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Art Printing vs. Canvas Printing - What’s the Difference? - The Stackhouse Printery

Art Printing vs. Canvas Printing - What’s the Difference?

Congratulations on your decision to print your artwork or photographs!

The next step is to determine the best reproduction type that will suit your needs and enable you to display, ship, or sell your art while showcasing it in the best possible way.

This article explores the differences between art printing and canvas printing. These are two distinct methods of reproducing artwork or photographs, each with unique qualities and uses.

The main difference between the two methods is the surface material used. Art prints are typically printed on paper, while canvas prints exclusively use canvas as their surface.

Let's dive into the primary differences between these two methods in more detail.

What is an Art Print?

An art print is a copy of an original artwork printed on medium-weight cotton material, often including a white border. While the white border is often used for framing purposes, it is not absolutely necessary.

The printing process can vary and may involve using different materials to achieve the desired outcome. It's important to note that art prints can be mass-produced without the involvement of the original artist.

What Is a Canvas Print?

A canvas print is a printed image on canvas material. These prints may appear similar to oil and acrylic works since the surface has a similar texture.

While polyester, cotton, or linen are standard canvas printing materials, specialty fibers like hemp and jute are also suitable alternatives for canvas art surfaces.

Modern techniques pull the canvas tightly over a wooden frame and use staples on the frame's sides to secure the work.

The Medium

In art printing, the image is typically printed on high-quality paper. At The Stackhouse Printery, we use top-of-the-line inkjet giclee printing techniques and archival-grade paper and inks, ensuring longevity and fade resistance.

Our canvas prints use the same inkjet giclee technology, but our print mediums are different. Canvas provides a more textured surface that more closely resembles the original paintings.

Texture & Appearance

The high-quality paper used in art printing usually has a smooth and glossy or matte finish that varies depending on the paper type.

Canvas prints have a unique texture that adds depth and what some people regard as a more original or artistic feel to the printed image. Canvas is popular for reproducing artwork and photographs with a painterly touch.

Framing Options

Art prints are usually framed behind glass to protect the print from environmental factors and physical damage. The glass can add glare and reflections.

Canvas prints are usually stretched over wooden frames, creating a gallery-wrapped effect where the image continues around the sides of the frame. This eliminates the need for glass and provides a long-lasting contemporary look.


Art prints on high-quality paper are pretty durable, especially when printed on archival paper and framed under glass for protection. However, they are still more susceptible to damage compared to canvas prints.

Canvas prints are generally more durable and less prone to damage. The canvas material is less likely to tear or crease, making it suitable for spaces with higher traffic or areas where the print might be exposed to environmental elements.

Artistic Presentation

Art prints on paper are sometimes regarded as a more traditional and classic way of displaying artwork or photographs. They are common in art galleries and museums.

Canvas prints offer a more contemporary presentation, often giving the impression of hand-painted artwork. They are particularly popular for home decor and modern interior design.

Ultimately, the choice between art printing and canvas printing depends on personal preference, the intended display location, the desired visual effect, and the level of durability required. Each method has its own merits and can beautifully showcase artwork or photographs in its unique way.

Our team at The Stackhouse Printery is here to help you achieve your artistic vision with museum quality giclee prints that last for generations. 

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