Once you’ve captured the perfect photograph or created a unique piece of digital artwork, how do you decide how to show it off? Selecting the right digital printing material and finishes is essential to fully showcasing and enjoying your masterpiece. Two popular materials are canvas and metal prints. So do you go with traditional canvas prints or sleek and modern metal prints?

Differences Between Metal and Canvas Mediums

When considering metal prints vs canvas prints, there are some important differences to note. With both canvas prints and Dibond metal prints, the ink is printed directly onto the material. However, when printing on Dibond, the brushed aluminum actually becomes part of the art. Any white is removed and instead, the metal shines through. This gives Dibond metal prints a cool 3D effect that can’t be achieved using canvas or any other medium.

With ChromaLuxe® dye-sub metal prints, the dye sublimation process means that the image is printed onto special paper and then heat pressed onto the white metal. This process makes the ChromaLuxe® print incredibly durable against scratches, dust and even weather elements.

Many customers ask, “do metal prints fade?” Both Dibond and ChromaLuxe® metal prints are resistant to fading and water, making them great options for displaying art outside. In fact, Dibond material is actually used as architectural accents on buildings.

Canvas prints require a precise technique to hand-stretch the thick fabric over the frame (or gallery wrapped), creating a timeless beauty. Although canvas and metal prints are both very durable, metal wins the competition. Canvas is a natural material and thus subject to moisture, warping, and tearing.

Another reason why metal prints are often preferred is that they can be custom cut using a high-speed router: any size digital print, up to eight feet, and in any shape, and with either a glossy or matte finish (be careful of hanging cut metal prints too low – little fingers and paws could get hurt on the cut metal). With canvas prints, you can order any custom size but shapes are limited.

Similarities of Canvas Prints and Modern Metal Prints

Artisan canvas prints and metal prints are both professionally printed at the highest quality using the best materials. The latex-based ink used when printing on canvas resists fading and needs no other varnish. Likewise, the UV-cured ink used in Dibond printing and the dye-sublimination process used in ChromaLuxe® make metal prints scratch and fade resistant.

When considering the lifespan of photo prints on metal vs canvas, both are made to last. Canvas prints can last over 100 years when cared for properly. ChromaLuxe® white metal prints also boast outstanding archival quality, lasting up to 65 years when displayed indoors.

Attention and artistry go into printing on each medium. They can both be customized in size and shape. You can hang both framed metal prints and canvas prints, or they can be hung without a decorative frame. Canvas prints especially require a precise technique to be hand-stretched over the frame (or gallery wrapped), creating a timeless beauty.

When to Print on Metal

On account of its durability, metal prints are great when displaying artwork outside. Metal prints are also a great choice when your image has bold or contrasting colors with high-resolution.

Choose metal when you want to show off brilliant HD colors on ChromaLuxe or when you want to use the brushed aluminum of Dibond as a design element in the print. Letting the metal shine through in any white areas brings a modern, industrial look to the polished print. For example, a black and white photo printed on metal, like Dibond, creates a truly unique image.

ArtisanHD can help you decide between print materials like metal vs canvas to highlight the best features of your image.

Ready to create a stunning work of art? All you need to do is upload your files and customize to create your own masterpiece.