Canvas Wraps


       Canvas wraps are a beautiful way to showcase your favorite shots in a classy 3-dimensional way.  They are produced by printing the image onto a canvas which is then stretched over a wooden frame and stapled to the back.  Variables affecting the overall quality of the product include the inks, type of canvas, printer quality, canvas tightness, and backings.

       Like anything else in today's market, canvas wrap producers cover the entire spectrum of quality.  The recent boost in popularity of canvas wraps as artistic enhancements to home decor has prompted the formation of literally dozens of labs specializing in canvas wraps.  And like anything else in today's market, you get what you pay for.  I've done the research and ordered test prints from multiple labs in order to bring you reasonable options. 

      I currently offer a choice between two different canvas producers, and I'd like to explain the differences so you can make a choice that suits your needs.

 


 

The pictures below are of canvas prints I ordered from each lab.  These are meant to give you a visual impression of the construction - don't attempt to judge the canvas print quality from these pictures.  Click each collage to see a larger view, and scroll below for a text comparison.


 

Costco

(click pic to enlarge)
 

MPix Pro

(click pic to enlarge)
 


       

      Lab Comparison: Construction

      Costco MPix Pro
      Canvas is more loosely stretched Canvas tightly stretched; very taut
      Interior wooden frame Interior wooden frame (hidden by backing, so cannot compare to Costco)
      No backing - interior frame and canvas fringes visible Hard black backing hides interior frame and canvas fringes
      Sawtooth hanger Sawtooth hanger on smaller sizes, wire hanger on larger
      External framing is available External framing NOT available
      Bumper pads on lower 2 corners Bumper pads on lower 2 corners (no difference)

       

      Lab Comparison: Picture Quality

      Costco MPix Pro
      Colors somewhat dull, especially in comparison to MPix Colors vibrant and true; very life-like
      Fine detail and sharpness is lost Fine details are preserved and sharp
      Glossier finish results in glare Matte finish reduces glare substantially

       

      Lab Comparison: Prices - unframed and 1.5" deep*

      *MPix Pro also offers more expensive 2.5" deep prints, which are more expensive

      Costco MPix Pro

      18x24" -- $65

      20x30" -- $80

      24x32" -- $82

      16x24" -- $125

      20x30" -- $130

      24x36" -- $200

      Costco is about 50-60% cheaper than MPix Pro, but exact comparisons are difficult because most print dimensions offered by each lab are slightly different.


       

      Summary

      Costco provides cheaper prints but they are less vibrant, a tad too glossy, less sharp and less "neat" in the overall construction.  Paying 50-60% more for an MPix Pro print will ensure your colors are true, the details are sharp, and the overall construction looks professional and tidy.

      Truth be told, if you've never ordered a canvas before and only buy Costco prints, you'll probably be pleased -- they are nice at a standard viewing distance.  But once you see an MPix Pro print, you'll really feel the difference.  If you plan on viewing your canvas from less than six feet, the detail of Costco prints may leave you wanting, while MPix Pro prints will leave you gazing happily and noticing previously overlooked details.

      Whatever you decide, make that choice with pride.  After all, this is going on your wall!

       

       

       

       

      *These comparisons are my own personal impressions from the samples I have seen and are neither validated nor contested by any other authority.  If you crave additional, in depth reviews, try Google. :)