Framed Prints UK Buying Guide - 5 Factors to Consider
If you’re looking to order a framed print of your own photo in the UK, you’ve got plenty of great options. There are the big players like Photobox and Snapfish and there are a multitude of smaller companies like The Canvas Works, who offer the same sort of products - but with arguably a better service.
The Canvas Works began life over in Ireland in the picturesque coastal town of Kinsale, at the start of the Wild Atlantic Way in County Cork. We launched our UK website in 2018 and are working hard to establish a toe hold in the market.
We’ve got a superb website and iphone app - as good as the big boys. We offer a better all around service because we can talk to you in person and can offer fantastic advice and personal service.
In this article, I’m going to explain some of the factors you need to consider when ordering a framed print of your own photo. Whether you order with The Canvas Works, or another company, I think if you consider these factors before making your order for a framed photo print, you’ll get a good result.
1. Image Source - Where is the Image Coming From?
Okay, the first and most important factor to consider is the image source. If you took the photo yourself on your own mobile device, then odds are you are going to have a high resolution, good quality file.
But we often see customers who are attempting to order using a file from a Whatsapp message or from social media. In other cases, they may have simply found an image off Google or another common mistake is attempting to use a screengrab of an image rather than the actual JPEG.
In all these cases, the file might look great on your mobile device or PC at home but it won’t be of sufficient quality to make a really good framed print - especially at the bigger sizes.
So my main advice here is that if you want the best possible result for your framed print, use a photo you have taken yourself or else contact the person who took it and ask them to e-mail you the file at the biggest size. Don’t use social media files!
2. Image Shape - What Shape Print Suits your Image?
The next factor to think about when ordering a framed print of your photo is to think about shape. If your photo is portrait in orientation, then your best bet is to stick with that shape and order a portrait shaped framed print.
I know that sounds obvious but you’d be amazed at how many people attempt to crop a portrait image into a landscape framed print. That will result in a huge loss of pixel data and will more than likely make the file too small to print well.
If you’re thinking about turning one of your instagram images into a framed print, we’d suggest square as the best shape as that is the natural shape of most instagram images.
If you’re looking for a panoramic framed print, you can either start with a photo stitched image or crop a landscape image down to a portrait shape. Our site and iphone app has very simple cropping tools that will allow you to crop your photo to the right shape for your framed print.
3. Print Size - How Big do you want your print to be?
When it comes to size for your framed photo print - you need to be realistic. Print size will be determined by file quality. Mobile phone photos are getting better all the time and we are able to get great results at some pretty big framed print sizes. But there are limitations. For our biggest framed print sizes, you really need to be using a high resolution file captured by a digital SLR camera - preferably a full framed sensor camera.
We’re happy to look at your image first and advise you on how big you can go for your framed print. I could be wrong - but I just don’t think you’ll get this level of service from the bigger guys out there offering framed prints of your photos.
4. Print Quality - Paper & Ink Combination
Next in line of considerations for the best possible framed print comes materials. Specfically you are going to be interested in the printer type the company uses, media profiles, inkset and paper. There’s a huge amount of variety out there - you can go seriously high end with fine art papers from Hahnemule which will make your framed print much more expensive.
Most customers are looking for a nice satin lustre type paper produced on a modern large format printer. We use Epson SureColor 9000 which is one of the most advanced photo printers on the market. We’ve always been Epson printers and would not consider any other printer.
5. Print Finish - Gifting, Hanging, Display Life.
Finally, you may want to consider the finish of your framed print. How it looks on the back, how it’s finished with tape, what sort of glaze is used, what sort of hanging system is there on your framed print. All these factors will affect how it looks and feels and will re-inforce a quality message that is so important - especially when your framed photo print is a gift for someone else.
Our framed photo prints get incredible feedback for their finish and for the way we box and pack them - ensuring they arrive safely and securely to you.
So that’s it. Framed photo prints are probably my favourite product - even more so than canvas prints where we made our name. I love the look of a well framed photo print - it’s timeless and classic and showcases photos so well. We take immense pride in our framed photo prints and would love to advise you on creating your own masterpiece framed photo print!