When Image Wrapped Canvas Prints Are a Bad Idea

by Laura McPherson | August 15, 2014

gallery wrapped canvas prints

When most people think of canvas prints, the characteristic image wrap usually comes to mind where the image printed on the front of the canvas extends to the sides without breaking the image’s continuity. Image wraps can provide an ultra-finished and sophisticated look for most pictures and images, but when important parts of a photo are close to the canvas edge an image wrap might not be the best wrap option. To make sure that your canvas prints turn out perfect, keep the following in mind when considering image wrapped canvas prints.

What’s Close to the Edge?

To determine whether an image wrap is best for your image, start by looking at the elements that are closest to the photo’s edge. Are these elements important to the photo, either by providing continuity, meaning, or any other way? If the important elements are wrapped to the side of the canvas, instead of being printed on the front, the result may be a less inspiring image. There can also be a risk of tricks of the eye that distract the viewer.

To check if your image’s important elements are too close to the edge for an image wrap, open your photo in a photo editor like Photoshop. Next, size your photo at the size that you want to have it printed and add 3.5" to the width and 3.5" to the height (for a 1.5" depth wrap). Then measure in 1.75" on each side to see what will be wrapped on the sides of the canvas. If the important elements are in that 1.75", you may want to consider how it will look in an image wrap and whether mirror wrap or a solid color wrap are better options for your vision. Alternatively, many times this type of image can be printed with an image wrap in a larger size.

What Types of Images Deserve Extra Caution?

Portraits are especially susceptible to having important elements inadvertently wrapped to the canvas side. The reason for this is that the most important element of a portrait is the person (or people) in the image. If part of a person stretches over the side of the canvas, the eye does not "read" the image well and introduces distortion that isn’t really there. This most commonly happens with hair, shoulders, and arms in portraits. Other images to double-check for image wrap compatibility include:

  • Smaller sized prints. 8"x8" and 8"x10" prints usually require cropping of an image. When you are working with these smaller sizes, it’s best to be aware of what will "travel" over the face of the canvas and become part of the image wrap. In these cases, a mirror wrap or solid color border might be the best bet.
  • Panoramic photos. Especially in smaller heights, there is a risk that important elements will be wrapped in an image wrap with panoramic photos of tall subjects, such as skylines. Extended views of trees and similar subjects may have the same concerns. Fortunately, panoramics still make a strong impact with solid color and mirror wraps.

Canvas Press wants to make sure that each of your canvas prints turns out the way that you envisioned. If you have questions about how your image will look with an image wrap, contact us for a free image consultation. We are always happy to help.

This article is written for Canvas Press. To find out more about Canvas Press’products visit www.canvaspress.com.

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