As part of my next topic in a two-part series discussing canvas, prints, I want to bring to your attention some of the advantages canvas prints have for the person reselling their artwork as prints or even for the photographer.
I want to ask you if you are printing your work on canvas. If you are not, but offer prints of your art, from a business standpoint you may be missing a very lucrative opportunity. At FinerWorks we fulfill orders for thousands of both well-known and new artists every year who sell their work as prints on various fine art papers. Quite a few do not offer their work as canvas prints. Sometimes it is because canvas prints just are not a fit, but more often than not, they are not under their radar.
I need to point out, over the years, our canvas prints have evolved for the better. I have been told our canvas prints are some of the best quality people find at a reasonable price point. New customers come to us and old customers have switched back to us after seeing the quality of other vendors. Where other companies have resorted to lowering the quality in form of inferior materials or off-brand ink substitutes, we do not. Also, professional photographers and artists tell us our canvas prints are incredibly color-accurate, durable, and scratch resistant with special care going to every detail from the printing to even the back of the canvas we apply.
So if this is true, wouldn’t you have a lot to gain by offering your work on canvas prints? Some of the reasons I hear are canvas prints do not sell as frequently because the artist has to charge more. Another reason may be they had not ever tried putting their work on canvas before so have steered away from doing canvas prints. Before you count out canvas prints, let us look at the benefits of offering canvas prints.
Canvas Prints Are in High Demand
Some artists and I know of photographers who thought canvas prints were just a fad. I was hearing this two decades ago when I helped found an online canvas printing company that became FinerWorks. I honestly did not know if this was going to be true or not but we pursued this anyway with little to lose. It turned out this “fad” remained strong even today and there is no sign of this changing anytime soon. Today you will see canvas prints everywhere from those cheap ones you find in the home decor section at Walmart to being utilized as interior signage displays in clothing stores at the mall. It has actually given rise to a whole new type of product called faux (fake) canvas prints which are essentially boxes with images that wrap around the and which from a distance give the appearance of a canvas print. And if you are still not sure, we are contacted by third-party vendors more than ever about handling their canvas print production. From a business standpoint, this screams there is a great demand.
Canvas Prints Are Ready to Hang
No frame is even necessary with a stretched and mounted canvas print. They are ready to hang right out of the box and are easy to do so. A quick nail in the wall or even command strips on the back of the canvas and wall, and they are good to go. From a customer relations view, this is great since it means less hassle when hanging a canvas print. And if you are a photographer offering canvas prints of your family portraits, and like to hang the canvas in your client’s home, this just makes it that much easier for you.
Canvas Prints Offer a Good Profit Margin
I have seen artists change from offering their artwork as 8x10s and 11x14s to only canvas prints. One of the reasons they say is it takes way too much time to have to manage multiple orders each day when they can make just as much and even more just limiting their work to canvas prints which make may sell less frequently but makes them more money. It is one of the best reasons to offer a canvas print to customers.
Sure, you might make $10 to $20 on a small unframed print but what if you could make $100 to $200 off a canvas print with less work on your part? One mistake some artists make is looking at the number of sales and not the overall profit. You will want to do the math yourself but a good way to start is to look at your existing sales and then determine how many canvas print sales you would need to make the same. Some might think, then why not offer both? Sure, you will likely find that when you present buyers with cheaper options along with higher end, many will opt for the cheaper product.
But What if I Offer Framed Prints
There is nothing wrong with that. But consider the last point about profit margins and offering cheaper products. In most cases, I would probably say to lean toward the framed prints over the canvas prints if your market allows for it. What I mean by that is framed prints are going to cost you more unless you are buying cheap frames from the art supply store. As a result, you will need to price them higher than canvas prints. If you can do so and make an equal profit off of both then go ahead. Otherwise, I would lean toward one or the other.
Decide if Canvas Prints Right For You
Some artists and photographers just plain do not want canvas prints. I understand this and have met people like this. There could be a very good reason for this. One, it may be that their work does not show well as a canvas print style of display. It could be their market tends to be a high-end market like someone that specializes in professional portraits. Other reasons may include they tend to make other styles of displays as part of what they are known for. Whatever the reason, there are other options for them such as the Framed Prints discussed above which have some of the same benefits. Ultimately, I would tell any artist not offering canvas prints to give it some thought, since it may change the entire nature of your art-based business for the better.
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