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Acrylic vs. Canvas Prints - What's the difference?

Acrylic Prints

Canvas prints and acrylic prints are two of the most popular styles of photo printing today, and they both lend themselves to different types of photographs, and fit in better with different styles of home decor. In this article, we’ll go over the main differences between the two. 

The first type of acrylic print is known as the face mount, which involves multiple layers within the final product, and is also the more expensive style of acrylic printing. An image is printed onto a piece of paper, which is then sealed between two layers of acrylic, black or white behind the photograph, and a clear piece in front. Before sealed the photograph is sprayed with air and inspected for dust that will be visible before being permanently sealed between the two pieces of acrylic. The top, clear layer of acrylic can come in a couple of depths, such as ⅛’’ ¼”, or even ½” thicknesses. This means that you are viewing your photograph printed onto paper, through a clear piece of acrylic. In the right lightning situations, the properties of acrylic can make the paper photograph appear very vibrant and sharp. 

The second, and cheaper style of acrylic printing is sometimes called a plexiglass print, or a direct acrylic print. This is where the photo is printed directly onto the acrylic material, and applying a black or white backing to the acrylic. The face mount technique, while more expensive, is usually the more desirable method of acrylic printing, because a photo almost always looks better printed onto a paper-like material, rather than the smooth surface of acrylic. When ordering an acrylic print, it can be hard to know what kind of method a specific printer is using. Printing directly onto the back of a clear piece of acrylic has become increasingly popular because it’s a cheaper way to still get the depth that traditional face mount printing provides. 

Acrylic prints have also been becoming more popular in presenting modern art galleries, because of their striking presentation and ability to make colors look vibrant and photographs look sharp and clear. Professional photographers also gravitate towards this style of printing for some photographs. 

The unique properties of acrylic also make for a very durable final product. While it is sometimes prone to chipping, acrylic is very shatter resistant and much lighter than glass. However it does share the unfortunate glare and reflective properties of glass. 

Acrylic Photo Prints

Acrylic vs. canvas has become an increasingly popular debate in the photo printing world over the last few years. And ultimately, like most things, it comes down to personal preference. Some photographers and artists like the modern, futuristic, “new school” look of acrylic prints and are willing to pay a premium to get it. However, there is also a large group of people that still appreciate the classic, timeless feel and characteristics of a canvas print. You guessed it, we’re some of those people! 

We love printing onto canvas because of that old time feel that it provides. Our custom cotton blended canvas combines the classic feel of canvas with outstanding image sharpness and clarity. Also, for home decor applications, we prefer canvas prints because they tend to fit in better with typical home decor. In general canvas prints contribute to a more warm, cozy environment, as opposed to the sharp edges and ultra modern style of acrylic prints. This doesn’t mean that you’ll sacrifice image quality when you go with canvas. 

All of the materials that go into our award winning canvas prints are 100% sourced in the USA, and the important responsibility of printing and constructing your canvases is entrusted to our amazing production team full of hardworking American employees right here in Asheville North Carolina. Also, we’re so proud of our products and confident that you’ll love your canvas that each one is backed by a 100% money back guarantee/ 

The most important part of a canvas print is the canvas itself. Our canvases combine the old school look and feel of canvas texture, along with modern printing techniques to provide for a canvas print with outstanding sharpness and bold, vivid colors. The process of creating a custom canvas print from CanvasPrint.com starts in Austin, Texas, where our proprietary cotton-blended canvas is woven. Canvas printing sometimes gets a bad wrap from companies like our competitors that use mostly polyester canvas. Polyester is not as elegant as cotton, and does not absorb color as well as canvas, resulting in low contrast and muted prints. We utilize almost all cotton in our canvas, to provide a saturated, bright, and lifelike color in all of our products. Our pursuit of the perfect canvas print doesn’t stop at just canvas though! We use water resistant solvent inks that are both industry leading in color reproduction and environmentally friendly. Finally, after your canvas has been printed, it needs to be stretched over a frame to create the final product. Our custom, hand-made to order pine wood frames, like our inks, are also more environmentally friendly than the MDF board material our competitors use, while being lighter and sturdier. Finally, your canvas will be stretched across it’s frame using an automated stretching machine, ensuring the perfect tension every single time. 

What Is The Difference Between Acrylic and Canvas Prints

Ultimately, if you’re still deciding on acrylic or canvas photo printing, there’s no definitive, subjective answer on which is better. When it comes down to it, the better choice is going to be whichever one fits your specific photograph, and the room where you plan on hanging it. Acrylic prints have been making gains in the modern art world because of their futuristic and modern look, while canvas has a better hold in the home decor space because of their classic look and feel.  Also, canvas is the more accessible medium, allowing everyday people, not just professionals, to create gallery quality prints from their very own photos. 

CanvasPrints.com was founded with this thought in mind. Our sole mission is to provide canvas prints that are unmatched in both quality and price. We also make the entire process easy and worry free. Upload your photo today to see why CanvasPrints.com is the best place to turn your favorite memories and photos into custom canvas wall art! Choose from any of our 1,000 canvas sizes, custom wall displays, collages, or even our brand new canvas triptychs!


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