February 5, 2020. We recently instituted ratings of print-to-canvas art websites for art lovers looking to buy digital art on the internet. This article will explain how we rated the sites we selected for our review. A subsequent review will be devoted to gallery owners and art professionals looking to find the best service to sell and fulfill their works, since the criteria used to buy art on the internet (price, quality, selection) and sell art (commission paid, promotion options, etc.) are very different.
If you know of a great art print to canvas service we missed, please Contact Us. Conversely, if you feel we rated a service unfairly in some area, please let us know.
We did not rate photo print-on-canvas services. There are dozens of sites that print your family photos like Walmart Photo, CanvasPop, or Shutterfly. If you are looking for a review of this type of service, check PC Magazine’s “Best Online Photo Printing Services for 2020.”
Our goal is to find, evaluate, and rank the top services that print quality art reproductions, particularly giclées, of contemporary and classical fine art and photography on canvas (framed or unframed). Although some services (like Artsy) sell only original art, we focused the majority of our reviews on online services that sell a large selection of digital works.
Most services we reviewed print and ship directly, but some like Etsy and Saatchi Art fulfill through the artist or art gallery. We rank art print to canvas sites on a scale of 1-25 since most reviews cluster results between 4.0 and 5.0 – providing insufficient scoring to differentiate services.
Below are our five ranking criteria (Selection, Return Policy, overall Service, site Usability, and Print Options.) Each criterion is rated on a scale of 1 to 5. Since there are five (5) criteria each with a maximum score of 5, the top score available in our review is 25.
By selection, we are referring specifically to the number of prints (and original works, if applicable) available for sale.
- 1 = less than 50K images
- 2 = 50K to 100K images
- 3 = 100K to 750K images
- 4 = 750K to 1.5M images
- 5 = over 1.5M images
You may need to return a print if it is damaged or if it does not really work in your location. A no questions asked return policy is best. 30-60 days is ideal but anything less than 10 days is considered a poor policy. A no charge return shipping policy is best. The longer the return policy for prints, with the least cost, for any reason, rates the highest score. Returns of original art are exempt from our ratings since they are frequently subject to policies dictated by the individual sellers, not the service.
Service is a broad and subjective categorization that is difficult to quantify in a fair and objective manner. For example, just a few unhappy customers and unfairly blackball a site with bad reviews. For this reason, we used trusted third party service, TrustPilot for our service ratings.
What good is a high selection if you can’t find what you want? We rank usability based on the ability to find a sample work of art. In our test, our sample search is for a 1.5” canvas southwest orange-red hued painting approximately 30” x 40” in portrait orientation. Usability also includes zoom capability and ability to save a list of pending selections. The easier we can specify and locate hits from our sample search the higher the score.
All sites print to canvas in one or more thicknesses. Some also frame canvas and/or paper prints. Some support framing in a wide variety of colors and styles. Some support print to metal and other options, i.e. wood mount. The more options and styles the higher the score.
The top three art print to canvas services in our review are:
- Fine Art America
- Great Big Canvas
Individual ratings for each service are shown here. In our next blog we will discuss our results in more detail.