We reviewed the service four ourselves. Well, for you really, but we had fun doing it. And, the good news is we can now say with confidence, this canvas printmaker is worth considering.
Read on for our full review of the iCanvas photo canvas.
About iCanvas Photo Canvas
iCanvas honors one principle at its core:
Art should be accessible to anyone and everyone.
Their made-to-order products are handcrafted to meet each customer’s unique specifications.
The reason they maintain a low profile?
Most of their business revolves around selling pre-existing licensed artwork to corporate clients. They supply decor for dentist’s waiting rooms, restaurants, office buildings, and much much more.
But, that doesn’t mean the company doesn’t process custom photographs. In fact, iCanvas maintains positive feedback from a number of review sites. That’s why we included iCanvas as one of the top 11 canvas printing services.
But will the product live up to PhotoWorkout’s standards?
The Pros and Cons of iCanvas Photo Canvas
Positive: A Photographer-Friendly Design
My first impression of iCanvas was that it seemed a bit sterile. However, sometimes a simple design is the most efficient choice available.
It’s important to keep in mind iCanvas isn’t oriented toward photographers the same way that competing services are. Instead, it primarily focuses on printing from its pre-existing art archives.
Initially, I wanted to scroll through the page to locate the section I was looking for. It took a minute or two to find the “custom” option, which allowed me to upload my personal photographs.
(Hint: It’s on the far right of the menu bar at the top of the page. You can see it outlined in red in the image above.)
That being said, the site wasn’t hard to navigate from that point on. I didn’t run into any snags while placing my order or uploading images.
While far from having the flashiest web design, it’s intuitive and easy enough to use.
While the presentation is simple, iCanvas doesn’t skimp where it matters most. The site includes comprehensive information on products, policies, and frequently asked questions.
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Negative: Clumsy Customization
Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot of room to color outside the lines with iCanvas photo canvas. Truth be told, there’s a distinct lack of editing options available with only a few variables for customers to choose between.
One of the biggest detractors, in my opinion, is the inability to input custom sizes.
Normally, This wouldn’t be much of an issue. However, iCanvas only offers five sizing options in traditional horizontal and vertical orientations. Luckily, there are square and panoramic options available, which provide customers with a few more options.
Another flaw is a lack of live preview for iCanvas photo canvas offers. You can’t shift your photographs position on the canvas or zoom in or out of the composition. While I generally feel that editing features aren’t exactly necessary, the lack of control seems like a major oversight.
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Positive: Affordable Pricing for All
As mentioned earlier, iCanvas makes an effort to make art accessible. Price plays a big factor in that. To live up to their promise, it’s their duty to keep prices down as much as possible.
All in all, they do a pretty good job at doing so.
Their regular base prices are admittedly a bit high, but the site often employs sales that essentially slash prices in half. I was able to pick up my 18″x26″ canvas for just $45. But prices do fluctuate depending on what promotions are running.
To make things easy, iCanvas accepts most major credit cards as well as PayPal. As an added bonus, US orders include free shipping! That means no surprise fees when you head to check out.
Negative: Considerable Wait Periods
Sadly, iCanvas can’t work its magic overnight. Customers shouldn’t wait until the last minute to submit their canvas orders.
Wait times between production and shipping can be quite long.
According to the website’s FAQ section, it can take up to seven days to create and assemble an original piece. What’s more, it can take an additional eight to twelve days for packages to arrive through free standard shipping.
While some customers may not have to pay for shipping, they’ll have to “pay” by waiting nearly two weeks for delivery.
However, it’s worth noting that not everything iCanvas does is at a snail’s pace.
The company goes through the trouble of sending proofs within 24 hours of placing an order. In my case, it only took about 45 minutes for a representative to get in touch with a preview of my piece! 💪🏼
Positive: High-Quality Materials
One aspect that shouldn’t be glossed over is the care and attention that goes into making each iCanvas photo canvas. The company uses high-quality materials that produce attractive, long-lasting products.
Every iCanvas Photo canvas is made on a poly-cotton blend fabric designed to get the best looking results possible.
- The cotton absorbs the color
- and the polyester provides a sharp finish and vibrant details
What’s more, the use of a water-resistant material makes it possible to wash and clean.
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From there, images are stretched over kiln-dried pine frames. These frames are entirely devoid of moisture, meaning that they won’t shrink or warp with the passing of time. The same cannot be said of the composite lumber blends some other canvas manufacturers utilize.
Initially, I was a little bit confused by some bits of plastic along the frame’s inner corners. However, this unique addition isn’t a sign of poor craftsmanship. Rather, these pieces are actually stretcher wedges, which can be adjusted to keep canvases taught.
Here they are in action:
Best of all?
The iCanvas website includes a comprehensive canvas care guide to keep your product in the best shape possible. Whether you’re researching how to mount your piece or looking into fixing a crease, iCanvas provides customers with an answer.
My iCanvas Photo Canvas Experience
Over the course of my research, I encountered positive and negative attributes concerning the service. So, I was eager to see how that would translate into my experience with the company.
As I mentioned earlier, navigating the website and getting through the ordering process was as painless as could be. The wait for my product was longer than I initially expected.
But to be fair…
it was still well within the 15 to 19 day waiting period listed on their website.
When the package did arrive, I was pleased to see the canvas was well protected to prevent any sort of damage in route. Having ordered about a dozen canvases for past reviews, a fair number have arrived with scratches, creases, or dents.
Seeing everything was in pristine condition was certainly a good first impression.
After examining the overall condition of my print, what really grabbed my attention was the vibrant color.
In part, this has to do with the choice of canvas material. The fade and water resistant Epson inks used to print also played into the attractive appearance of my latest purchase.
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The color wasn’t the only aspect that impressed me, though.
They also did a phenomenal job handling the sharp and blurred areas of my image. It really did the bokeh effect I used to photograph this flowering bush the justice it deserved.
Once I received my iCanvas photo canvas, I found out it came with a 60-day return and exchange policy. Just in case I need to rectify any potential issues.
However, I’m happy to report that at no point was I tempted to take iCanvas up on that offer!
Our Verdict On The iCanvas Photo Canvas
I didn’t know what to expect from my iCanvas photo canvas, given the mixed results my research yielded. Now that I am seeing the end product in the flesh, I couldn’t be happier!
This canvas really surpassed my expectations.
iCanvas may not be the most obvious choice, as it doesn’t have the notoriety other services have. Nevertheless, it’s a safe option to go with if you’re looking for a gorgeous piece to liven up a room.
Whether you’re looking to buy art from others or print photographs on your own, this is one name that you’ll want to keep on your radar.
iCanvas Photo Canvas Review
iCanvas isn’t the easiest website to navigate, and orders take a little while to make it to customers. However, their beautiful photo canvases made with specially formulated materials make any minor headaches worthwhile. What’s more, their products come at a pretty reasonable price.
Meghan is an artist and writer based out of Boston, MA. With an interest in everything from instant film to experimental videography, her work has been featured internationally in a variety of photographic exhibitions and publications. As a regular contributor, she uses her broad background in fine art and varied professional experiences to inform her articles.