You have the perfect photo, full of vibrant colors and professional-grade sharpness. You even have the perfect spot in your home picked out to display your wall art. You're so excited and ready to print it! The only thing slowing you down is you're not sure what print option to go for. You've narrowed it down to two print types, but aren't totally sure what the difference is between acrylic photo prints and canvas prints, two popular art prints options.
Does this scenario sound familiar? If so, we got you!
Acrylic prints, use high-end acrylic sheets or plexiglass, offering an unbeatable vibrancy and a glossy, sleek look. Their face mount process brings depth and dimension to your photos, making them a preferred choice for many.
On the other hand, canvas prints are printed on high-quality canvas material, mimicking the aesthetic of authentic oil paintings. The textures and depth offered by canvas prints, especially when gallery wrap is used, can bring a classic, archival feel to your images.
From direct printing to dye sublimation, various printing processes bring out the best in these print options, each suited to different types of images and decor styles.
By the time you’ve finished reading this blog post, you’re not only going to know what the differences are between these two photo art products, you’re also going to learn how they’re similar, which one is best for the type of photo you’re printing, as well as which one will complement your decor style perfectly.
And if you want to see photos that our customers have shared of their own Acrylic and Canvas Prints, we’re sharing some of those too!
Let's get started.
What is an Acrylic Print?
An Acrylic Print, sometimes referred to as a Plexiglass Print, is a high-end printing option where your image is printed directly onto acrylic material using high-quality UV inks.
This method results in a lustrous, glossy finish, and images printed this way are known for their sharpness and depth of color.
A significant factor that distinguishes acrylic prints is their face mount process, where your image is printed on high-resolution photo paper, and then mounted under optically clear acrylic for better color saturation and contrast.
Acrylic Prints are often showcased in art galleries, photography exhibits, or high-end home decoration due to their contemporary and sophisticated appeal. They're a fantastic choice for digital art, landscape photos, and any image that you want to add depth and vibrancy to.
What is a Canvas Print?
A Canvas Print is an image printed onto canvas fabric (usually cotton or poly blend) which is then stretched, or "gallery-wrapped", onto a frame – often made of pine wood. Canvas prints offer a warm and textured aesthetic, reminiscent of classic oil and acrylic paintings seen in art galleries.
The appeal of canvas prints lies in their artistic, timeless look, the ability to hold well even with large scale prints, and their adaptability with various decor styles.
With options such as gallery wrap (where the image continues over the edges of the frame) or framed canvas, these prints have a beautiful presentation that can enhance family portraits, wedding photos, landscape photography, and more.
While acrylic prints are known for their modern, sleek look, canvas prints offer a classic, versatile alternative that's perfect for any space. Both bring a unique charm to your photos, which can help you make a statement with your custom artwork.
Similarities Between Acrylic and Canvas Prints
Posterjack Acrylic and Canvas Prints are both:
- Made using premium-quality materials and our proprietary photo printing software which creates sharp, crisp prints at a large scale.
- Built to last, using inks that have a fade-resistant rating of at least 100 years.
- Handcrafted, custom pieces of photo art made in our Toronto-based workshop.
- Easy to clean and can be wiped down using a damp cloth.
- Carefully packaged and shipped to anywhere in Canada for a flat rate of $10, or free on orders over $150.
- Come in a variety of sizes, making it easy to find the perfect piece for your space.
Differences between Acrylic & Canvas Prints
These two products are worlds apart when it comes to how they look, although your photo or artwork is sure to look incredible with whichever you choose!
Here’s a breakdown of the biggest differences between Posterjack Acrylic and Canvas Prints.
Acrylic Prints are made using premium ¼-inch thick, optically clear acrylic glass so the surface of your print has a smooth, glossy sheen.
Posterjack Canvas Prints, on the other hand, are made with a thick cotton canvas that has a beautiful textured weave.
Hanging and Framing Options
Acrylic Prints have a few different hanging options which aren’t available with Canvas Prints. The most popular hanging option is the Float Mount System, which is ideal for those who like a sleek, clean, and unframed look. The Modern Float Frame is available in four colours and adds weight and substance to your art. If you’d like your print to have a bold, industrial feel to it, you’ll love the Standoff Kit, which is a wall-anchor and bolt system which is featured in the photo above. For a classic frame style, the solid wood and satin finish of the Standard Frame will be a fantastic choice. And lastly, for smaller prints, we offer an Aluminium Easel to display your Acrylic Print with style on a flat surface. You can also choose to have no frame for your Acrylic Print, so there is nothing included on the back of the print for framing, which is ideal for anyone who plans to use their own hanging system. Our Help Centre has more information on all of these options.
If you decide to turn your photo into a Posterjack Canvas Print, we professionally stretch your canvas over a 1.5”-deep basswood frame made from renewable, Canadian wood and install the hanging hardware so it’s ready to be displayed and admired the moment you unbox it.
You can further enhance your print by choosing to have a floater frame added to it, which are available in three different colours.
Although our Canvas Prints may not have as many hanging ad framing options as our Acrylic Prints, they do have three different edging options: mirrored, wrapped, or coloured (which can be any colour you like, so you can match it to a room’s accent colour to pull the various elements in the room together).
Another difference between Acrylic and Canvas Prints is price. If you’re on a budget, the most economical option is our Canvas Prints.
With that being said, both options are much more affordable than a lot of custom artwork you will find elsewhere. Plus, you have the added benefit of knowing your prints are made in Canada using the best quality materials and that your prints are going to last a lifetime.
Acrylic or Canvas: Which is Best For Your Photo?
Thanks to the premium-quality materials and world-class equipment that we use to make all of our prints, most types of photos will look fabulous printed on both acrylic and canvas.
Our proprietary PJ-PRINT technology also contributes to sharp, vibrant prints when you’re going big and printing at a large scale.
There is one exception though: if you have a photo with low contrast, it will look best printed on canvas rather than acrylic.
For those of you who enjoy charts, we’ve made a couple of graphics for you which break down which types of photos are suitable for printing on acrylic and canvas, which types of images we don’t recommend you print, and the characteristics of both products.
These charts are a great way to compare some of the differences between Acrylic and Canvas Prints.
Acrylic or Canvas Prints: Which is Best for Your Decor Style?
Although either style of print could look fantastic in any room, here is what we typically suggest.
When NOT to Choose Acrylic Prints
Thanks to the optically-clear acrylic and polished, crystal-clear edges, Acrylic Prints look amazing when light hits them.
With that said, they have a very smooth, high-gloss surface which means that direct, bright light may cause reflections and glare. So, if you’d like to display your photo art in a room with bright overhead or direct lighting, you’ll probably be happier with a Canvas Print.
One other consideration is if you intend on displaying your print in a high-traffic area. That high-gloss surface that makes the Acrylic Print absolutely breathtaking will also show fingerprints, making a Canvas Print a better option in this instance.
Even though Acrylic Prints are scratch-resistant and very durable, the glossy finish does make them susceptible to fine hairline scratches.
When to Choose Acrylic Prints
If you want something modern and sleek with colours so vibrant that your photo looks as though it’s popping off the wall, this is definitely the product for you.
Available in over 30 different sizes and framing options in a variety of styles and colours, if you choose an Acrylic Print, it is going to be the center of attention in your home.
Because your photo is printed on the backside of the acrylic, you are looking through 1/4” of 99.9% optically pure acrylic, which gives your image a depth that has to be seen in real life to be fully appreciated.
It’s as though your image is magnified and being viewed in super high definition.
When NOT to Choose Canvas Prints
You really can’t go wrong with a Posterjack Canvas Print.
We print photos on poly-cotton canvas using the Giclée method using original HP Vivera Latex inks, so photos will stay vibrant and will not fade for over 200 years.
The custom frame that we professionally stretch your canvas over is made using select kiln-dried Canadian basswood that will not warp.
You may prefer to choose an Acrylic Print over a Canvas Print if you:
- Want a premium photo art product with huge wow-factor
- Want a high-gloss, smooth finish
- Are displaying your artwork in a modern space
- Are printing a photo with vibrant colours that you really want to have pop
When to Choose Canvas Prints
Printing your photos on canvas is a great choice if you want a photo art product that is super versatile.
Canvas prints are classic and timeless, making them a natural fit with all decor styles. The versatility also means that they’ll look great in your home for years down the road as your home decorating tastes change.
You might also choose a Canvas Print over an Acrylic Print if you:
- Have a low-contrast image
- Are displaying your print in a room with a lot of direct, bright lighting
- Plan to hang your print in a high-traffic area
- Want to print your photo the most economical way possible