Buying canvas prints in Ireland is easy and there are lots of places to get them. At The Canvas Works, we have a history of making canvas prints that goes all the way back to 2003 - we really were one of the very first into the canvas print market in Ireland. So we like to think we've built up a real depth of experience in canvas printing that sets us apart from the competition. But is that valid? In this post, I'm going to cover off how we make our canvas prints and why we believe we can still stand over the claim to offer the best canvas prints in Ireland.
For us, the canvas print itself is one part of the equation - but not the only one. We focus on several areas to ensure the overall experience of buying a canvas print is the very best one. That includes the online experience - how our website is designed and functions, the production of the canvas print itself - what materials we use and how we finish the print, the customer service experience - how we deal with our customers to ensure the canvas print is as good as it can be and finally the delivery of our canvas prints - how the canvas print arrives and how it is presented to the customer. By perfecting each one of these areas, we think we ultimately end up with the best overall experience of buying a canvas print in Ireland.
But let's start with the canvas print itself - is the physical item itself any different from some of the canvas prints offered by the competition? We haven't examined every single canvas print supplier out there, but for the purposes of this post we did get a look at one of the biggest providers in Ireland and Europe - Photobox. And yes, the difference between their canvas print and ours is massive. We looked at their Canvas Lite 40x30cm which would compete with our Classic Canvas 40x30cm and the differences are obvious. The materials they were using were clearly inferior - a flimsy, light frame made from what appeared to be pine, no backing tape on the reverse, no wedges for tensioning because the frame had been made with an underpinner and no hanging bracket. It looked cheap and unfinished. To be fair, the print itself was not bad but our version (we were able to compare the same print) was superior in places, although I am not sure the average person would pick this up.
Our Classic Canvas print is made with poplar wood which is far superior and had a much heavier feel in the hand. The back is neatly taped and our canvas prints come with wedges in the corners for re-tensioning. We also include a brass-plated hanging bracket for easy hanging on the wall. It's superior to Photobox's print in almost every way. It's also more expensive! We're not at all saying that our canvas prints are the cheapest out there - far from it. We concentrate on making beautiful canvas prints that will stand the test of time. We're not a high volume, low price type manufacturer.
So these are some of the things you need to look out for in the actual canvas print itself. But what about the other areas - how do we compare? Well, as far as the online experience of buying a canvas print in Ireland goes - we believe we have no competition. Our new, shopify-powered website is the result of a number of years of research and a 6 month development project which has culminated in one of the best user experiences in Ireland and UK for canvas prints, framed prints, collage prints and poster prints. And the user feedback we are getting confirms this - but what do you think? Have you tried using the site? How does it compare to the competition?
When it comes to dealing with customers, we also think we have an edge. That includes advising customers on image quality for the canvas prints, suggesting changes to size that better suit the image and helping customers to select and use the right image format and file quality to get the best possible canvas print. We try to go above and beyond and I'll give you one example from last week that illustrates this. We were making three framed prints for a customer of her wedding photos. One photo had been cropped very tightly on one side and we knew that when the window mount for frame went over the photo, it would encroach into one of the bridesmaids. Now, that's just the way the photo was and I'm pretty sure another company would have just made the print this way. We spotted the issue and were able to clone in a new section of photo - extending the canvas so that when the mount was positioned, the bridesmaid would still be fully in view. It's a small thing but it made a big difference to the finished print. It's that sort of attention to detail that I believe makes our canvas prints (and framed prints) far better than the competition.
I also mentioned delivery and presentation of our canvas prints. This is an area we are very focused on. Very often our canvas prints are gifts and we want the experience of unboxing a canvas print from The Canvas Works to be as pleasant was we can make it. The key issue here is to make sure it arrives in a timely fashion and safely. So our boxes are custom made and we use plenty of protective wrap to ensure the canvas print arrives in perfect condition. But we also brand the boxes nicely and ensure prints come with attractive gift tags, notes and branding on the reverse. We're not Apple - we can't go that far but we aspire to that sort of an experience when one of our canvas prints come out of the box.
I hope this gives you a flavour of what we're trying to do with our canvas prints and why we believe we can justify our claim to make one of the best, if not the very best canvas prints in Ireland. We know we're not for everyone - some people will only buy canvas prints based on price and we know the likes of Photobox and some others will always try to offer a cheaper canvas print than The Canvas Works. But for those who want a superior canvas print in Ireland for a great value price, The Canvas Works remains the destination of choice.