Blank Canvas: 7 Tips for Decorating a Home or Office with Canvas Prints

canvas printing tips

If you like the textured look and feel of a traditional canvas painting, canvas prints are a great way to use this age-old medium for everything from classic photos and artwork to family portraits.

Where Graphics and Photos Meet Fabric Materials

Canvas printing is an innovative method of placing a digital image or graphic onto plain-woven fabric. While traditionally made of hemp, most canvas today is created from either cotton or linen and usually blended with durable synthetic materials such as polyester and polyvinyl chloride (PVC). The main difference between natural fibers and synthetic ones is how they display and retain colors.


canvas graphics

The color will seep into a material such as cotton, whereas it will lay on the outer surface of a substance like polyester. This means polyester prints will show up as more vivid (think of the bold, distinctive colors on a polyester track suit) while cotton prints will retain their colors for longer periods of time without fading (think of a cotton or wool sweater).

Much like with clothing most canvas is made of a blend, in order to get the best of both worlds. A 100% cotton canvas or a blend dominated by natural fibers will normally be pricier and graded as higher quality for long term display — while canvas made from all or mostly synthetic materials is considered more economical and better for showcasing bright, vibrant colors.

Now, that you know a little more about canvas printing materials, here are some tips for decorating any space using gorgeous and unique canvas:

    1. Select Colors That Will Complement Their Surroundings

      While the colors you choose for your canvas should definitely go with the paint and furniture colors, they won’t need to precisely match them. The combinations of darks and lights can certainly present as varying shades of the same primary colors but they don’t necessarily have to. A pastel-colored print can look great in an all-white interior by suggesting a peach-colored sunset, while a black & white print can also work surrounded by hotter hues, such as a deep red.

      canvas graphics color selection

    2. Choose a Look Based on Your Interests and/or Style

      From modernist, abstract art to nature scenes and human photography subjects, you have many options to choose from for your canvas print theme. If historic, figurative art such as a classic renaissance painting is your thing, then go for it. It’s really up to you. With the ability to take higher quality digital photos now increasingly within reach of the average person, many are choosing to start with one of their own photos — perhaps from a favorite spot or memorable trip — as a canvas printing project. With a variety of filters and editing techniques at your disposal, a vintage sepia look or dramatic blood orange sunset over the ocean can now be produced from what might have started out as a rather mundane original product.

    3. Let Form Follow Function

      Context is everything and wall art is no different. A benign blue or monochrome image you hang in a law office or bank will certainly differ from the passionate colors of a trendy fashion boutique. A children’s room on the other hand, will usually require a more cheery theme. This is where an understanding of color psychology will come in handy — while remembering to temper it with your personal tastes, as well as those of your family and/or guests. Some people find green relaxing, others find it gross. When in doubt, it pays to do your research. Look at design magazines or websites such as Pinterest for ideas on what works.


Choosing a Wrap Style and Layout Based on Space and Sizing

Your wrap style and image layout will depend on how your canvas print will be viewed, as well as other practical matters. Here are your choices of wrap styles:

  • Image Wrap – Image wraps around, continuing from the front panel onto the sides of canvas frame.
  • Mirror Wrap – Instead of one continuous image, the Sides of the canvas will actually mirror the edges of the front panel.
  • Blank Wrap – The image does not wrap around the frame. Instead, the sides are white.
  • Colored Wrap – Sides of canvas are printed in your choice of color, based on surrounding room colors.
  • Black Wrap – the sides are black but larger than if you chose a black-colored wrap.

If your graphic will be viewed primarily from the front, then a blank wrap might be best — while image, mirrored or colored wraps will go better when your canvas will be viewed from all sides. A larger room will normally call for a larger wrap.

Canvas Printing Layout Options

Some people get anxious sitting on a couch under an oversized canvas. If you want a large image without the downsides of hanging one big unwieldy print, then you can divide it into several smaller prints. Depending on how many prints are used, this is known as a diptych (two prints), triptych (three prints) or a mosaic layout for four or more.

canvas style

    1. Use (and improve) your surroundings – it’s important to keep in mind the size and shape of a room, as well as to use existing architectural details when possible. A built-in book shelf or crown molding/ baseboards can serve as a great natural frame for the artwork. Other ways of placing your canvas, such as hanging artwork low in order to make a small room appear larger, can work to accentuate spaces.
    2. Choose timeless vs. trendy based on the space – while it may be important to maintain a cutting-edge look in certain types of retail stores that get remodeled frequently, a home will usually need a piece that you’ll be willing to live with for years to come. A high-quality canvas print can last decades. There’s no reason to use something that will look tacky and out of date in a few months. Stylish avant-garde art has its place but so do graphics that will stand the test of time — and maybe even serve as family heirlooms one day.
    3. Above all else, be creative – the best thing about art is that it is an expression of yourself. It’s up to you to get creative, mischievous, and surprise people. Placing your art in an unusual place — such as in a garage workshop or behind the glass of a homemade piece of furniture — is a great way to showcase your creative sign and tickle your guests’ fancy.  There are no wrong ways to display your art. If you pick something that you like while still keeping your intended audience in mind, then you’ll always be on the right track.

Go Local with Brooklyn Signs for Quality You Can Count On

By using a reputable graphics shop for your canvas printing, you avoid the annoyance of getting an inferior product or one that’s been damaged from careless shipping. For the kind of quality, you can count on for your home or office, go local with Brooklyn Signs. For the best in canvas prints for your home or office, please email or call us at (718) 252-7575.

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