Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Review: Easy Canvas Prints

You may have noticed that we added a new advertisement on the sidebar to the left. Easy Canvas Prints contacted us a few months ago, asking if we wanted to do a review of their services in exchange for a link-back. Sounds like a win-win situation to me, so we gladly accepted the offer.

I knew right away I wanted to do a piece with horses. I had been interested in horse art since seeing this blog photo a few months ago:

I love it, but I didn’t think I wanted to do something quite so abstract. I downloaded a free high resolution photo from the Pioneer Woman (she makes several photos available free of charge and in high resolution formats, just as an FYI), and pulled it into Photoshop. I can no longer find the original photo on my computer, and the Pioneer Woman's site has a broken link. So you'll just have to take my word for it - it was a colorful photo, quite different than what I wound up with.

I converted to grayscale using my favorite method. I then added a photo texture (using the method I wrote about here). Ran a few actions to sharpen and add contrast. And I ended up with a gritty looking rustic version of the original photo:

I dig it. I then logged into Easy Canvas Prints to begin the process. I’ve ordered from canvas print companies previously, and didn’t always have the greatest experience. So I was pleasantly surprised to find that the Easy Canvas Prints interface was super easy to navigate, and the upload and formatting process took just seconds. I was very impressed with the user interface (and as someone who worked many years as a web designer, I am very picky about usable design so this is high praise). Uploading my photo and selected the options I wanted was a breeze. I finished the process and completed my order.

A few short days later (I received the expedited shipping option), my canvas arrived in the mail. Unfortunately the photo had been cropped in a way that cut off one of the horse's heads. This is not at all what I saw in the preview. What a bummer!

To make sure it wasn't a mistake on my part, I went through the upload and preview process again. This time, I took screenshots, which I sent back to Easy Canvas Prints.

I wanted to let them know that the print hadn't turned out the way I'd expected. My contact was very nice and promised to share my experience with the art department and customer service manager. It's been a few weeks, and I have yet to hear back. If I had paid for the print, I would have expected a refund or a corrected version of the canvas. Since it was free to me, I suppose I can't complain.

Overall assessment: If you decide to order from this company, I recommend being very cautious when formatting your photos for print. If at all possible, try to have an inch on each side that could be cropped without totally wrecking the composition of your photo.

That said, the quality of the print, in general, is good. So I will give them credit there.

Overall review: Easy-to-use site, quick shipping, quality materials, but lukewarm results. Good prices for canvas prints, but order with caution.

Disclaimer: I’m not being paid by Easy Canvas Prints to write this review, nor are they a paying sponsor or advertiser with this site. However, they did provide a free canvas print for my evaluation in exchange for a link-back. Everything written here is my honest opinion and review of their service. Let me know if you have any questions!


lauren @ our big fat farm wedding: crazy ever after October 10, 2011 at 8:58 AM  

I want to make a few canvas prints from our wedding photographs. This was super helpful in who I will be ordering from. Thank you!

Sarah (Mrs. Ruffled Flats) October 10, 2011 at 11:41 AM  

Wow - that really sucks! You would think they would handle it better if you were going to be reviewing them. Oh well - the photo you chose is awesome. I hope you can use it without being frustrated every time you look at it.

Sara @ Russet Street Reno October 10, 2011 at 8:23 PM  

Wow, that stinks that they cut that off. That clearly shows that there is no one looking before the item is printed, no human would allow that to happen! I have printed two items at Canvas on Demand, and they turned out perfect.

Steph October 18, 2011 at 12:59 PM  

That's disappointing. Hopefully they contact you to fix the issue!

If you're looking for canvas prints still, I *highly* recommend Canvas on Demand; watch for a Groupon and you'll get a 16x20 for $45.

Or, grab a Costco membership. They do 16x20s for the same price!

Elle November 4, 2011 at 3:52 PM  

Thanks for your review. It's too bad that your canvas was cropped wrong.

We used a groupon for Canvas on Demand and I was really impressed with the way it turned out. I think I have a coupon code around if you're going to order another canvas

We also tried printing at UPS (they print on canvas but don't stretch). We were happy with the way that turned out too, until the surface cracked after it was stretched. I wouldn't recommend them unless the canvas would be framed so visible cracks wouldn't be an issue. We paid about $55 for a 2'x3'

Kala December 12, 2011 at 3:33 PM  

I had a similar issue when loading a picture on another site, Canvas People. The preview kept showing they were going to crop the photo so parts of it, that I wanted showing, would be on the sides of the canvas. To get around that I decided to add a black border. Since I'm having them put a frame on it it should be fine. I'll see when it comes in. Delivery is Wednesday!

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