What does a cup of cappucino have to do with printing photos on canvas?
But, when is NOT a good time to share a cup of coffee? Besides, over at Beyond Layers we are sharing our cuppa cuppas, so I'm throwing in with this one. I have an embarrassingly large assortment of coffee mugs, but this one is not mine. This cuppa was enjoyed at Merridee's Breadbasket in Franklin, TN. There's not much more to say about it than that, so let's move on.
I have completed my great photo art printing experiment and wanted to share the results. As I've mentioned, I'm participating in a traveling art gallery which meant that I actually had to get my work printed. Having no experience in such things, I decided to try different online companies and compare the results.
All images printed were approximately the same size - 16 x 20 stretched canvas with either a 1.5 or .75 inch stretcher bar. They were gallery wrapped and were suitable for hanging without framing. When I had the option, I went with a black border but some did not provide that option.
I created a little spreadsheet with the results that you can view here as a google doc.
To summarize, out of the five vendors I tried, there emerged one clear winner and one clear loser.
The Winner - Winkflash
I cannot say enough good things about the quality of the canvas, the workmanship, and the customer service. I actually ended up ordering three canvases from them. One did have a small defect in production, but returns are super easy, they replaced it quickly and refunded the shipping cost.
The price at $35.00 with the promo and only $6.99 for shipping, this was the cheapest of all the ones I tried and the quality was as good or better than any of them.
The only downside was the fact that there was no color border option, so you do have to account for how much of your image will wrap around the side. With some care, this is not a huge issue.
As far as I know Winkflash doesn't have an affiliate program, or I'd be all over it. So, my promotion of them is totally unbiased. I did find them through an ad served to my site through Google Adsense though, so chances are you will see an ad pop up here because I'm talking about them.
The Loser - Best Canvas
I cannot say enough BAD things about this company. Had I done just a little googling, I would have known better than to try them as the complaints are many. The only thing poorer than the quality of this product was the customer service.
They did not come even close to the promised turn-around time for shipping. I ordered 2 canvases on the same day and they arrived a week apart. I tried to cancel the second one after I saw the poor quality of materials on my first shipment but they shipped it any way. It was terrible, too.
The canvas material was quite thin, very loosely stretched and were poorly packaged. Each of the three canvases had DEEP creases around the stretcher bars, and one of them was actually wrinkly right in the center.
Trying to resolve the issue has been a nightmare. The phone lines are always busy, and email inquiries resulted in form letters and offers to reprint. I declined the reprint offer and asked for a refund, but they shipped the reprint anyway and it was worse than the first.
Finally, I managed to get an RMA and Fed Ex shipping label and sent them back today. They have agreed to a refund. I'll update on that later.
I was (keyword: was) a member of their affiliate program, but I've removed their ads from my blog AND blocked Google Adsense from serving ads to my page for this company. The price with promotion was nearly $38, but shipping was $14.90 so it was quite a bit more expensive than Winkflash.
The difference in quality and service was astounding.
I hope that this information is helpful and if I try out other vendors I'll update the spreadsheet and let you know.
Don't forget we open Flower Art Friday #10 tomorrow morning. Hope you've "picked" some flowers to share. :)