You may recall I posted about a great deal on canvas prints from artscow.com not too long ago.  I ordered the custom canvas 12″ x 12″ and it arrived today, about 12 days after having placed the order.  Here are my thoughts on artscow.com and their canvas prints.

  • Shipping Time: My understanding is that the printing is done in Hong Kong which allows for the low prices, but you trade off with longer shipping times.  Although we are used to near instant gratification nowadays, 12 days from day of order to day of receipt is not excessively long for printing and shipping.  Especially since this particular deal included free shipping (you normally pay for shipping).
  • Packaging: Here is where I was most disappointed.  The canvases were rolled around a foam tube with tissue paper in between them (see overall product quality for more on this) then put in a plastic envelope.  That is not much protection for a trip from Hong Kong to the US.  As a result one of my canvases was slightly damaged with a bent corner.  These need to be shipped in a sturdier container.
  • Image Quality: The image quality is not bad, but it is not spectacular either.  For the price they charge you are getting comparable image quality.  But if you want or need vibrancy and sharpness to wow you, these canvas prints fall short of that.
  • Overall Product Quality: The cotton canvas used is good quality.  The inks however, are non-waterproof.  This is the reason for the tissue paper in the packaging.  Inks can transfer to other surfaces especially if moisture is involved.  That means you need to beware of humidity and you cannot wipe these down like you can with some other canvas photo prints.
  • Site Experience: The saying “If it isn’t broke, don’t try to fix it” applies to the Artscow website.  They appear to have attempted to use a new type of photo print ordering system that is unlike any of the other photo print companies.  I’m not sure that has worked out too well for them.  The system is not intuitive, it is cumbersome, and down right confusing at times.  The product descriptions need a bit of fine tuning as well.  The product I ordered is listed as “Custom Canvas 12″ x 12″.  We print your digital photos on canvas, ideal for displaying in the home or workplace.”  I assumed these would be stretched and although the site never said they were, they also never said they were not.  This was my misunderstanding more so than artscow’s misrepresentation (although I think they could have made the distinction more clear).  Just make sure you know what you are getting.  Also keep in mind that when you order a 12″ x 12″ (or any size) unstretched you will require at least an inch all the way around to wrap around the frame should you decide to stretch it.
  • Final Rating: My final review of artscow.com canvas prints is three out of five cameras.  You will be hard pressed to find better pricing.  But, as with most everything, you get what you pay for so when the price is 1/2 everyone else you should not expect the same quality.  If you want something different for your family photos or your favorite photo to hang in your home these are good canvas prints.  If you are looking for high quality canvas prints suitable for your next gallery showing you will need to fork over a little more cash.

7 Responses to “Review of Artscow.com Canvas Prints”

  1. michael cohen

    on October 31 2012

    Artscow: is it possible to spray or roll a protective coating on the Artscow canvas photos? Which product do you recommend?
    Thanks!

  2. Mike

    on October 31 2012

    Michael, I’m not sure on that. You might want to try contacting ArtsCow directly. Thanks!

  3. sharon

    on November 26 2012

    There are many tutorials on how to make your own stretched canvas. You could get some ideas there I’m sure.

  4. sharon

    on November 26 2012

    Ps. Very helpful information. Thank you!!!

  5. Mike

    on November 26 2012

    Great suggestion Sharon. A quick Google search brings up a lot of tutorials and some YouTube videos if anyone is interested.

  6. Mike

    on November 26 2012

    You’re welcome, I appreciate your feedback!

  7. Yve

    on November 28 2012

    artscow – stay far away. The products are very very poor quality -and if you try and get them to correct it-the first dozen emails they refuse to acknowledge their faults and then they say you can ship it back to Hong Kong for their scrutiny -bad quality – bad customer service – bad photos -bad canvas – bad artscow Nov 2012

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