Canvas vs Print (A Simple Comparison: The Difference Between Them, & How To Choose Between Art Prints or Printed Canvases)

Canvas prints have a textured surface and mimic the look of an original painting, while art prints offer a smooth finish with a wider range of printing options. The choice depends on personal preference and intended use.

The Difference Between Canvas Print & Art Print

Are you an art enthusiast trying to pick between a canvas print or art print? Wondering what sets them apart?

I’m here to help!

Join me as we dive into the world of art and explore the differences between canvas prints and art prints.

By the end of this post, you’ll have all the information you need to know to make the best decision for your art collection.

What Are Canvas Prints & Art Prints?

Canvas prints and art prints are two common types of prints you can purchase. A canvas print is an image printed onto canvas, which is then stretched and mounted onto a frame. An art print, on the other hand, is an image printed onto paper. While both types of prints are popular, there are several key differences between the two.

Material Quality

You may have noticed that the quality of materials used in prints can greatly affect their appearance and durability. In the case of canvas prints, the type of material used is crucial in achieving a sharp and vibrant image that lasts. High-grade, acid-free cotton canvas is the way to go because it’s durable and retains color over time. If you opt for lower-quality canvas, your print could end up looking flimsy, uneven, and prone to fading and yellowing over time.

Are you wondering what a stretched canvas really looks like? Lucky for you, I found this killer product video from Society6 (check it out below).

Product Video: Society6 Canvas Prints

On the other hand, art prints are typically made on paper. You really should aim for getting an art print made with archival paper. This type of paper is designed to last, with a pH balance that prevents yellowing and fading over time. The thickness and weight of the paper are also important factors that can affect the quality of the print. A heavier paper can produce a sturdier print that will resist wrinkling or damage when you frame it.

If you’re wondering what a typical art print looks like, you’re in luck! I found this incredible product video from Society6 that showcases just what their art prints look like (check it out below!).

Product Video: Society6 Art Prints

When deciding between canvas and art prints, you need to think about where and how you’ll be displaying your print. For high-traffic areas or places with high humidity, canvas prints may be the better option due to their durability and resistance to warping. However, if you’re looking for a print to display in a formal setting or as a collectible, an art print may be the better choice. Its higher-quality paper and archival properties will ensure it remains in excellent condition for years to come.

Print Quality

You might wonder about the differences in print quality between canvas prints and art prints.

The first thing to note is that canvas prints tend to have a more textured surface, which can give them a more authentic and painterly look. However, this texture can also cause some loss of detail in the print, especially in areas with fine lines or small text.

On the other hand, art prints usually have a smoother surface that allows for finer details to be reproduced more accurately.

The quality of a print depends on several factors, including the resolution of the image, the type of printer and ink used, and the printing process. While both canvas prints and art prints can be produced with premium printing processes, it’s essential to choose a reputable printer who uses quality materials and techniques.

Ultimately, the choice between the two will depend on your personal preference and the intended use of the print. If you’re looking for a print that looks authentic and painterly, canvas prints may be the way to go. However, if you’re looking for a print with fine details, an art print may be the better option for you.

Durability & Longevity

Canvas prints and art prints both have varying levels of durability and longevity. However, canvas prints, which are made by printing an image onto canvas material and then stretching and mounting it onto a wooden frame, are known for their ability to resist fading and wear over time. This is because the canvas material is often made from high-quality materials like cotton, polyester, or linen, and may be coated with a protective layer to prevent damage from UV rays and other environmental factors.

Art prints, on the other hand, are typically created using high-quality paper and printing techniques like giclée printing. While the durability and longevity of art prints may vary based on the materials used and the printing process, some are produced using archival-quality paper and inks to help prevent fading and deterioration over time.

Despite these differences, canvas prints are generally considered to be more durable and long-lasting than art prints. Nonetheless, the quality of both types of prints depends on the specific materials and printing techniques used. It is crucial to choose high-quality materials and printing processes when buying either type of print to guarantee the best possible durability and longevity.


As a buyer, the price of a print is an important consideration when deciding between canvas prints and art prints. Let me break down the costs for each type of print and explain what factors can affect the final price.

Canvas prints can be pricier than art prints due to the materials and production process. The canvas used for these prints is often made from high-quality materials like cotton, polyester, or linen, which can be more expensive than the paper used for art prints. Additionally, the printing process is more complex and time-consuming, involving stretching the canvas over a wooden frame and applying a protective coating. Larger prints or higher-resolution images can also add to the final cost.

In comparison, art prints are more affordable due to the lower cost of materials and simpler printing process. These prints are usually made on high-quality paper with archival inks to ensure long-lasting vibrancy. The cost can vary depending on factors like the size, type of paper, and edition size.

While canvas prints may be a bit pricier, they are also considered more durable and long-lasting than art prints. If you’re willing to invest in a high-quality piece of art that will last for many years, a canvas print may be the way to go. However, if you’re on a budget, an art print can provide a great alternative that still offers a high-quality print.

Display Options

When it comes to displaying prints, there are several options available to showcase your artwork, depending on the type of print you have. Let’s explore the different display options for canvas prints and art prints.

Canvas prints are flexible and can be hung in many ways, with or without frames. The canvas can be stretched around a wooden frame, giving it a three-dimensional look that makes the artwork pop. If you choose to frame your canvas print (Amazon), there are countless framing options available to choose from, enabling you to match the décor of the room where you plan to showcase the print. Alternatively, you can mount the canvas print directly on the wall without a frame, offering a sleek and modern display option.

On the other hand, art prints are typically displayed by framing them behind glass (Amazon), providing protection against damage, dust, and moisture. Though less common, art prints can also be mounted directly on the wall without a frame.

When it comes to displaying canvas prints versus art prints, the choice typically depends on personal preference and the intended use of the print. For example, canvas prints can be the perfect addition to your room’s decor, especially if you’re looking for a casual or rustic feel. Imagine a canvas print of a serene nature scene or a majestic landscape in your cozy cabin or cottage-style home. You could also opt for canvas prints featuring abstract art or vintage illustrations that could complement an industrial or bohemian decor style.

In contrast, if you’re aiming for elegance and sophistication, art prints are often a better fit for more formal or minimalist settings. Think about a classic painting or a timeless black-and-white photograph adorning your office or dining room. These art prints can add a touch of refinement to any space. On the other hand, you could also explore modern and minimalistic designs that complement contemporary decor styles.

Remember that your choice of prints can set the mood and tone of your room, so choose wisely! Canvas prints are often displayed in more casual settings such as living rooms or bedrooms, while art prints are typically reserved for more formal spaces like offices.

More Distinctions Between Canvas Prints & Art Prints

  • Suitability for Artistic Styles: Canvas prints often lend themselves well to bold and expressive pieces, while paper prints might be better suited for delicate and intricate artworks.
  • Variety of Finish Options: Canvas and paper prints come with various finish options that can affect the final appearance and protection of the artwork. Matte, satin, and glossy finishes are commonly available for both types of prints, each offering a unique visual effect.
  • Transportation & Handling: Canvas prints are generally more lightweight and flexible, making them easier to transport without the risk of bending or creasing. Paper prints, however, may require more careful handling to avoid damage.
  • Maintenance & Cleaning: Canvas prints can be gently dusted or wiped clean without the need for glass cleaning solutions. Paper prints, especially when framed under glass, may require more delicate cleaning to avoid damaging the artwork.
  • Intended Display Location: Canvas prints might be more suitable for spaces where natural lighting can enhance their texture, while paper prints could be ideal for areas with controlled lighting conditions.
  • Artwork Reproduction: Canvas prints can mimic the appearance of original paintings, while paper prints can be used for reproducing drawings, illustrations, and photographs.

Conclusion: How to Choose Between Canvas or Print

Deciding on artwork for your space? The choice between canvas and art prints has a big impact on the vibe and style. Let’s explore the advantages and disadvantages of each, guiding you toward a choice that fits your taste and aims.

Canvas Prints: Pros & Cons


  • Texture: Canvas prints have a unique texture that can add depth and dimension to the artwork. The tactile quality of canvas can create an engaging viewing experience, making it particularly suitable for images that aim to evoke emotion and a sense of presence. This texture adds an extra layer of character to landscapes, abstract art, and portraits, enhancing the overall visual appeal.
  • Durability: High-quality canvas prints are often coated to protect against fading, moisture, and UV rays, ensuring the longevity of the artwork. This durability makes them well-suited for spaces with varying humidity levels or exposure to sunlight.
  • Frameless Display: Canvas prints can be stretched and displayed without a frame for a modern and minimalist look. Canvas prints look great on walls, on top of a mantel, on an easel stand, leaning against the wall, or a picture ledge.
  • Artistic Expression: The canvas material lends itself well to artistic interpretations, allowing photographers and artists to experiment with different techniques, such as adding brushstrokes or other enhancements. This can result in a unique and personalized presentation that stands out.


  • Cost: Canvas prints are often more expensive to produce than paper prints due to the materials and printing process.
  • Color Accuracy: Depending on the printing process, canvas prints might have slightly less color accuracy compared to paper prints.
  • Reflection: Canvas prints can have a slightly glossy finish, which may lead to reflections and glare in certain lighting conditions.

Paper Art Prints: Pros & Cons


  • Detail & Sharpness: High-quality paper prints can capture fine details and sharpness of the artwork or a photo with exceptional clarity. This makes paper an excellent choice for artwork or photos that showcase intricate textures, patterns, and small elements. Whether it’s the delicate petals of a flower or the intricate architecture of a building, paper prints can truly highlight the finer aspects of the image.
  • Color Accuracy: Paper prints often offer better color accuracy and vibrancy compared to some canvas prints.
  • Affordability: Paper prints are generally more affordable than canvas prints, making them accessible to a wider audience.
  • Framing Options: Paper prints can be easily framed under glass for protection and a polished look.
  • Versatility: Paper prints offer a versatile option for displaying a wide range of subjects, from vibrant cityscapes to delicate portraits. The smooth surface of paper can provide a clean and polished look that complements various artistic styles and themes.


  • Fragility: Paper prints are more delicate and susceptible to damage from handling, moisture, and UV light exposure.
  • Limited Texture: Paper prints lack the textured surface that canvas provides.
  • Framing Required: Framing is often necessary to protect and display paper prints properly, which can add to the overall cost.

No matter which type of print you choose, both options have unique advantages and will add a touch of personality to any space. By thoughtfully considering the factors discussed in this post, you can confidently select a print that will be a beautiful and long-lasting addition to your home or office. So go ahead and choose the print that speaks to you, and bask in the beauty it brings to your space for years to come.