The market for London canvas prints is crowded to say the least. With so many suppliers offering supposedly similar products it can be hard for the buyer to distinguish between the canvases offered by different retailers and printers.
At Mr Smith World Photography we supply really fine canvases, in fact museum quality canvases. Many other suppliers offer lower cost products. So why would you choose one of our London canvas prints over a cheaper alternative?
Before answering that question, please let me digress. I spend much of my life in hotels, and needless to say, look at the artwork wherever I stay. There is some superb artwork in many hotels. But there are also some dreadful quality pictures, many of them hung as canvases, some so poor that I am astonished that the hoteliers ever accepted them.
I am also surprised by the quality of canvases offered by many high street retailers. Again I will say that there are some excellent quality canvases available. But many retailers offer cheap canvases of low quality. Interestingly, it is not only at the stores associated with cheapness that you will find these inferior products.
So back to the question, why buy London canvas prints from Mr Smith World Photography or similarly high quality supplier? To assess this, lets consider the canvas making process.
Firstly an image has to be created, in our case photographed. Our images are captured using state of the art cameras with excellent sensors with a high dynamic range, and superb lenses. Most of our shots are taken at low ISO. The combination of these factors result in superb images. Our catalogue of fine art photographic images has taken many years and thousands of hours of work to create.
Then the image needs to be optimised for printing – colour balanced and adjusted, sharpened and prepared for printing onto canvas. The wrapping style needs to be confirmed and the image prepared accordingly. (We find that our clients prefer gallery wrapped canvases – where printing is from edge to edge. Other alternatives result in a white or coloured border.) We are digital processing experts and process all of our images in house. Images are optimised using the latest tools and techniques.
Next the image is printed onto canvas – there is a wide choice of canvas material available at every price point. Then it is stretched over a timber frame before being varnished (again many alternatives). Finally it is finished – fixings for hanging are attached along with fabric protectors so that the wall on which the canvas is hung is not marked.
We currently send files to a specialist lab for printing and stretching. The lab has been carefully selected and works only for professional artists and photographers. All they do is produce museum quality canvases. Prints are produced on heavy duty archival canvas using the latest digital printers with archival inks. Archival processing ensures that if looked after properly, canvases will last for a very long time. After printing the canvases are stretched over high quality timber frames, given time to settle and hand varnished to a finish of the customers choice. Finally the hanging mechanism and protectors are affixed.
By adopting professional techniques and carrying out most processes by hand we can offer customers great flexibility. We produce to order so, although we suggest standard sizes in our online galleries, we can customise our London canvas prints to the customer’s exact requirements and wall size.
Our London canvas prints are supplied in limited editions. This means we limit the number of times an image will be used for printing so that you can be assured your canvas will not be found on every one else’s wall as well as yours.
So why are the canvases referred to at the top of this post of inferior quality? In general it comes down to cost – if budgets are squeezed then producers cannot afford the high quality materials and painstaking processes referred to above. There are also economies achieved by processing in volumes, but volume processing does not allow for the same amount of care as hand produced work. It is possible to economise at every stage of the process, something we will not do.
Let me refer to conversations I have had with many buyers. Sometimes when discussing alternative finishes buyers initially rule out canvases, probalbly because of the reputation earned by inferior canvas prints. Yet many change their minds when they see our finished products, which can be a cost effective but stylish alternative to other artwork finishes. We supply London canvas prints to them to homes, boardrooms and offices, and other business locations.
We are members of the Fine Art Trade Guild whose standards of quality and customer service we proudly uphold.To see our collection of London canvas prints visit the online gallery