There’s something to be said for the timeless elegance of canvas gallery wraps when it comes to showcasing portraits. Their grand scale and classic presentation never go out of style. Yes, it’s true, we have plenty of incredible surface options for printing our clients’ photos, like wood, metal, and acrylic prints, among others, but few can match the value that canvas gallery wraps provide. They’re affordable and elegant, and they can enhance any room they’re in. For professional photographers, including canvas prints on your menu of wall art options is a must, and doing so provides a great means of boosting revenue with additional print sales. If you’re stuck thinking that canvases don’t measure up to other wall art products, it’s time to revisit canvases and rethink their role in your approach to print sales. In this guide for photographers, we’ll provide a closer look at the canvas gallery wrap and cover everything from understanding the basics to designing and ordering the perfect canvas(es) for your clients.

Understanding the Canvas Gallery Wrap

side shot of canvas gallery wrap

In technical terms, canvas gallery wraps are pieces of artwork featuring photographs, which are printed onto canvas material and then stretched around a wooden frame (although canvas can be framed inside of a larger frame as well). Canvas gallery wraps offer a timeless aesthetic that can beautifully highlight your images, making them a good option for both home decor and gallery or studio exhibitions.

Canvas Gallery Wraps vs. Traditional Framing Methods

Like other framing methods, canvas gallery wraps offer a variety of size and surface options. With a canvas, however, you get a self-contained art piece. Whether the image is first printed onto paper and then bonded to the canvas or printed directly onto the canvas itself, the “frame” and art are one, and the art takes center stage. Furthermore, between the various stretch bar depths (from ¾” up to 1 ½” in thickness) and border options, canvas gallery wraps present like no other framing option. It really is all about the image with this option.

framing options other than canvas galler wrap

The arguments for other framing options, which we also love, include things like having the ability to swap out photos to keep the frame fresh as it ages, as well as keeping the prints safe under matting and UV-protected glass. That said, canvases are often more affordable, making it more feasible to purchase multiple canvases, and protective coating can usually be added.

At the end of the day, canvas gallery wraps offer an elegant wall art solution.

Designing Canvas Gallery Wraps

To create stunning canvas gallery wraps that you and your clients will love, follow these tips for selecting the right images, materials, sizes and other options.

1. Selecting the Right Images for Canvas Gallery Wraps

Images that work best for canvas gallery wraps often have certain characteristics that enhance their visual appeal when printed on canvas material and stretched around a frame.

large frame over bed

To start, and this goes for pretty much all prints, high resolution photos contain more detail and clarity. With canvases, specifically, higher resolution images can result in sharper and crisper prints on the actual canvas. In addition, vibrant colors and strong contrast can make your images pop on canvas as well.

canvas gallery wrap on tabletop

That said, the best images for canvas gallery wraps are those that resonate personally with your clients, or with you as the photographer. When choosing canvases for your home studio or gallery to showcase your work, select images that reflect your unique vision, style, and artistic voice. This will increase your chances of having your final artwork resonate with viewers.

2. Consider Arranging Canvas Gallery Wraps as Clusters and Splits

split frame canvas gallery wrap

Don’t get stuck thinking that canvases must hang in isolation up on the wall. You can explore creative ways to arrange multiple canvas gallery wraps as splits or clusters to create visually striking displays. Splits present a single image over two or more canvases, while clusters tell a story with a variety of images from a single scene across multiple canvases.

5 piece canvas

Experiment with different layouts and arrangements to find the perfect configuration that complements your space and enhances the overall impact of your artwork. Consider factors like size, spacing, and alignment to achieve a cohesive arrangement. With specialized design software like Zno Designer, designing splits and clusters like those above becomes a quick and easy task. With Zno, you also get the added convenience of using design software that is directly linked to your print lab, since they handle both sides.

3. Selecting the Right Materials

Choosing the right materials is crucial for achieving professional-quality canvas gallery wraps. Opt for high-quality canvas material, such as cotton or linen, to ensure optimal color reproduction and longevity.

Left: Gicleé Fine Art Lustre (A semi-matte surface with minimal sheen) | Right: Gicleé Fine Art Glossy (A glossy surface with higher color saturation)

Zno’s canvas gallery wrap, for example, features Gicleé printed directly onto poly-cotton canvas with archival Fine Art Inkjet pigments. This results in museum-quality canvas prints to showcase your photos. Selecting a reliable printing company like Zno that uses archival-grade inks and craftsmanship to guarantee exceptional results can make all the difference.

4. Common Sizes and Dimensions

When ordering canvas gallery wraps, it’s essential to consider common sizes and dimensions to ensure compatibility with your space and aesthetic preferences. Standard sizes typically range from small prints suitable for tabletop displays to large-scale artworks suitable for statement pieces.

Here’s a breakdown of sizes you can expect to choose from when ordering through a professional lab:

size chart for canvas gallery wrap
Size chart for canvas gallery wraps from Zno

Also, consider factors such as aspect ratio and intended display location when selecting the appropriate size for your canvas gallery wrap.

5. Depth Options – 3/4ths inch, 1-1/4th inch, 1-1/2 inch

Earlier, I mentioned how different stretch bar or depth options make canvas gallery wraps all the more unique. Canvases come in various depth options, ranging from ¾” to 1 ½”. The depth of the wrap can significantly impact the overall presentation and visual impact of your artwork. Thicker depths provide a more substantial presence and can enhance the three-dimensional effect of your images. Consider your aesthetic preferences and intended display environment when choosing the appropriate depth for your canvas gallery wrap.

6. Border Options

Sample border options from Zno. From Left: Image Wrap, Mirror Wrap, Colored Wrap, Stretched Wrap, Faded Stretched Wrap

Another important consideration when designing your canvas gallery wraps involves the border of the frame. In addition to being available in a variety of depths, the canvas wraps also offer a unique design opportunity to choose from different printed looks along the sides of the frame. See the images above for clear examples.

Selling and Pricing a Canvas Gallery Wrap

As a photographer, selling canvas gallery wraps can be a lucrative revenue stream and an excellent way to showcase your work to a broader audience. When pricing your canvas gallery wrap, consider factors such as material costs, printing expenses, labor, and desired profit margins.

Additionally, factor in market trends, competitor pricing, and the perceived value of your artwork when determining the final selling price. Be transparent with your pricing structure and communicate the value of your canvas gallery wraps to potential customers to maximize sales opportunities.

For a more detailed look at the pricing points mentioned above, check out our photographer’s guide to pricing prints for maximum profit. In the guide, we cover everything from how to sell your prints to pricing and ordering your prints through a professional lab.

Conclusion

A canvas gallery wrap offers photographers a versatile and sophisticated way to showcase their work with style and elegance. By understanding the fundamentals of canvas gallery wraps and mastering advanced design techniques, you can create stunning presentations that captivate viewers and elevate your photography to new heights. Whether for personal enjoyment or professional exhibition, canvas gallery wraps provide a timeless and enduring showcase for your artistic vision.