In the past, getting a portrait of yourself by hiring an artist was something that only the select classes could afford – it was costly and time consuming at the same time, not mentioning the long hours spent seating in front of a painter without being able to move. Nowadays you can take hundreds of digital pictures, select which one you like the most, the position, the color, the background, even an effect, store it in your mobile or digital camera and order a canvas print online. Quite easy, quick and reasonable, however there square measure many factors to contemplate once ordering these sort of prints. Below is a few background on techniques used once printing canvas prints from pictures.
The foremost type of canvas prints is named ‘inkjet art’ and involves exploitation massive format inkjet printers that use pigment repository inks for printing the image on canvas materials. The resolution of the resulting prints can be remarkable, the maximum being 2880 x 1440 DPI (dots per inch) at the time of writing this article. The pigment is a specific type of ink that ensures both stable color gamut representation and resistance for UV rays and other external factors like dust and moisture.
Let us explore the key factors in buying photos on canvas prints online:
Cotton or Poly-Cotton Canvas?
The canvas may be either pure cotton or a mix between cotton and polyester, most canvas suppliers state on their websites which type of canvas they use. Generally the pure cotton canvas prints are more expensive. The pure cotton canvas gives the print a more natural look, the texture appears closer to the traditional painting, whereas the poly-cotton mix gives the picture more plastic or linen look appearance.
Once the picture is printed, the material is varnished and stretched on a stretcher frame, this is a specific type of wooden timber frame that has wedges in each corner which allows you to re-tension ( re-stretch) the canvas material at anytime by pushing these wedges towards the frame’s corners. My advice is that you shouldn’t buy a canvas print that is just sticked on a wooden panel, having it properly framed the traditional way that involves stretching on the wedged timber frame ensures durability of the print, as the canvas may appear a bit loose after some time and you need those wedges to be able to re-stretch it again.
What photos are suitable for printing on canvas?
Photo Resolution: The quality of the canvas print is directly proportional with the resolution of your photo. Generally you shouldn’t submit a photo that has less than 250KB, as it may appear ‘pixelated’, even on a 10x10cm print. When choosing an online canvas shop make sure that their website has a photo checking tool, once you upload your photo the tool tells you whether the resolution of your photo is suitable for the canvas size you selected.
Dimensions: If you know the dimensions of your photo (most Mac and Windows systems show this info in the photo properties box) you can determine the resulting print resolution by dividing the number of pixels your photo has by the number of inches the canvas print size selected by you has. For example if your photo has 5000 pixels horizontally, and you want a print that has a width of 50 centimeters, the resulting print will have around 5000pixels/20inches=250 DPI horizontal resolution. The same calculation applies to vertical resolution. A print that has at least 250 DPI, on canvas, is a fairly good looking print.
The calculation above represents the true resolution, however the professional printers using various software can ‘enrich’ photos that have lower resolution, there are several algorithms that actually enlarge a photo and increase the resolution at the same time by artificially creating pixels, the resulting print however may present patterns like minor squares or circles.
Cropping or Resizing?
A good online canvas print shop should present you the layout of the resulting canvas before you buy. Because there are several aspect ratios that photos have (4:3, 3:2 for example – the aspect ratio is number of pixels horizontally divided by number of pixels vertically), your photo may need some cropping and without seeing what the designer is going to crop from your photo you obviously run the risk of getting the print that you don’t want.
If your photo has an aspect ratio of 3:2 and you select for example an 40x30cm canvas, the photo will be either cropped or resized to that dimension. As mentioned before, when you order the website should give you the control and allow you to crop or resize the photo the way you want it to see on the canvas.
Who takes the risk?
Canvas prints made from your photos are classified as personalized goods, you should check the seller’s terms and conditions referring to returns and cancellations. Not all sellers will reprint your canvas unless is damaged. Unlike with other items purchased online, where you have a specific time period during with you can test the item and return it if you don’t like it, with the personalized items the situation is different.
The pure fact that you don’t like the print doesn’t give you immediately the right to return it, so read carefully the terms and conditions of the seller. Even if they provide a return or refund in case the print arrives faulty, make sure that they describe exactly what a faulty item is. For example if your picture is cropped in a different way than you expected- you would consider the print faulty, however the printer may argue and not recognize this as a fault.
Salman Zafar is an acclaimed blogger, editor, publisher and digital marketer. He is the founder of Blogging Hub, a digital publishing portal with wide following across the world.