I've got a couple of pictures I was considering getting printed onto canvas. Is there anything particular I need to take into account?

I'm thinking of things like photo resolution, colour profiles etc - are these important for canvas prints? I've always assumed that the resolution is quite low for canvases that these don't particularly matter.


2 Answers 2


Resolution does matter, and what is required will depend on the size of the canvas. Typically, canvas printing services offer guidelines for minimum resolution.

Some other considerations:

  • Glossy vs matte. Not all services offer both. For the ones that don't, be sure to find out which they use.
  • Border type. Black, white, and gallery borders are commonly offered. A gallery border is where the image is wrapped around the edges of the frame.
  • Frame thickness. Anywhere from 0.5" to 2" are commonly available, but different services will offer different thicknesses.
  • Dimensions. Most services offer a selection of frame sizes, and you are expected to crop your photo to fit it, as necessary. Some will cut custom frames to fit your photo.
  • \$\begingroup\$ Was this post meant to be community wiki (no rep for upvotes) or was that an accident? \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Oct 30, 2012 at 5:40

Most printers will prefer images using the Adobe sRBG colour profile, but that can vary from printer to printer, so it is best to check with them.

Resolution matters more on how an image is going to be viewed, and I wouldn't list that as a primary concern when getting something printed up. I've been happy with results from resolutions below 100dpi, which works well enough for a wall hung sunset, although I'd go higher for portraiture.

There are other things that you should consider when selecting a printer; such as whether they laminate the prints or whether the frame allows for adjustment as the canvas stretches over time. Some printers only use polyester canvases, which some believe doesn't give as good a finish as cotton.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Quick note: For Giclee prints, which are a great way to print on Canvas (you get a nice, durable coat of ink that doesn't easily crack or peel), many labs prefer RAW or 16bit TIFF @ 300dpi. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Sep 5, 2010 at 19:17

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