Printing onto other materials such as canvas, acrylic, metal and even wood have become very popular over the past 5-10 years. Periodically I like to try out alternative printers to make sure I’m getting high quality prints at competitive prices. Having trialled a number of printers over the last six months I’m very happy with the canvas prints from Photobox, and here’s why:
Quality of the Canvas Material
There are different grades of quality when it comes to the actual canvas material itself and this is very evident when you get prints done from some of the cheaper printer shops. I did a Groupon voucher deal around Christmas and got some very cheap canvas prints done; the canvas material almost seemed plastic with a texture that was too smooth and glossy; I also wonder if this affected the colour saturation, which seemed too saturated in some cases. Photobox use a much better canvas material (I ordered the canvas lite option) and the quality matches that of other more expensive print shops I’ve tried.
The Frame and Wrap
The frames on all of the printers I tried were comparable and differed very little. The wrap itself was where the quality varied. The canvases received from Photobox were neatly wrapped on the wrap, with neat folds and edges. I suspect the neatness of the fold is linked to the quality of the canvas as I suspect cheaper canvas materials don’t stretch as well so it’s harder to get a tight wrap.
Image Quality, Sharpness and Colour Balance
We have to accept that image quality, sharpness and colour balance is also down to the quality and resolution of the original image and therefore to conduct a scientific review you’d have to send the same image to a number of printers and compare the results, which depending on how you do it might also be somewhat subjective. My own subjective judgement of the prints from Photobox was that the colour balance matched that of the original digital files that I sent and retained all the detail. Some other canvas prints I’ve had done with other companies came back a bit soft and with over-saturated colours, perhaps due to the inks they use or perhaps they tweaked the image prior to printing. Photobox really nailed it and the images looked exactly as I expected them to, with great detail and colour rendition on all the canvases ordered, right up to 30×20 inches.
The verdict is really very simple. Photobox offers excellent value for money, providing high quality canvas prints at a reasonably competitive price (even more so when they have an offer on). They are now my go to provider of canvas prints as well as photographic prints.