Best Photo Specs for Canvas Print

by Maggie Harlow on October 22, 2013

The canvas print is becoming increasingly popular for home owners and businesses.Flatbed UV printers make it possible to print photos to canvas, which are then framed and hung on the wall. You can turn family photos into family portraits by creating a canvas print “painting.” But there are a few things you need to know before you snap your first photo.

1. Use a professional-grade camera.

You may take some great looking photos on your camera phone, but that’s all they are: great-looking camera phone photos. They’re not going to be the resolution and size you need for a canvas print. Your best bet is to use a digital single lens reflex camera (also called a DSLR) — these are cameras with detachable lenses, as opposed to point-and-shoot cameras. Point-and-shoots take acceptable pictures, but if you need a high-quality family photo, buy, borrow, or rent the best camera possible.

Canvas print of a dog printed from a regular photo.Better yet, hire a professional photographer. A professional has the best available equipment plus an eye for composition and lighting. If your canvas print is going to be a family heirloom, you want something you and your family can be proud of for years to come.

2. Get the largest size photo possible.

This is one reason not to use a camera phone: you want a file that’s at least 2 MB or greater in size. It needs to be this size so that when the photo is enlarged to its finished size, it won’t pixelate or look blurry.

Open your camera’s settings, and choose the largest photo size possible. This will ensure you’re getting the best size and resolution available. Even if the photo is bigger than the finished canvas print, that’s fine. We are able to reduce the image size while maintaining the clarity and sharpness; we cannot increase images that are too small.

3. Use very high resolution.

Photo resolutions are measured in dots per inch (dpi). A typical computer monitor has either a 72 dpi or 96 dpi image. These photos look great on a monitor, but don’t look good when they’re printed out. A 150 dpi photo is usually suitable for printing on a home inkjet printer, but may not look crisp and clear enough for a canvas print, especially if we have to enlarge it. You should use a 300 dpi photo or larger for your canvas print, and start with the biggest size possible.

In November, Signarama will feature a special on canvas print projects for your home or business. For more information on our flatbed printing and print-to-canvas projects, please visit our website. You can also use our online store locator to find the Signarama store nearest you.

This post was written by...

– who has written 21 posts on Signarama Blog.

is the owner of SIGNARAMA Downtown and Transworld/FranchiseMart in Louisville, Kentucky. She has expertise in lighted signage, large format digital printing, custom signage, vinyl graphics, banners, trade show displays and all other types of display and signage. You can follow her on Twitter at @SignaramaMama.

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