With the explosion of Instagram, Pinterest and other visual based publishers online, and the availability and ease of use of very high quality cameras on everyone’s smartphones, it seems that everyone is an amateur photographer. Given the need for everyone to showcase their work and fluff their ego a bit on sites like Instagram, it only makes sense that the next progression will be printing out your work on a physical medium and being able to showcase it around your house.

Hence the popularity of photo printing services that will print your phones images directly on canvas, metal, acrylic, wood or high quality paper. These services have blossomed up around the internet over the last few years, with dozens, even hundreds, of canvas printing services available to choose from. These are often used by amateur photographers but also moms and dads looking to document their family photos for decoration around the house.

Canvas is by far the most popular medium, but recently enough metal prints have started to pop up as an interesting alternative. Metal prints can be more expensive, but also hold some interesting advantages over canvas. In this article we’ll look at a few of the similarities and differences of canvas prints vs. metal prints, and how they stack up for your specific needs.

Canvas Prints – Pros and Cons

Canvas Prints

The advantages of canvas prints are several:

  • Light weight and easy to mount on walls.
  • In-expensive compared to other medium.
  • Durable and long lasting (when using a high quality printing service).
  • Looks impressive in a frame on the wall.

However they may not be great for all purposes, some of the disadvantages include:

  • Texture of canvas isn’t smooth and won’t represent all images perfectly.
  • Can’t be shown outside due to weather concerns.
  • Can be scratched and damaged more readily then other mediums.

As you can see it might be best to make a decision based on the specific picture you want to print.  On top of that, if you use the services of the best canvas prints online, you’ll end up with a high quality product that will last a long time in your home or office.

Last note on this.  Providers like CanvasPop and others actually have consulting services that help you pick batches of prints.  They help corporate clients that need to populate a whole floor of office space.  Leveraging these services can be a great way to take some of the pain away from a big undertaking (especially if interior design is not your strong suit).

Metal Prints – Pros and Cons

Metal Print

The advantages of metal prints are several as well:

  • Weather proof and suitable for outdoor installations.
  • Texture can be either brushed aluminum (which gives affects similar to canvas texture) or white matte (which is smoother and better suited for some images).
  • Long lasting.
  • HD Metal Prints are stunning in their richness of color.

However they are also not always ideal:

  • Runs at a higher cost.
  • Large metal prints will be very heavy, making mounting more of a chore.

So as you can see, as long as you stick to quality materials and services, you’ll be fine.  It’s just that for your particular purpose, one might be better than the other.  Think about what you want to use the print for, and make a decision based on that.

If it were up to us, the best metal prints are used for high def photographs and/or abstract artwork.  For classic art prints, which don’t necessarily rely on striking color contrast and sharp sheen, you can go for canvas prints.  Many of the classic art prints available actually benefit from the canvas texture.

Hope this helps!