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How To Choose Between Canvas and Foam Board Printing

How To Choose Between Canvas and Foam Board Printing

As a budding artist or photographer, it’s important to consider every element that can affect your final presentation. From the subjects to the materials used during the creative process, plenty goes into crafting pieces that resonate with an audience.

Some creators aren’t aware of the significance of printing techniques and how they can complement or detract from their work. Canvas and foam board printing are relatively standard techniques that allow photos and art to shine.

But how can you consider elements from both methods to help you make a final decision that benefits your prints?

Here is how to choose between canvas and foam board printing based on the required materials, processes, and benefits.

What Is Canvas Printing?

Canvas printing is a standard technique that transfers original artwork and photographic images onto canvas surfaces to create vivid reproductions. After the initial printing stage, images may undergo wrapping that involves stretching canvas material over a wooden frame. Printed images may also undergo framing to complete their overall look, although this step isn’t as common.

What Are the Benefits of Custom Canvas Printing?

Custom canvas printing offers multiple advantages that benefit an image’s overall appearance and aesthetic. Let’s take a look at some of the many benefits of custom canvas printing below:

Prints Are Durable

Canvas printing is one of the most common techniques artists and photographers rely on, given the quality of print it produces. Also, because the materials are durable, you can expect canvas prints to be sturdy and robust.

The ink used to create vivid masterpieces is of high quality to help maintain a vibrancy that a paper alternative could not. These small but significant details result in a final product that can beautifully exist for ages.

Add Sophistication

While standard photo prints can add a distinctive touch to an exhibit or home, they may lack a level of artistry and sophistication. The texture of a canvas adds depth to the print, transforming artwork and photographs into something exclusive and elegant.

Eliminates Glare

While glossy and framed prints may look appealing in the right space, sunlight that touches the frame can give off a reflection and glare that distracts from the subject.

On the other hand, canvas printing can produce images with a matte or satin finish, making them a perfect addition to display in brightly lit venues and rooms.

Offers Different Shapes and Sizes

Canvases come in different shapes, sizes, and style options, giving a creator the flexibility to customize prints to fit a specific theme. Remember to include your photo’s resolution when printing on larger canvases to ensure your prints don’t appear distorted.

What Materials Does Canvas Printing Require?

When it comes to canvas printing, the technique relies on high-grade materials, equipment, and technology to produce crisp imagery. Such materials, equipment, and technology are as follows:


Canvas printing utilizes two fabric types to serve as the foundation for a quality print: cotton and polyester. Combining the textiles creates a sturdy, breathable blend that preserves the print’s integrity.

The best canvases often utilize more cotton fabric than polyester to allow the archival ink to sink deeper into the material. Given the blend’s ability to absorb, ink can travel deeper than the media’s surface and incorporate within the fibers.


Archival pigment inks are specifically resistant to fading and weathering. It produces long-lasting imagery when used in conjunction with an inkjet printer and a canvas. Archival inks also contain larger molecules and higher alkaline levels that contribute to a better color payoff.

Inkjet Printer

Inkjet printers are a popular solution for fine art printing needs. This technology creates images on canvas by precisely dispersing thousands of ink droplets onto the media.

What Is Foam Board Printing?

Foam board printing is another technique that produces vivid imagery. However, instead of using canvas as the surface material, this method prints images on a foam board or core. The board consists of a dense foam core that sits in between two matte sheets of paper.

Beloved by photographers, artists, and exhibitors, this attractive material ideal for those displaying work for short-term projects.

What Are the Benefits of Custom Foam Board Printing?

Like canvas printing, the custom foam board printing method also has advantages that may influence a piece’s final presentation.

Easy To Print and Customize

Foam boards are hollow materials that promote easier printing and cutting. After printing on canvas or photo paper, professionals mount the print onto the rigid foam backing using a strong adhesive.

Professionals can trim the foam board to fit if a print is smaller than expected. With its endless customization possibilities, foam board prints prove versatile in many settings.

Lightweight Yet Durable

Imagine you’re preparing a venue for your first exhibit and are responsible for transferring your work to the area yourself. Just the idea of transporting heavy media to a location can be troublesome and inconvenient.

Fortunately, foam board prints are lightweight! Despite being thicker than other forms of poster board, foam boards don’t make the print heavier, allowing for easy transport, storage, and display.

At first glance, it’s easy to believe that because foam boards are lightweight, they are also fragile, but this is not the case! Compared to other poster board media, foam boards are incredibly sturdy and rigid and incapable of curling and bending like poster boards, allowing for a more appealing display.


Foam boards are some of the most inexpensive materials on the market! This form of printing offers budding artists and photographers a way to showcase their work without worrying about significant costs.

Various Finishing Options

To enhance their final look further, you can frame or laminate your foam board prints. These finishes can provide the ideal final touch to your work, from glossy to matte to textured.

What Materials Does Foam Board Printing Require?

The foam board printing technique utilizes the same materials as canvas printing to create vivid representations of your work to showcase publicly or privately. Printing experts can use archival inks and inkjet printers to ensure images transfer beautifully onto canvas poster board or quality photo paper before mounting to the foam core board.

Choosing between canvas and foam board printing ultimately depends on the desired outcome of a piece; if you wish for your prints to have an added sophistication and appeal, it’s best to move forward with the canvas technique.

On the other hand, if you prefer prints with extra support and impressive mounting at a lower cost, consider custom foam board printing instead! Regardless of your preferred technique, The Stackhouse is ready to assist! Our services include custom canvas and foam board printing with vivid, unmatched results that can fit your artistic vision.