Mounted Photo vs Canvas (A Simple Comparison: The Difference Between Mounted Photo Prints & Canvas Prints, & How To Choose Between Them)

Are you torn between choosing a mounted photo print or a canvas print for your cherished artwork?

Let’s dive into the world of these two printing options and uncover the advantages, limitations, and key factors that’ll help you make an informed decision.

Whether you’re an art enthusiast or simply looking to spruce up your living space, this guide will steer you toward the perfect choice for your unique style and preferences.

What Are Mounted Photo Prints?

Mounted photo prints are a popular choice for art enthusiasts and home decorators alike.

They’re essentially photographs that have been printed onto a high-quality paper and then securely attached, or “mounted,” onto a rigid backing material, often made of foam board or lightweight yet durable materials like Gatorboard.

The Creation Process:

To create a mounted photo print, the process typically involves printing an image on professional-grade photo paper using high-resolution printers.

This results in vivid and sharp colors, capturing the fine details of the image. After printing, the photo is carefully adhered to the chosen backing material using an adhesive, ensuring it remains flat and free from wrinkles or bubbles.

Qualities That Make Them Popular:

  • Affordability: Mounted photo prints are budget-friendly, making them an excellent choice for those looking to adorn their walls with art without breaking the bank.
  • Sharpness and Clarity: The printing process and high-quality paper result in images with exceptional clarity and sharpness, allowing the artwork or photograph to shine.
  • Ease of Framing: Unlike canvas prints, mounted photo prints are lightweight and easy to frame. They fit perfectly into standard frames, saving you the hassle and expense of custom framing.

When to Choose Mounted Photo Prints:

  • Modern Artwork: Mounted photo prints are ideal for modern or contemporary artwork, where the emphasis is on bold colors and crisp lines.
  • Photography: If you have a stunning photograph you want to display, a mounted photo print can showcase it with unmatched clarity.
  • Budget Considerations: When working within a tight budget, mounted photo prints offer an affordable way to add art to your space.

Mounted photo prints are a versatile and cost-effective way to bring your favorite images to life, and they’re particularly suited for modern art and photography.

But, as we’ll explore later, they may not be the perfect choice for every situation, so it’s essential to consider your specific needs and preferences when making a decision.

Advantages of Mounted Photo Prints

Mounted photo prints offer a host of advantages that make them a compelling choice for art buyers. Let’s explore why these prints have become a popular option:


Mounted photo prints are budget-friendly.

You can transform your favorite photographs or artwork into striking wall decor without breaking the bank.

For example, imagine you’ve taken a breathtaking landscape photograph during your travels. Printing and mounting it is a cost-effective way to turn that memory into a piece of art for your home.

Sharpness & Clarity:

One of the standout features of mounted photo prints is the exceptional sharpness and clarity they offer.

The high-resolution printing process ensures that every detail, from the finest brushstroke to the tiniest element in a photograph, is beautifully rendered.

This sharpness brings your artwork to life, making it an excellent choice for intricate or detailed pieces.

Ease of Framing:

Framing can be a cumbersome and expensive part of displaying art.

However, with mounted photo prints, you can sidestep this issue.

These prints are designed to fit into standard frames readily available at most stores. No need for custom framing here.

Consider this scenario: you purchase a vibrant piece of art at a local gallery. With a mounted photo print, you can easily find a frame that complements your artwork and quickly hang it in your preferred spot.

Aligning with Art Buyers’ Needs:

Art buyers often seek affordability, quality, and ease of presentation. Mounted photo prints tick all these boxes.

Whether you’re a budding art collector, a photography enthusiast, or simply looking to enhance your living space, the advantages of mounted photo prints align perfectly with your needs.

These prints allow you to curate your space with beautiful, affordable art that captures the essence of your style and preferences.

In the world of art and photography, the choice of the medium matters, and mounted photo prints shine as an accessible and visually appealing option.

However, as we continue our exploration, we’ll also uncover the limitations you should consider before making your final decision.

Limitations of Mounted Photo Prints

Mounted photo prints offer many benefits, but it’s essential to be aware of their limitations to make an informed choice:

Lack of Texture:

One of the key limitations of mounted photo prints is the absence of texture.

Unlike canvas prints or traditional paintings that have a tactile quality, mounted prints are smooth and lack the depth and texture that some art enthusiasts crave.

Suppose you have a preference for art pieces that you can touch and feel, experiencing the brush strokes or the grain of a canvas. In that case, mounted photo prints may not provide the sensory experience you desire.

Glossy Finish:

Mounted photo prints often have a glossy finish.

While this gloss enhances the vibrancy and sharpness of the image, it can also introduce unwanted reflections, especially in rooms with bright lighting.

This glossy surface may not be ideal if you’re looking to minimize reflections and glare.

Considering Alternative Print Mediums:

If the limitations of mounted photo prints don’t align with your preferences or the specific requirements of your artwork, here are some alternative print mediums to consider:

  • Canvas Prints: Canvas prints, with their textured surface and matte finish, offer a more tactile and traditional feel. They are an excellent choice for those seeking a painterly quality in their art.
  • Acrylic Prints: Acrylic prints provide a modern and sleek look. They feature a high-gloss finish but are less prone to glare than mounted photo prints. The acrylic layer adds depth and enhances color vibrancy.
  • Fine Art Paper Prints: If you desire a traditional, museum-quality look, fine art paper prints are worth considering. They often have a matte finish and are perfect for reproducing paintings and illustrations.

Overcoming Limitations:

While mounted photo prints may lack texture and have a glossy finish, there are ways to work around these limitations:

  • Matting: Adding a mat around your mounted photo print can introduce a tactile element and create separation from the glass or acrylic in the frame, reducing glare.
  • Custom Framing: Opt for custom framing with anti-reflective glass or acrylic to minimize unwanted reflections while maintaining the advantages of mounted prints.

Understanding the limitations of mounted photo prints empowers you to make the right choice based on your preferences and the unique characteristics of your artwork.

What Are Canvas Prints?

Canvas prints offer a distinctive approach to displaying art and photographs, setting them apart from mounted photo prints in several captivating ways.

Canvas Prints: A Different Medium

Canvas prints are exactly what they sound like: images that are printed directly onto canvas fabric rather than paper.

This difference in material alone is enough to create a striking contrast with mounted photo prints.

The choice of canvas introduces texture and depth to your artwork, resulting in a unique and painterly quality that many art enthusiasts find appealing.

Embracing Texture & Brushstrokes:

What truly sets canvas prints apart is the texture of the canvas itself.

When an image is transferred onto canvas, it captures the subtle grooves and weaves of the fabric.

This inherent texture adds depth and character, giving the artwork an authentic, hand-painted feel.

Imagine running your fingers across a canvas print of a serene landscape – you can almost feel the breeze rustling through the trees.

Historical Significance:

Canvas has a rich historical context as an art medium.

It has been used by countless renowned painters over centuries to create iconic masterpieces.

The tactile and textured surface of canvas allowed artists to express their creativity and vision with brushstrokes that added depth and emotion to their work.

Today, canvas prints pay homage to this tradition by offering art lovers a way to bring that timeless, painterly quality into their own spaces.

Canvas prints bridge the gap between traditional and modern art forms.

They evoke the spirit of classical painting while allowing you to showcase your favorite images and photographs.

Advantages of Canvas Prints

Canvas prints offer a range of unique advantages that make them a captivating choice for art enthusiasts and interior decorators alike.

Let’s dive into these distinct advantages:

Texture & Depth:

The most striking feature of canvas prints is the texture they bring to your art.

When you hang a canvas print on your wall, you’re not just displaying an image; you’re showcasing a tactile masterpiece.

The texture adds depth and character, making the artwork come to life in a way that paper prints simply cannot replicate.

Example: Imagine a close-up photograph of a vibrant flower. When printed on canvas, you can almost feel the petals and leaves beneath your fingertips. This tactile quality enhances the overall aesthetic and makes it a standout piece of art.

Artistic Appeal:

Canvas prints have an inherent artistic appeal.

They mimic the look of a traditional painting, complete with the texture and brushstroke-like details.

This makes them an excellent choice for both classic and contemporary artworks.

Whether you’re displaying a timeless landscape or a modern abstract piece, canvas prints complement the artistic vision behind the work.

Example: A canvas print of an abstract painting adds an element of intrigue to your living room, sparking conversations and evoking emotions in your guests.

Sense of Ownership:

Owning a canvas print can evoke a profound sense of connection with the artwork.

The tactile experience of a canvas print and its painterly quality make you feel like you possess a genuine piece of art.

It’s not just a photograph or a reproduction; it’s a unique creation that you can proudly display in your home or office.

Example: Imagine commissioning a family portrait and having it printed on canvas. Hanging it in your living room doesn’t just display a photo; it captures the essence of your family’s bond in a way that brings warmth and nostalgia to your space.

Canvas prints offer more than just visual appeal; they engage your senses and emotions. Whether you’re an art connoisseur or simply looking to elevate your interior decor, canvas prints provide a distinct and immersive way to experience and appreciate art.

Limitations of Canvas Prints

While canvas prints offer many advantages, they are not without their limitations. It’s essential to consider these factors when deciding if canvas prints are the right choice for your artwork or decor:

Higher Costs:

Canvas prints are generally more expensive than mounted photo prints.

The materials used, including the canvas itself and the inkjet printing process, contribute to the higher cost.

If you’re working with a tight budget, this can be a significant consideration.

Solutions & Recommendations:

  • Choose Smaller Sizes: Opting for a smaller canvas print can help manage costs while still enjoying the benefits of this medium.
  • Wait for Sales or Discounts: Many printing companies offer promotions and discounts. Keep an eye out for these opportunities to get a canvas print at a more affordable price.

Framing Requirements:

Canvas prints often require appropriate framing to protect and showcase the artwork properly. While this enhances the overall aesthetic, it can add extra costs and complexity, especially if you require custom framing.

Solutions & Recommendations:

  • Ready-Made Frames: Some canvas prints are designed to fit into standard-sized frames, which can be more budget-friendly.
  • Explore Floater Frames: Floater frames provide a contemporary and elegant way to frame canvas prints without covering the edges of the artwork.

Not Ideal for All Artwork:

Canvas prints may not be the ideal choice for every type of artwork.

Pieces with intricate details or photographs that require ultra-sharp clarity might benefit more from mounted photo prints.

Additionally, if you’re looking for a sleek, modern look without texture, canvas may not align with your aesthetic preferences.

When Canvas Prints May Not Be Ideal:

  • Highly Detailed Art: For artworks with intricate details, such as hyper-realistic paintings, mounted photo prints can better capture the fine nuances.
  • Minimalist Decor: In spaces where a sleek and minimalistic look is desired, the texture of canvas prints may clash with the design.

Understanding these limitations empowers you to make an informed decision when choosing between canvas prints and other mediums.

By carefully considering your budget, framing options, and the nature of your artwork or decor, you can determine whether canvas prints are the perfect fit for your unique vision.

Making the Decision: Factors to Consider

Choosing between mounted photo prints and canvas prints is a significant decision, and several key factors should influence your choice.

Here’s a checklist of considerations to help you make the right decision:


  • Assess your budget for art or decor.
  • Keep in mind that canvas prints are often more expensive than mounted photo prints.

Artwork Style:

  • Consider the style of the artwork or photograph you want to display.
  • Mounted photo prints are well-suited for modern and highly detailed pieces.
  • Canvas prints are ideal for artwork that benefits from texture and a painterly quality.

Display Location:

  • Think about where you intend to hang or display the artwork.
  • Canvas prints with their textured surface can add warmth to living rooms and bedrooms.
  • Mounted photo prints, with their smooth finish, are suitable for well-lit spaces where glare might be an issue.

Artistic Vision:

  • Reflect on your artistic vision and the emotional impact you want the artwork to have.
  • Canvas prints evoke a sense of artistry and depth.
  • Mounted photo prints emphasize clarity and precision.

Framing Preferences:

  • Consider your framing preferences.
  • If you prefer the convenience of standard frames, mounted photo prints may be the way to go.
  • If you enjoy the look of canvas wrapped around the edges, canvas prints might be your choice.

Artwork Details:

  • Pay attention to the level of detail in the artwork or photograph.
  • Highly detailed pieces may benefit from the sharpness of mounted photo prints.

Lighting Conditions:

  • Evaluate the lighting conditions in the display area.
  • Canvas prints can create a warm and inviting ambiance in well-lit spaces.
  • Mounted photo prints may be better suited to areas with abundant natural light.

Personal Preference:

  • Trust your personal taste and preferences.
  • Ultimately, your emotional connection to the artwork matters most.

By considering these factors, you can make an informed choice between mounted photo prints and canvas prints that aligns with your vision, budget, and display requirements.

Keep in mind that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and the right choice for you will be as unique as the artwork you wish to showcase.

Making the Decision: Personal Preferences Matter

When it comes to choosing between mounted photo prints and canvas prints, it’s crucial to remember that personal taste and individual preferences play a pivotal role.

Here’s why your unique vision should be at the forefront of your decision:

Art is Personal:

Art is an inherently personal experience. What resonates with one person might not have the same effect on another.

Your choice of print medium should reflect your emotional connection to the artwork or photograph. If you feel a strong bond with a piece, it’s likely that your choice of print medium will enhance that connection.

Case Studies:

Let’s explore a couple of case studies to illustrate how personal preferences can shape the choice of print medium:

Case Study 1: Sarah’s Vibrant Living Room

  • Sarah has a vibrant and eclectic living room with bold colors and contemporary decor.
  • She recently purchased a canvas print of a colorful abstract painting to complement her decor.
  • The canvas print’s texture and artistic feel perfectly align with the energetic ambiance of her living space.

Case Study 2: David’s Minimalist Office

  • David, on the other hand, has a minimalist home office with clean lines and a monochromatic color scheme.
  • He wanted to display a black and white photograph he took during his travels.
  • David opted for a mounted photo print to maintain the sleek and precise look of his office.

These case studies highlight how personal preferences and the specific characteristics of the display location can influence the choice between mounted photo prints and canvas prints.

The key takeaway is that there’s no one-size-fits-all answer, and what works best for you is what resonates with your unique style and emotional connection to the artwork.

Emotional Connection:

Ultimately, your decision should prioritize the emotional connection you have with the art or photograph.

Whether it’s the tactile experience of a canvas print or the sharp clarity of a mounted photo print, the medium that speaks to you on a personal level is the right one.

In the end, the perfect choice between mounted photo prints and canvas prints is the one that brings you joy and enhances your connection with the artwork.

Your home or office should be a reflection of your personality and tastes, and your choice of print medium should align with your unique vision.

Trust your instincts and let your personal preferences guide you in making this important decision.