Convention season is in the air and that means many artists are looking for quality canvas printers to print their wares so that they have a nice premium option on offer for their customers that prefer something more substantial than a photo print.
Ordering Canvas Prints - A Brief HistoryHowever, printing can be tricky and it's difficult to know which online place to trust considering the massive amount of canvas printers out there! One must also consider whether to buy unstretched rolled canvas prints (which is usually the cheaper option) that will need to be stretched over frames requiring you to buy the frame pieces separately OR pay the same printing service to stretch the print around a frame for you, which is usually the priciest option.
Personally, I do not like the tedium of having to stretch canvas across frames myself. That's time I'd rather spend painting, which is why I wanted to find a good source for stretched prints. If you're into the rolled option, however, definitely check out this video tutorial that will teach you how to measure and stretch the canvas. The source I use for stretcher bars was dickblick.com.
The Ordering ExperienceI decided to take a chance on canvaschamp.com. Their Amazon reviews were very positive and while I did not require the help of customer support, their reviewers talk highly of how fast they respond to inquiries.
Their interface for uploading work is top notch! Their preview system allows you to easily add mirrored or solid edges for gallery wraps. Lamination and multiple hanging options are offered at an additional cost, with the default option of metal hangers provided for free. I recommend getting lamination wherever you order from since the corners of canvas wear away easily if they are not sealed.
The only red flag is that they accept refunds on a case by case basis and state in their Terms that they do not usually offer refunds if colors come out incorrectly because they have faith in their high quality equipment to produce the right colors.
UPDATE 6-22-2015 - The Refund Experience
There was a print with a damaged corner in my second batch of canvas prints. I sent photos of the damage to customer service and they had replied and shipped out my replacement print within 24 hours! They were courteous and fast and it was very easy to open a refund case by going to my order history and clicking a link on my order.
Also, I got to keep the damaged print instead of having to pay to send it back,which was a relief! I was very impressed by the speed and effectiveness of their customer service.
The ProductI ordered an 18x24 inch pre-stretched canvas print of my Kushiel's Dart piece. It arrived in a well packed box which I intend to re-use to send this looks like it will stand up to reuse. The print is tidily stretched with a masonite board backing in addition to the standard wood frame. They included screws and a guard to cover the hanging materials so as not to damage your walls.
Printing QualityThe printing quality is top notch! I lightened my art in Photoshop using Levels as prints usually come out darker when printed and laminated. My only complaint is the print seems less saturated than I would like, but I believe I can fix this by also upping the color saturation on my art the next time I order. All in all, the printing is high quality and clear!
The Verdict = Highly Recommended!Canvas Champ provides an affordable price with good quality printing and fast shipping. My print was shipped from overseas via Next Day airmail and it was on my doorstep within 4 days. Other services I have used include BestofMaineCorp, which was cheaper by comparison, but it doesn't measure up to the fast shipping, fast turnaround, responsive customer support, and intuitive interface of CanvasChamp.
Don't forget to sign up to the CanvasChamp newsletter as well where they frequently send out coupon codes. EDIT: Looks like Groupon has a promotion going on with Canvas Champ as well here! https://www.groupon.com/deals/canvas-champ