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Our services have been used by many professional photographers. We are very proud to be able to serve trade customers - it shows that our approach and fully colour calibrated worklfow is up to the highest standard they expect on their canvas prints. Most of our trade canvas printing customer have used some other companies in the past. Once they have tried our service - they have stayed with us since. This is very reassuring - but we do not sit back and relax - we are constantly searching for new developments with regards to the canvas photo printing. We are also keen to accept new trade canvas printing customers and fulfill their requirements.  Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any queries. We would happily work even with your preferred substrate - any inkjet printable media. With all new canvas material we will produce .icc colour profiles free of charge and also send them to you to enable soft proofing on your computer monitor. We would also gladly sent some test prints of your own images printed on canvas free of charge. This way you can judge the quality of our service without any cost to you. Please remember that all our canvas prints are varnished with museum grade varnish and come ready to hang. We do not charge extra for these extras as a lot of other companies do. Please contact us for more information and to order your sample canvas prints.

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There are many views on what image resolution is actually best for canvas printing. Let's have a closer look at this issue. In general canvas prints are designed to be looked at from quite a distant position. If that is the case we can get away with very low resolution providing the viewing distance is substantial. Most of outdoor advertising is printed from images even as low as 50 dpi - as they are designed to be seen from 10 metres+ away. But when you actually look closer you can see dots making up the image quite clearly. At this stage we need to distinguish between original image resolution and printing resolution as they are two different things. In traditional printing image is always rasterized - it is converted into series of dots with varying size usually in four colours - cyan, magenta, yellow and black. These dots placed close to each other bounce off certain wavelenghts of light creating in this way different colours. The size of the dots is determined by lpi (lines per inch) and is directly responsible for the output resolution.

In canvas printing similar process takes place - printer internally calculates where to place the dot from one of the eight colour heads and the size of it is determined by the output resolution selected by the user. But this still isn't the most important aspect - as we have control over it and can always make sure that it is done right.

There is one resolution which we as a company printing your photo do not have influence on - it is the resolution at which you send us your photo - which is in most cases same as captured by your digital camera. I have already mentioned that on our blog Taking better photos for canvas prints. It is always most sensible to choose best resolution in your camera as it may be beneficial in the future. Of course better resolution means more space on the memory card but these are really coming down in prices so honestly speaking it shouldn't be an excuse :-).

The hard formula for the canvas printing is to have 100 dots per inch (dpi). So for 12"x16" canvas ideally we should have 1200x1600 pixels image. More on resolution also on our Canvas Resolution Guide page. Your image contains specific amount of pixels which predefines the right size when it comes to printing. It has been a rule of thumb that on average 100 dpi should be optimal value.

In our experience more flexible approach also works. As canvas prints are intended to be viewed at significant difference (not less than 0.5m) even smaller than 100dpi resolution is also fine. It also depends a lot on actual photo contents i.e. if a subject has lots of sharp details then enlarging it will cause loss of quality. Our new canvas prints ordering system is actually calculating effective resolution based on your selected canvas size as well as magnification level. It  helps to assess very quickly what size will be appropriate for your photo. Our staff always checks your particular image even after order have been placed and we will always contact you if we think that selected size may not be appropriate.

Here is a example of impact on photo quality caused by enlarging the photo above its optimal resolution.

Peacock image showing how enlarging photo will affect canvas printing

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It is quite amazing to see that many of our competitiors still do not use or even discourage from use special type of varnish to protect your canvas prints. As you can imagine the only reason for that is purely cost and additional time required to apply the varnish. On other hand I would strongly advice not to have a canvas print which has not been varnished.  There is more information on that in many places on our website -  Canvas varnish.  Just to summarize here are main advantages of using canvas varnish:

- it protects againt UV, mould, mechanical damages

- makes canvas print damp proof - they can be easily cleaned with a damp cloth,

- it extends their life and stops colours from fading

- it enhances colours and contrast of you canvas.

Also to find out all on this subject throughout the website please type 'canvas varnish' on the front page. This will find all entries containing advice on usage of varnish on canvas photo prints.

Please remember that not only we always use varnish on your canvas but also offer 4 different types - Gloss, Matt, Semigloss and Semimatt. In most cases gloss/semigloss finish is a practical option. Matt and semimatt version is often used where canvas is in direct sunlight on any other source on light - using matt varnish will minimize 'glare'. Also matt varnish is often used by professional customers where colour reproduction is absolutely crucial. Please bare in mind that glossy varnish does affect colours although in a positive way - they are becoming more vivid, and dark tones are becoming even darker.

By default we are using semigloss version of the varnish, if you'd like us to use any different please make this note in the comments box when you place your order.

Varnish used for canvas photo prints

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Most images we receive for printing on canvas have .jpg extension. In fact our ordering system will only accept this type of files. There is no size limit set up on our side - it depends a lot on the actual speed of your internet connection. As most people have ADSL broadband connection - the letter 'A' stands for asymmetric as we can download with much greater speeds than upload (actually the difference is about 8 times). We have received files in excess of 40Mb via our website. However if you would like to create canvas prints from larger files or use other files extensions it is also not a problem. For all professional users and also if original image has been created in a different than .jpg format I would suggest not to change it to .jpg. Why? Very simple reason - jpg is actually a lossy compression, even at high/highest quality it still performs compression resulting in some image data being lost irreversibly. So if you take your photos in raw format please do not use jpg extension when saving your files out from Adobe Photoshop. Preferrable option will be either .tiff where either no compression can be chosen or LZW lossless compression or .psd file where again all image data is 100% kept. This is especially important when images are going to be enlarged in order to produce bigger canvas prints. So if you prefer to send us your file in a different than .jpg format I would suggest to create .jpg version and use it in our canvas photo prints ordering system, and once you are happy with the cropping and size just put a comment in the last step saying that you'd like to upload image in a different than .jpg type. We will then provide you with the details how to connnect to our ftp server - this will accept any type and size files. As ever - please don't hesitate to contact us in case of any question.

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We have decided to give a try to a professional set of profiles created by Bill Atkinson. First one will be RGB 1728 target which as name suggests contains 1728 coour patches. It is created using 12x12x12 grid which contains a great colour variation and can provide wider gamut. This will allow better colour reproduction for our canvas prints. The differences in profiles will be posted here. Also if this will produce better results we would go for the biggest target - which contains amazing 4096 patches and will provide best results. Second step will also be to create profiles for varnished canvas which should improve soft proofing on screen.

Please let me know if you have any suggestions or queries on our colour calibration setup. Current profiles can be downloaded on the blog section - Soft Proofing for canvas prints.

 

09/08/10 Update - We have produced new profiles for our standard polycotton canvas. As they use 1728 patches there is an improvement and as planned we are now going to produce new profiles which utilize largest available amount of colour samples - a staggering 4096, thanks to Bill Atkinson. Download - Canvas profile based on 1728 patches. Please right click and select "Save as'.  With this profile we have noticed increased contrast in reds and greens, and also slighlty increased gamut. New larger profile should produce even better results. Info will be posted here after we have printed and measured new target files.

11/08/10 Update - After having some communication with Bill Atkinson (!)  we have decided that the best way is to use 1728 test chart that we have used before. We are now going to work on producing many targets printed and then measured and averaged in our colour calibration software. Results on this exercise should improve even better our current profiles.

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