, and makes it possible to reframe the image if necessary

Border 2 cm against 4 cm border

Then, different thicknesses of frames exist, again according to the printers. We can go from 2 cm to 4 cm. The 4 cm canvas is recommended for formats over 80 cm long, in order to provide better stability and gallery rendering.

Finally, it is possible to integrate a canvas inside an American box (a wooden frame without glass) to give it more cachet. This option adds an extra cost to your image, but offers a great rendering.

Rendering colors and details

According to PosterXXL, “the images, printed on canvas, will have warmer tones than a classic photographic reproduction”. This is a point to consider when choosing the image to print. Other printers also indicate that in order for the contrast of the image to be preserved, a print on canvas requires a larger ink layer than on a photo print. Despite this, it is possible that some details disappear, especially in dark areas.

On this point, if you want to restore fine details from a photo, canvas printing is not necessarily the best solution and smooth surface media such as alu-dibond or plexi are preferred. On the other hand, if you print portraits or landscapes, these images, on canvas, can give the impression of having been painted. think

Size and deco tip

It is possible to print on canvas in many different sizes and sizes, from 30x20cm up to 180x120cm (it’s really big).

When choosing the size of the canvas, think about the definition of your image , but also the distance at which the image will be appreciated. A photo printed on canvas, in large format, should not be observed too closely, as you would not observe a mural at 20 cm.

A little deco tip: instead of opting for a single canvas, you can choose several small sizes, and why not different sizes, to create a small home art gallery. You can arrange the paintings in an orderly or disordered way and will be able to take advantage of your smartphone photos for small formats.

Here are some ideas proposed by the photographer Angela Disrud:

Maintenance tips

Printing on canvas, such as a paper print or painting, must be treated with care. Despite the use of ever more durable inks, PosterXXL gives us the following tips:

hang it somewhere where it is not exposed to sunlight or hot weather

protect it from splashing or moisture

clean it from time to time with a soft, dry cloth (avoid damp cloths).

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