I'm not going to delve into too much detail here, it can get very detailed (and boring) but it's very important when printing canvas. If you think that all of the colours on the image on your phone or computer screen are going to be identical to the colours on the printed canvas of the same image, you might have a bad time.
If that killer little black dress you wore to the party looks like a killed grey dress from a depressing black and white film then the colour management of the person printing your digital image may be to blame, or, as in the majority of cases, your own computer screen is to blame.
If the monitor on your computer doesn't display accurate colour, and unless you are a printer by trade and have calibrated your screen using expensive tools, then, most likely the colour you see on your computer screen will not be the colours you see on the printed canvas. All canvas suppliers should have automated software or even a good understanding of colour management when printing your image. They should also tell you why it looks different. If they don't do colour management of some degree, steer clear.
Another factor to consider is the printer used for the image and the media the image is printed on. A canvas print will look a lot different to a paper print purely because its printed on canvas and different media's react differently with the ink. Automated software in printers should sort this out for the most part but expect to see some degree of change depending on what your having your image printed on.
In part four, and the final part, of this guide, I talk about the engine room of your canvas - stretcher bars. You know, those bits of wood that go behind the canvas. They're important, very important. I know I would say that, but if you want your canvas to look good for a long time, you need to know!
What to look for in a retailer in regards to colour management?
If it's not displayed that they colour mange the print, then ask if they do. If they don't, find someone that does. Simple as that really. Oh, and if the colour is different to your computer or phone on the printed image and they DO colour manage, don’t immediately blame the retailer or the photographer…..it might just be you!
Part 4 and the final part of this guide coming soon - What use is a stretcher bar?
In the next and final part of this guide we look at stretcher bars - How do they work? Part 4 ==>stretcher bars
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Tim Jones is one of the three owners of Wunderbars Limited. He's a little bit (very) obsessed with canvas stretching.