Canvas Prints vs. Photo Paper For Personalised Prints

October 05, 2020 6 min read

canvas versus photo paper for personalised prints

Canvas Prints vs. Photo Paper For Personalised Prints

Should you choose canvas prints for personalised wall art, or should you choose photo paper? There are, of course, pros and cons for each choice. Here's a quick run down:

Photo Paper - Pros...

The main advantages of using photo paper for personalised wall art are:

  • Beautiful! Today's professional photo papers, like the ones we use for all elevencorners prints, are excellent - they are clean, they show colours extremely well and the printing is lovely and crisp. 
  • Inexpensive. Photo papers are the lowest cost option for printing, packaging and posting (which means that you pay the lowest price for the print)
  • Well Protected. Prints on photo paper are well protected in the post, whether flat-packed or in a tube. Cardboard tubes mean that your print arrives rolled up, but this offers maximum protection while it's winging its way towards you in the postal system.
  • Very Flexible Display Options. A personalised print on photo paper is something you can choose to frame however you want. All elevencorners prints come in standard sizes, which means they'll fit into standard size frames that are easy to find online or in the shops. So it means you can choose a frame to fit with your existing decor or to match the colours of the print. And you can play with swapping pictures and frames around (it's a really quick way to change the look of you home, and it doesn't cost anything!)
  • Different Sizes. Prints on photo paper are available in lots of different sizes, so you can choose the right size for the right print and the right size for wherever you're going to display it.
  • Long Lasting. Personalised prints on professional photo paper retain their colour well and look good for a very long time!
  • Frames Separate The Print.  A frame does a great job of separating the picture it displays from other distractions (e.g. if your print is displayed as part of a picture wall). The frame keeps the viewer's eye from drifting away to look at other things.
  • Finish. There are dozens of different photo papers around - matte, satin, glossy, textured finish, etc, etc. There's far more choice than with canvas prints. However, although there's lots of choice, for personalised prints, whoever you're ordering from will only have a limited choice. Why? Because they've selected the most appropriate paper for each print. For example, most elevencorners prints are on matte paper because that's how they look their best.

Photo Paper - Cons...

The main disadvantages of using photo paper for personalised prints are:

  • You Need To Frame It. Those brilliantly flexible display options also mean that you have to decide how to frame it. You need to choose the frame and then fit the picture into the frame - not a lot of bother, but it still needs to be done! And actually, when you put a print into a frame, there's that lovely moment when you turn it over to see how it looks! That's a priceless moment!
  • Rolled Up. The flip-side of great protection in the mail system is that you might have to give your print a little while to unroll before it's easy to frame - you can do this by simply lying it on a flat, clean surface for an hour or two. 
  • Not The Best Use Of Space. If you have limited space on your wall and you want to cover as much of it as possible with the image on your print, then adding a frame means your maximum image size smaller (because the frame itself has to take up some of that space). You can use a narrow frame to make the most of your space. 
  • Fragility. Until your print is framed, it's fragile! Be careful that the cat doesn't jump on it and that it doesn't get picked up by sticky fingers! We recommend keeping the print in the packaging it arrives in until you're ready to pop it in a frame.
  • Large Frames Can be Heavy! If you have a large size print and you put it in a large size frame, it can be quite heavy - so make sure it's fixed well to the wall!
  • Reflections And Glare. Be aware that some framed prints (e.g. those with glass in the frame) reflect internal room lights off the glass. This can be annoying or distracting! You can sometimes remove the glass but this leaves the paper print open to fingerprints and other accidental damage (e.g. water spillage).
  • Frame Price. Frames can be low cost items, but they can also be very high cost items! Check that the frame you have in mind for your print doesn't take the price beyond what you want to pay. 

 

Canvas Prints - Pros...

The main advantages of printing custom personalised wall art on canvas are: 

  • Beautiful! Yes, canvas prints are beautiful too! Great colours and crisp printing!
  • Easy To Hang. Canvas prints come ready to hang, and they're very easy to hang.
  • Light Weight. Compared to the weight of a framed print of the same size, a canvas print is lighter. So, especially for larger sizes, you don't have to worry quite so much that it'll pull the hook out of the wall. Do make sure it's fixed well, though, we don't want any accidents!
  • Long Lasting.  Canvas prints are very long lasting, just like prints on photo paper.
  • Maximum Image Size. A canvas print uses all its wall space for the image printed on it - framed prints inevitably use some of their wall space for the frame.
  • Distraction Free Image. Canvas prints place the emphasis on the image because there's nothing else (i.e. a frame) to distract the eye from the image.
  • No Reflections! The print can be enjoyed without the annoyance and distraction of reflections or glare.
  • Stand Out. Since canvases are less common than framed pictures, canvases often stand out more. Canvas prints stand proud of the wall by a small about, and this is enough to draw attention to them.

 

Canvas Prints - Cons...

Disadvantages of canvas prints:

  • Can't Be Switched. Unlike framed personalised prints, you can't switch it out of the frame and into another one (because there is no frame!). Switching picture frames around (e.g. putting a picture into a different frame) can help you see the picture in a new light. Swapping frames is also a quick and easy way to alter the look of the decor in your home. 
  • Cost? Compared to a print on photo paper, a canvas costs more. But once you add in the price of a frame, prices are much closer - and in many (most?) cases, the canvas will be a lower price. 
  • Protection. Custom wall art printed on photo paper and displayed in a frame is well-protected - if there's an accident, the frame usually takes the damage and the picture remains in great condition. But, even though canvases are pretty robust, if there's an accident and your canvas gets knocked off the wall, it (and the image printed on it) can get damaged.
  • Sizes. Canvas prints generally come in a more limited range of sizes compared to prints on photo paper.
  • Finish. Usually, you only get one choice of finish on canvas prints.
  • Display Options. Displaying your canvas is in some ways more limited than with photo paper. Why? Because prints on paper need to be framed, and you'll have an enormous range of frames to choose from. You can frame a canvas, but most people choose not to.

 

Which To Choose - Photo Paper or Canvas?

They are both are great options. These days print quality and colour reproduction is excellent for canvas and for photo paper.

We think that a lot of people probably don't consider canvas prints, perhaps because of the higher upfront cost of the print. But the total cost - once you've bought a frame as well - is not very different, and a canvas print will in many cases have a lower cost. 

 

Personalised Prints For Gifts

If you're sending a personalised print as a gift to someone, we think you should seriously consider a canvas print.

Why?

  • They're ready to hang, right out of the box.
  • They ensure a great 'reveal moment' for whoever's receiving it - they can hold it in their hands and enjoy it without having to unroll it first, and without having to take care not to bend it.
  • For the person you've given it to, a canvas print is really easy to carry round the house and decide the best place to display it. And they don't have any extra expense or decisions about how to get it framed!

 

Custom Geometric Art

Most elevencorners custom geometric art prints are available on canvas because we think it really suits this image-based wall art - it's really striking when you unpack it and each print has a great story behind its creation. 

 

Browse all elevencorners personalised prints


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