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Are you looking to print some of your favourite memories in an extra large format? There’s nothing quite like seeing your very own photography printed larger than life and on display in your home or office.
However, it can be frustrating to find that many photo printing companies don’t seem to offer options for large photo prints. In this article, we will explore the reasons behind this limitation and highlight some pain points associated with printing large photos, such as resolution issues and accurate colour reproduction.
Additionally, we’ll look at some online services for printing large photos, discuss the benefits of using a local print shop, explore printing large photos on canvas, and offer insights into important considerations when printing large photos.
So, if you're eager to print your memories on a grand scale, keep reading! By the end of this article, you'll be equipped with the knowledge to make informed decisions and create stunning large photo prints that you’ll be excited to display in your home and show off to all your family and friends.
The Challenge of Printing Large Photos
A behind-the-scenes look inside the Posterjack Canada print shop located in Toronto, Ontario.
For the Photo Printing Company
Some photo printing companies have limitations when it comes to offering large photo printing options or, if they do offer these services, they struggle to deliver prints that meet a customer’s expectation when it comes to the quality and longevity of the prints.
There are several reasons behind these limitations, including equipment restraints and cost factors.
Having the printers and tools that are needed to print large photos is a major investment, especially if the company wants to offer its customers premium quality prints that will stand the test of time.
On top of this, if the print service provides various photo printing products, such as Canvas Prints, Wood Prints, Metal Prints, Framed Prints, and more, additional machinery, tools, and materials are required for each product they offer.
Another challenge can be the high cost of shipping large photo prints to a customer. Depending on where the customer lives, it can cost hundreds of dollars to ship a large print to a person, which can make the option unattainable for some photo printing companies.
For the Customer
In addition to the obstacles that the print companies face, printing large photos can come with its own set of challenges for the customer, such as image resolution issues, accurate colour reproduction, and just simply a lack of confidence in knowing a photo is going to look great when it’s printed so big.
If you’re planning to invest in a large photo print, you want to be certain that your image is going to look even better displayed on the wall than it does from your phone or computer screen.
Luckily, some printing companies offer tools on their website that automatically analyze your photo when you upload it and provide insights into how the image will look when it’s printed at any chosen size.
To further ease your concerns, these print companies will often have more information in their Help Centres or FAQs that will explain how they manage colour replication, as well as tips and best practises to help you get the best large photo print possible.
Best Places to Print Large Photos With the Best Quality
“Such a great feeling to print out a large canvas.” Posterjack customer, Alex Paiement, holding up his framed Canvas Print. [Source]
Now, let’s get to the good stuff! For those seeking high-quality large photo prints there are a few exceptional options available in Canada.
Let's take a look at some of the top services and explore their printing options, quality, pricing, and customer feedback.
Posterjack is a leading online service known for its excellent large print options. In fact, that’s how Posterjack was born!
We started back in 2009 when digital photography was emerging. Our entire focus was on helping Canadians print their digital photos in large sizes so they could hang them on their walls.
Posterjack makes everything in-house from its Toronto location for complete quality control and uses Canadian-sourced products as much as possible. This is something we pride ourselves in and it sets us apart from other photo printing companies.
Posterjack offers a wide range of sizes, including popular choices like 24x36 inches and 30x40 inches and up to an impressive 40x60 inches.
Customers are always praising the print quality, vibrant colours, and sharp details of their prints. In fact, there are tens of thousands of five-star reviews left by verified customers.
Posterjack also provides a variety of different products to print your photos on, allowing customers to create stunning displays of their cherished memories. A few of their more popular products include:
Fine Art Prints - Available in over forty different sizes and as large as 40x60 inches, Posterjack’s Fine Art Prints are a customer favourite. Photos are printed on Hahnemuehle Photo Rag, which is the best fine art paper on the planet.
Canvas Prints - A timeless classic, Posterjack Canvas Prints come in over thirty different sizes making it easy to print large photos that can be displayed on their own or included in a beautiful gallery wall.
Framed Prints - With over fifty frame styles and colours, you’re certain to find the perfect frame to display your favourite photo. Every Posterjack Framed Print includes an acid-free matboard, framer’s acrylic glass, and arrives at your door with the hanging hardware installed.
Acrylic Prints - If you want your large photo print to have serious wow-factor, an Acrylic Print is a fantastic option. The premium ¼-inch thick, optically clear acrylic glass is modern, sleek, vibrant, and comes in thirty-five different sizes.
Metal Prints - Posterjack offers three different types of Metal Prints, all with their own unique characteristics. What they all have in common though is they're all made using premium-quality materials and Posterjack's proprietary photo printing software which creates sharp, crisp prints at a large scale. Posterjack Metal Prints have a fade-resistant rating of over 100 years and are offered in several different sizes, as well as a variety of hanging and framing options.
Posterjack customer, Alicia MacIntyre, shared this photo of her large photo print on Instagram with a single word: "Home" [Source]
Staples is a well-known retailer that offers large format print services both online and in-store.
They have a limited selection of products and sizes, but the options include sizes up to 24x36 inches, making them suitable for those who desire photo enlargements.
Customers appreciate the convenience of being able to visit a physical store to discuss their requirements and see print samples before making a decision.
For an additional price, Staples offers same-day glossy print enlargements in five sizes, up to 24x36 inches.
Staples products include:
Photo Enlargements/Posters - Available in five sizes, up to 24x36 inches, photos are printed on Fujifilm Crystal Archive photo paper.
Premium Canvas Prints - Available in eleven sizes, with the largest option being 24x36 inches, Staples Canada Premium Canvas Prints are 1.4-inches thick and are ready in 7-10 business days.
Wood Mount Photos - For large photos printed on something other than the traditional photo paper, a Staples Canada Wood Mount Photo is an option. Available in three sizes up to 20x24 inches, each print includes a protective non-glare laminate.
Metal Photo Panel - This option comes in multiple sizes up to 24x36 inches. Photos are printed on a brushed metal steel frame and include a wooden hanging block kit.
3. Walmart Photo Centre
Walmart Photo Centre is another popular option for printing large photos. They provide a range of sizes and offer competitive pricing, making them an accessible choice for many.
Customers have found their prints to be of decent quality, particularly for the affordable prices offered. Walmart Photo Centre's wide availability across Canada also adds to their appeal.
Walmart Photo Centre products include:
Spark Posters - Available in twelve sizes up to 24x36 inches, these prints can also be framed in select sizes in black, white, or grey frames, all of which include a white mat and hanging hardware.
Express Canvas - This option is available in four sizes, with the largest option being 20x30 inches. The canvas is lightweight and gallery wrapped around a wooden frame and can be available to pick up at a local Walmart Photo Centre the next day.
Gallery Wall Frames - For large format photos to be displayed as a gallery wall, Walmart Photo Centre’s Gallery Wall Frames come in five sizes up to 20x30 inches and are available in black, grey, or white finishes.
Wood Plaques - With three size options to choose from—8x10, 11x14, and 16x20 inches—these Wood Plaques are 5/8-inche thick and are delivered in 8-12 business days.
4. Local Print Shop
In a world dominated by digital imagery, there's something truly magical about holding a physical photograph in your hands or seeing it displayed in a larger-the-life format on your wall—a moment captured in time, cherished for generations.
While the big chains like Staples or Walmart can offer convenience by offering same-day service, for example, they fail to provide the quality and personalized attention that smaller, local print shops, like Posterjack, can offer.
If you’re still trying to decide where to print large photos, consider the benefits of choosing a print service like Posterjack over the bigger chain stores, such as:
- Prints that are rated to be fade-resistant for 200+ years
- Handcrafted in-house for complete quality control
- A vast range of sizes to choose from
- Customer support team that is there to answer any questions you have and truly cares that you’re happy with your photo prints
- Materials that are sourced within Canada
Printing Large Photos on Canvas
Canvas Prints being made inside the Posterjack Canada print shop.
For those seeking a unique and artistic touch to their large photo prints, printing on canvas is an excellent option.
Canvas prints offer a classic and elegant aesthetic appeal, enhancing the overall ambiance of any room. Although there are many services in which print images on canvas, very few of these check all the boxes when it comes to getting the best quality canvas printing available.
When choosing a print service to print large photos on canvas, you should look for one that uses thick, kiln-dried wood so the frame the canvas is wrapped around will not warp or bend over time.
Be sure the canvas your photo will be printed on is premium quality by finding out what the material is actually made of. Just like the paper you purchase for your home printer which can be super thin or cardstock thick, canvas also comes in different thicknesses and is even made with different types of fabrics.
The best quality canvas will have a GSM rating—that is, grams per square metre—of at least 350 GSM. The thickness is important, especially when you’re printing in larger sizes, to ensure the canvas will not rip or sag.
Another important aspect to consider is the type of inks the print service is using.
One of the best options is eco-friendly HP inks which have been rated to be fade-resistant for over 200 years. Whichever inks the print service uses, it would be wise to double-check that they’ve been tested to withstand the test of time, after all, you want your large photo prints to look just as amazing years down the road from the day you got them!
And lastly, one other consideration is what kind of laminates the printer is applying to their canvas prints - some print companies use laminates that crack, peel, or turn yellow over time. Nobody wants a faded, yellow, cracked canvas!
Things to Consider When Printing Large Photos
"So happy with how this piece printed up. It now hangs on my daughter's wall." Posterjack customer, Willow Friday, with her large photo print. [Source]
To ensure you’re going to get the best print results possible, here are some key factors to keep in mind before printing large photos:
Resolution and Image Quality
When enlarging photos, you want to make sure your image’s resolution is good enough to ensure you get results that are crisp and sharp and without pixelation.
Thankfully, digital photography has come a long way over the last several years, even most smartphones these days produce images that are good enough to print as large as 36x48 inches.
The websites of some print services will provide you with an automatic quality score rating when you upload your photo and choose the print size you want, allowing you to decide if you’d like to print your photo in a smaller size so it’s sharper or select a completely different photo.
If you choose Posterjack to print your large format photos, you’ll get to take advantage of their proprietary PJ-PRINT™ software. Using an advanced interpolation algorithm, Posterjack can print your photos super-crisp at a large scale. The software delivers better results than you would get by resampling a digital image in Photoshop or other editing software.
Paper and Printing Materials
The choice of paper and printing materials can significantly impact the appearance and longevity of your large prints.
Consider factors such as archival-quality paper and fade-resistant inks to ensure your prints stand the test of time.
Posterjack continually invests in state-of-the-art equipment, ensuring its customers receive the best products on the market. Like the equipment, the materials your large photos are printed on are second to none.
Posterjack Fine Art Prints, for example, are made with Hahnemühle Photo Rag paper, which is a high-quality paper used by professional photographers around the world.
Another example is the Canvas Prints, which are made using the best quality poly-cotton canvas and basswood, and has been instrumental in helping Posterjack become known as the Photo Art Experts by Canadians across the country.
Scaling and Image Ratio
Proper scaling and maintaining the correct image ratio are essential to avoid stretching or cropping your photos.
Ensure your image is correctly adjusted to the desired size to preserve the intended composition.
If you don’t know the aspect ratio of your photo, or you want to turn it into a large photo print that’s a different size but you’re unsure if it will look good, you can simply upload it to the Posterjack website and choose the print size you’d like; you’ll instantly be provided with a preview of what it will look like and can crop accordingly.
Colour Correction and Calibration
Colour accuracy is, of course, important when printing large photos. Calibrating your monitor can help achieve consistent and accurate results across different printing services.
If you are using an uncalibrated screen, the colours you see on your screen may not exactly match the print you receive.
Another thing to keep in mind is that the phone or computer screen that you’re viewing your photo on from home is backlit and the brightness level of the screen has a significant impact on the colour of your image.
When your photo is printed, it will look different without that backlight. Even the type of light you view your print in can have an impact on the way you see the colour, be it natural light, fluorescent, or incandescent.
If you’re hesitating about printing your photo in a large size because you’re unsure of how the colours will translate into print, you can always have the photo printed in a smaller size first to see what it will look like before spending money on a larger print.
Just make sure you use the same print service for both prints, since each printing company will have its own materials, equipment, and print systems that will deliver different results.
"Tuesday project complete!" Posterjack customer, Amy Ratcliff, shows off her beautiful large photo prints from Posterjack. [Source]
Printing large photos allows us to relive and display our cherished memories on a grand scale. While some photo printing companies may not offer large photo printing options due to equipment constraints and cost factors, there are several top-notch services.
Posterjack stands out as a leading online print service that offers excellent options for large prints. With a focus on quality and Canadian-sourced materials, Posterjack provides a wide range of sizes and a variety of products like Fine Art Prints, Canvas Prints, Framed Prints, Acrylic Prints, and Metal Prints.
Staples is a well-known retailer that offers large format print services both online and in-store. While their selection of products and sizes is more limited, they provide the convenience of physical stores and same-day service options.
Walmart Photo Centre is another popular choice, offering competitive pricing and a decent quality for large prints. Their availability across Canada adds to their appeal.
While big chain stores have their advantages, choosing a local print shop like Posterjack can offer personalized service and attention to detail, higher print quality, a vast range of sizes, and materials sourced within Canada.
For those seeking a unique touch, printing large photos on canvas can provide an elegant aesthetic appeal. When selecting a print service for canvas prints, it's important to consider the thickness and quality of the frame, the type of canvas material used, the inks and laminates applied, and the print service's commitment to producing prints that are vibrant, durable, and will stand the test of time.
To ensure the best results when printing large photos, factors such as image resolution, choice of paper and printing materials, proper scaling and image ratio, and colour correction and calibration should be considered. Services like Posterjack offer tools and software to help customers assess image quality and preview how the print will look before placing an order.
By considering these factors and exploring the top services available in Canada, you can confidently print your large photos and create stunning displays that capture the beauty and essence of your cherished memories.