I have a special place in my heart for the porous texture of canvas as I grew up watching my Mom paint on it with oil. It was always amazing to see a blank space gradually transform into a work of art. Up until now, I'd never tried printing a photo on it, always opting for the traditional framed and matted print. As such, I was intrigued when Mike at Canvas 4 Life contacted me about trying one. He offered me a free 16x20 in exchange for an honest blog review.
As an added bonus, there's a special promo code for you to save 25% off your own canvas. Just use this code at checkout:
It was actually fun to progress through the variety of options Canvas 4 Life offers. You can choose to print as one single canvas, or with two or three separate panels. This is refreshingly simple to do as the site provides a visual example of how the final product will print. There was even a slick 3-D viewing option which gives a 360 degree look.
You can set the canvas depth to .75" or 1.5" with the click of a mouse. Then, you select the way you want the image to wrap on the sides. The image can "bleed" to the absolute ends of the canvas or you can choose to fill the sides with a solid color. I chose the "Mirror Bleed" so no part of the image was cut off, but rather mirrored at the outer portion so it appears to continue all the way around the edges.
UV Coated and Ready to Hang
The canvas isn't merely glued, but actually stretched to the correct tension across the entire print dimension. It can be left uncoated, or protected with a matte, or satin finish. I went with the matte finish as it "provides strong UV protection and is a good choice for images with an abundance of darker colors and deep blacks."
The ordering process is painless with a simple upload feature that verifies if the file size is sufficient for the print size you choose. I uploaded a 13mb JPEG file sized to 16x20 at 300dpi. The image is one of my favorites from an overlook high above the little Tuscan town of Vagliagli.
Fast and Free Shipping
I placed the order on Tuesday night and chose the standard shipping option. It arrived just two days later on Thursday via FedEx. The packaging was very secure as the entire canvas was thoroughly protected in bubble wrap and secured within the well-sealed box. Best of all, their shipping is free!
I am a stickler for details when it comes to printing and have used many pro labs over the years. I must admit, I was skeptical about how sharp a print would look on canvas. All doubts were completely erased the moment I removed the bubble wrap. The canvas is absolutely stunning with accurate colors, proper contrast, and sharp details throughout. It has a painterly appearance, but still retains the original qualities of the photograph.
Price is Right
Canvas 4 Life is priced aggressively with most products far less expensive than their competitors. As a valued reader of this blog, you also receive the special 25% savings with the coupon code: ccorphoto25
This is a fun and beautiful way to get your work out of the depths of your hard drive, and onto a wall for all to enjoy. The quality is so impressive I will be using the canvas to hang in an upcoming gallery show in Manhattan (details to come). I know I'll be using Canvas 4 Life again, and encourage you to give them a try as well.