Whether you are looking to buy a piece of canvas art for your home or if you are looking to get one of your own pictures printed on canvas, you will no doubt have searched on the internet to find a reputable company that offer canvas printing. After you have compared a few canvas printers you will have noticed how prices vary, sometimes quite a bit, for canvas prints of the same sizes. So what is the reason for the price difference of canvas art?
One of the main reasons why canvases can vary in price is the quality of the printed canvas on offer. You might find as much as £30 difference between canvas printers for the same size canvas. There are various types of frames, canvas material and printers which will affect the cost of the finished canvas so if you are looking for a high quality canvas that will last for many years it's best not to go for the cheap canvases. For the best print quality you need good quality resolution images to print from, hi-grade branded inks, quality canvas material and large format printers that are calibrated correctly to ensure optimal colour range, clarity and contrast. Without these the images will print badly and you will find yourself with a sub-standard canvas.
Canvas art is mounted on wooden frames known in the trade as stretcher bars. These are made specifically for canvas frames and come in a range of sizes to suit most canvas proportions. The depth of the stretcher bars can vary – some are 18mm deep whilst others are 38mm deep. We prefer the deeper ones as it helps the canvas picture stand out on the wall better, giving a better sense of depth to the picture. Naturally the deeper frames cost a bit more. Additionally, wooden framed that are sourced responsibly from regulated forests will cost more such as FSC approved wood.
Some companies sell canvas prints on a canvas replacement material. This can be polyester material or other sub-standard media which does not look as good close-up. The best canvases are printed on 100% cotton canvas which yields the best print quality. For a better finish you should look for canvases that have a UV varnish applied after the ink has dried. This offers a slight glaze and protects the canvas from sunlight and dirt, allowing you to wipe the canvas surface with a damp cloth if necessary. Also check to see if the canvas comes with the necessary hanging kit – you don't want to have to go out and buy a canvas kit before you can put it up!
Canvas Print Run
If you are buying a piece of canvas art you may find the larger home furnishing outlets offer these at very competitive prices. This is because they are mass produced in places such as China and shipped across to the UK. Not only does this mean the canvas picture is available all over the UK, but the printing procedure may not be as good as it is over here. It also produces a nasty carbon footprint! Buying a canvas print over here from a UK online canvas gallery will probably mean it is printed to order by highly skilled craftsmen. It is also likely to be a more limited edition piece as it is not printed in it's thousands. Exclusivity does affect the cost!
When buying a canvas print which uses an artists or photographers piece of work on you will be paying a bit more for this as (hopefully) the company selling the canvas will be paying the photographer a percentage of the profits for the sale. This is great as it helps support the artist and the money doesn't get lost in a large corporate business. Photographers who sell their work via online galleries will usually get more money back than if their image was bought by a large home furnishing store.
Always check what the cost of delivery is before you buy your canvas. Some printing stores offer free delivery of canvas and other wall prints while others will hit you for a delivery charge when you go through to the checkout. This can add to the total cost of your piece of art so be wary about this. If you are looking to get a canvas picture shipped to another country this may cost quite a bit due to the shipping charges of such large items.
These are some of the main reasons why the prices of canvas art differs so much when buying online. Choose wisely and you will have a beautiful canvas picture that will hang on your wall for many years without any trouble at all. Prints on canvas are a great way to enhance your walls so have a look around and you are bound to find that perfect piece of canvas to fall in love with. We have hundreds of images available in many different styles, all of which can be purchased on canvas. Visit the homepage for the complete canvas art range.
Jason Wickens wrote this article for Fotoviva Art Prints.