Mounted and Canvas prints are on the opposite sides of the spectrum when it comes to finishes, cost, and lifespan. There is no ‘generally better’ option, but there is a ‘personally better’ one. Each print has its own pros and cons, but before we get into that, what even are Mounted print and Canvas print?
What is Mounted Printing?
Mounted printing is having your picture printed on a sheet then adhering it to a hard surface. Mounted printing is for when you want to preserve your pictures from aging, like wrinkling or losing colors. The picture is kept flat and adhered to a rigid surface that prevents it from bending, in addition, it can be put on display while being preserved.
The surface, your picture is printed on, varies in material, price, rigidity, and weight. Among the most popular materials are Foamboard, Gatorboard, Aluminium, and Acrylic.
Techniques of Mounted Printing
1. Dry Mounting
The most popular technique of printing and the simplest one. In Dry Mounting, your picture is completely adhered to the previously mentioned rigid surface.
The Dry Mounting technique keeps your printed picture between two adhesive sheets, then uses heat to adhere the back layer to the surface.
- Not the most archival
2. Hinge Mounting
In Hinge Mounting, your picture is adhered to the surface with a hinge. The hinge is usually made of a material that can tear if dropped in order to protect your picture, it’s better if the hinge was torn than your picture.
- Easy to remove.
- Can be used in archiving.
- More complex than dry mounting.
There are other techniques for mounting your picture, each technique has its own advantages, disadvantages, and purpose.
What is Canvas Printing?
The main difference between Canvas and Mounted printing is that in Canvas printing, your picture is printed directly onto the canvas rather than a sheet of paper.
Canvas is a woven fabric mostly known for being durable. It is very popular among artists when oil painting due to its durability.
Canvas printings are popular for their artistic aesthetic as the ink used to print on Canvas is absorbed into the fabric making it look painted on rather than printed.
Materials Used for Canvas
- Polyester: The ink rests on the surface of the fabric rather than seeping into it. Polyester is more affordable than cotton, it proved more vivid-looking pictures and allows more details, however, they aren’t as long-lasting as cotton is.
- Cotton: The ink is absorbed into the fabric. Cotton canvas provides more accurate colors because the ink doesn’t rest on top like the polyester. Cotton canvas can be considered more durable, however, the higher the percentage of cotton there is, the more expensive it is.
Different Finishes of Canvas
- Glossy: Glossy finishes are preferred if you want that extra protective layer, however, it can take away from the artistic feel of the canvas. Canvas prints are popular for their deeper look and colors. Nonetheless, having a glossy canvas can be considered more modern-looking while still keeping that painting feel of a traditional canvas.
- Matte: The main difference between matte and glossy canvas is the thickness of the coating. A matte canvas is coated as well, but with a much thinner layer. Matte canvas can keep the oil-painted-look of the canvas, however, they are less durable than glossy paintings.
So, Which One Should I Go for?
That depends on your picture and your purpose. Canvas and paper are different materials with different finishes and different lifespans. Paper tends to have a glare or a reflection look, unlike canvas that looks more life-like.
In addition, canvas are more durable and have a longer lifespan, therefore, they are a better option for archiving, nonetheless, not all canvas are waterproof, unlike paper.
However, printing on paper is better for details, paper allows a sharper-looking picture, while canvas allows a painted-looking picture. The choice between the two depends on the context, choose whichever fits better into the feel of where you’ll be displaying or keeping your pictures.
Budget wise, both printing’s cost depends on the kind of materials you’re using and the quality you’re seeking, however, generally, mounted printing tends to be more budget-friendly than canvas.