Photography & Print

Canvas Prints vs. Acrylic Prints: Finding Your Perfect Fit

When it comes to photography, there’s more to the process than creating the ideal composition. Whether you’re a professional photographer looking for high quality printing solutions for your images or an amateur who wants to learn more about the industry, it’s important to understand that different printing options are suited to different images.

While hours of planning and preparation can go into capturing the perfect picture, your labour will be ultimately fruitless unless you choose a printing solution that does your image justice. Both canvas prints and acrylic prints offer a gorgeous way to display your photographs, but they differ greatly when it comes to their unique benefits.

If you need some help demystifying these professional printing solutions, we’re breaking down the features of acrylic and canvas prints to help you decide which one’s right for your shots.


The Process

Canvas prints are made by printing an image directly onto a canvas, which is then stretched or wrapped around a frame – either wrapping the image around the stretchers or using a white or coloured border. Canvas gallery wraps can be made to bespoke sizes – meaning that, large or small, the end result will be a truly individual print. Canvas prints can be protected by a UV laminate before they’re wrapped around the wooden frame. Acrylic photo printing involves printing onto photographic paper and sandwiching between two sheets of 5mm acrylic.  The back sheet of acrylic can be black, white or transparent, depending on which best suits the style of the image. Aluminium standoffs are used to attach the acrylic frame to the wall, giving it visual depth.


In terms of displaying your final product, it’s essential to think about the aesthetic you’re aiming for. To achieve a sleek and contemporary look, acrylic printing provides vibrant and sharp images. While it’s still not as widely used as canvas printing, acrylic photo printing continues to grow in popularity – and is particularly important for professionals who place a great deal of value in presentation. Canvas printing, however, produces a textured finish to give your print a more old-school and authentic look. Canvases are the more popular choice in interior design and home decor, offering an easy and affordable way to display prints. Acrylics, on the other hand, are often used in a more commercial environment – particularly in office spaces and reception areas.

Colour Vibrancy

Where vibrancy is concerned, acrylic prints have an edge on canvas printing – with the face mount option taking full advantage of the reflective quality of acrylic. Because no light passes through an acrylic print, deep, rich colours are able to maintain their vibrancy. In canvas printing, on the other hand, more colour needs to be added to guarantee the best ink coverage, which means that detailing can be lost.


If you’re looking for the most durable option, both canvas and acrylic prints boast their own protective benefits – but acrylic photo printing is the best option where longevity is concerned. This form of printing is shatter resistant, lighter than glass and provides UV protection to prevent your image being damaged by sunlight – with some acrylic prints even being resistant to scratching.

For the canvas wraps, the laminate leaves your canvas splash-proof and easy to wipe down as well as offering UV protection. If the canvas wrap is varnished and not laminated, as is often the case with cheaper alternatives, the canvas is at risk of ink cracks – but the laminate finish means this won’t be an issue.



Cost is a key factor when it comes to choosing the best photo printing option for your images. For working photographers, it’s undoubtedly worth spending extra on acrylic prints, which provide a more durable and vibrant outcome on the whole.

Canvas printing continues to grow in popularity, with canvas wraps offering the chance to create a bespoke piece of artwork at a competitive price. There’s no doubt, though, that acrylic photo printing is hot on the heels of this old favourite, making it a worthy photo printing option for amateurs and professionals alike.

Whether you’re interested in canvas prints or acrylic prints, Digitalab can help you find the best photo printing option for your images. We’re printing specialists, committed to giving our customers the best possible results every time – order online now to get yours.