Designer Print Review

March 17, 2005 | Mark Goldstein | PhotographyBLOG | 43 Comments |

Designer PrintDesigner Print is a UK-based photofinishing service that allows you to turn your favourite images into a work of art by having them printed onto canvas, block mounted, or made into a poster print. Using the latest digital printing technology Designer Print offers a large format printing service, creating canvas prints that will look stunning in your home or office. Or so they claim! I ordered a Stretched Canvas product from the Designer Print website. Find out what I thought of Designer Print’s service and the final product in this brief review.

Website: Designer Print Review



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#1 Barbara

Is there an american company that does this same kind and quality of work?

7:52 pm - Thursday, March 17, 2005

#2 Mark

If there is, please let me know and I'll put it to the test!

4:20 pm - Saturday, March 19, 2005

#3 Geoff Tawn

I see you say there is no file size limit, but what pixel resolution is best. Presumably the maximum for the camera, but if that is 1500 x 2000, i.e. 3Ms going to 8.5M with colour. Will quality vary at different sizes and compressions?

6:10 pm - Sunday, March 20, 2005

#4 Peter

Hi Geoff. A photo from a 3megapixel camera could be printed up to 30"x20", or a photo from a 5megapixel camera could be printed up to 60"x40". This is a rough guide and can also depend on the quality of the image, such as the amount of noise or compression.
Its always best to send the image before you buy. We will get back to you straight away and give you a definitive answer.
I hopoe this helps.

2:55 pm - Monday, March 21, 2005

#5 Fabio Braghi

You really do not want to heat seal your canvas. I assume they are putting some kind of film on to it. The best way to seal canvas is to use a spray or cold liquid lamination (It is OK to use infrared drying after the cold coat has been put on). This process prevents it from fading, yellowing and cracking. I have professionally printed on canvas giclees for about 11 years and seen it all. Make sure you ask questions such as the canvas type being used, whether it has a PH neutral coating and is OBA free. The Epson pigments are good, we use them as well. Please read our discussion on Inkjet Canvas Printing

1:27 pm - Saturday, November 5, 2005

#6 Peter

I've seen another good site that offers a variation on this idea it supplies a Photowall.
Take a look at their site http://www.biggerpix.com They are based in the UK and offer free delivery. You can pick from their stock images or upload your own custom image.

Has anyone used their service?

9:43 pm - Wednesday, March 29, 2006

#7 Kate

fdhfd

10:47 pm - Thursday, July 13, 2006

#8 John Ellis-Cockell

For true trade prices and high quality have a look at http://www.intelligence-direct.com
About half the price of most other companies.
Rolled prints worldwide.

10:54 am - Friday, August 11, 2006

#9 Jon Dale

Canvas printing? I've tried a few. Best so far is: http://www.modernimagesuk.com

6:45 pm - Thursday, August 17, 2006

#10 Fabio Braghi

If you want truly superior canvas or watercolor giclee prints please stick with specialists. Companies that offer sign, banner printing etc will likely not understand critical color correction and will not have the eye necessary to output quality work. The field is so specialized that if you need the best possible results you have to go with people who live and breath giclee printing. Ask for experience, client roster, referrals etc...What materials are they using? Are they using giclee quality printers or plotters? Is the canvas OBA free? Is it water resistant? How about the inks? Pigmented, dyes, brand or off brand? What coating do they use? Gamut limitations especially in the blues? Are they reviewing your file or just outputting no matter what? You have no idea how many ways a printer can cut corners by offering off brand, low quality materials that look OK but are inconsistent from batch to batch and not archival.
If your goal is to print family photos, well, anybody will do..

10:24 pm - Thursday, August 17, 2006

#11 Roberta Hand

We don't do watercolor giclee prints and we are certainly not common or garden sign or banner printers who offer canvas prints for home or office display only as some kind of sideline. We offer complete satisfaction and you can check our service (and order online) at http://www.modernimages.com

7:06 pm - Saturday, September 30, 2006

#12 Roberta Hand

:exclaim: Oops. That URL should have been: http://www.modernimagesuk.com

7:09 pm - Saturday, September 30, 2006

#13 Fabio Braghi

As I mentioned in another post, stick with companies that only do giclees. Another note: ASK what pigmented ink and canvas/watercolor brands are being used. We do and for a good reason. There is a 250% difference in cost between a chinese made canvas and an american or european made canvas such as Epson PremierArt or Hahnemuhle. Brand inks cost twice as much as third party substitutes. You get what you pay for in terms of quality, permanence and batch deviations parameters such as DeltaE. We carry some of the finest Giclee materials.

8:58 pm - Saturday, September 30, 2006

#14 Peter

Thank you for adding your comments about our product. If you'd like to learn more about giclee canvas printing visit the following page - http://www.designerprint.co.uk/articles/canvas-printing.htm

10:57 pm - Saturday, September 30, 2006

#15 Sarah Cossom

Good gallery choices - especially my namesake at: http://www.designerprint.co.uk/canvas-art/sarah.htm

10:59 am - Sunday, October 1, 2006

#16 John Ellis-Cockell

A lot of sensible discussion but beware snobbery! You don't need to pay the premium for a branded canvas such as Hahnemuhle to be sure of a high quality Giclee print. We only use archival quality canvas regardless of source and branded UV stable pigmented inks to ensure consistency.
Also beware how different people define Giclee - it is a very flexible term.
I disagree with Fabio - heat sealing using a soft vinyl laminate is ideal for canvas is applied correctly although rapid dry liquid laminate is also very good.

12:18 pm - Monday, October 2, 2006

#17 Roberta Hand

I couldn't agree more! http://www.modernimagesuk.com/how_it_works.asp

12:31 pm - Monday, October 2, 2006

#18 Fabio Braghi

John, I have personally been printing giclees since 1994 (on the Iris 3047 then). I was in California in the same area where Duganne and Nash Editions started the giclee process. I think I know a thing of two about the field. Heat sealing with a press will crack, even if it is vinyl.
If you say use quality brand canvas, why don't you say what canvas you use? If I were a customer, I would like to know if my same image is going to be printed today on one brand and in a month on another.
What is the DeltaE on the canvas you use? White point, OBA free? Do your customers know what they are buying?
We only agree on one thing though. The term giclee is thrown around pretty freely by companies that print pillows and banners along with fine art giclees. I have seen competitors who print with Mimakis on fabric and then fine art canvas; operators who did not know the difference between one and the other, no critical color correction skills, no eye for art and photography...

12:36 pm - Monday, October 2, 2006

#19 Fabio Braghi

And Sarah, you "namesake" URL in the above post returns a 404.

12:49 pm - Monday, October 2, 2006

#20 Chris

Interesting to see this review and the commentary. If you don't like the shiny surface and need to know that your canvas is 'stretched' with corner wedges to the rear, http://www.photo-canvas.com would be able to produce these and still send them out for next day delivery. They don't use or require laminate as it's unnesscary with their deep fibre print process and along with build quality offer a great all round service.

3:49 pm - Monday, January 26, 2009

#21 Fabio Braghi

A couple of more comments on coating: not coating canvas will not keep it as archival as it can be; although some types of canvas with microporous technolgy don't have to be coated, you are sacrificing longevity. You can use a matte coating and not have a shiny surface. As for the soft vinyl lamination, I insist it is not proper for fine art printing; the pigments may eventually migrate to the coating, which is something you don't want to happen. it is not me saying vacuum heat lamination is not advisable; ask reputable manufacturers such as Fredrix and Epson. E-mail them and ask if it is better to liquid coat or laminate to insure canvas/ink stability.

4:03 pm - Monday, January 26, 2009

#22 Kevin Doyle

I ordered a 20" canvas print from Designer Print on the strength of the review on this site. My order was acknowledged immediately and an email query was sent to me about the print size. I responded to this straight away with the answer, via email, plus a query of my own.
My query has been completely ignored along with a subsequent email. The company never answers its telephone, all you get is a recorded voice stating 'we are unable to take your call at the moment, please leave a message'. They don't respond to left messages either. Naturally they have processed my credit card transaction.
If my experience is the standard I would advise avoiding buying anything from Designer Print.

3:55 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009

#23 Fabio Braghi

Kevin,

Sorry to hear about your experience with Designer Print. The good news is that you can take this up with your cc company if they do not process your order. Good luck!

4:29 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009

#24 Kevin Doyle

Thanks Fabio. Designer Print have finally responded (after more than a week) and, hopefully, I'll now get my canvas print.

4:47 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009

#25 Fabio Braghi

Good; at times printers can get really busy. The only thing we do differently is that we do not charge anyone's credit card until we are ready to print.

4:50 pm - Monday, November 16, 2009

#26 Paul Edwards

I use http://www.retroreturn.co.uk as they have done me some really impressive canvas prints and are the absolute cheapest ive found, for what you paid on here i got about 80% cheaper! i paid about £20 for a 24 inch x 16 inch canvas and the quality was excellent. I would recommend. I think they are UK only though.

8:19 pm - Saturday, January 2, 2010

#27 Raf

I can suggest using my company - Canvas Prints .We have colour calibrated workflow and use breathing color canvases only. We also offer professional scanning service, using our SCREEN Cezanne Elite scanner.

5:11 pm - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

#28 Kevin Doyle

Thanks for the follow up comments on this. I did, eventually, get my print after about 6 weeks from the order date and a great many further complaints (to which they never responded). The quality was very poor and it was a good job I ordered from an alternative (excellent) source as this was for a Christmas present. I cannot, in any way, recomment this company. Thanks Paul and Raf, I'll keep your comments in mind when I have further photos done on canvas.

9:33 pm - Wednesday, January 6, 2010

#29 Jacob Hill

I did a google map search for companies that advertise via PPC for Canvas Prints about 40% of them were working from home!

11:32 pm - Sunday, May 30, 2010

#30 Raf

Jacob - I would be careful with such judgements.
Some people have their business registered at their home address but run it from completely different place...

1:22 am - Monday, May 31, 2010

#31 Vishu

Seems like a very interesting read.

Did you try coffeebeanpictures.co.uk? Ask for James.

Know his stuff!!

I ordered 3 canvases from him of varying quality Matt/Satin/laminated all on 38mm pine with wrap arouind. Loved them all - ESP The matt one.

give them a try and see what they wrok out like. For what they are, they are the cheapest on the web...

Vish

6:23 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#32 Raf

the above os one good example of a company run from a home address...

11:55 pm - Friday, September 3, 2010

#33 Oscar

Just curious Raf, how many photographers run their businesses from home? You know the ones that actually order canvas prints! Besides - what difference does it make if the quality is okay? I mean there are plenty canvas printers on eBay that print from home.

9:53 pm - Friday, September 10, 2010

#34 Raf

Well - most photographers probably work outside any offices :-)
I am sure there is plenty of canvas printers - it is just up to the customer to either go for budget polyester canvas with random printing results and bad finish or someone who is using proper media with experience and does a good job for a fraction more. There is a different level of service at a different price...

11:10 pm - Friday, September 10, 2010

#35 Bob

Again just following up on what other people said there are loads of other site to get prints etc. I used Canvas Art Direct. They were pretty good and affordable.

D

9:54 pm - Monday, October 18, 2010

#36 Paul Bassi

Get your photos put onto skins that can be applied to mobile phones such as the iPhone4 or Blackberry.

http://www.intoroskins.co.uk allows you to design the skin yourself so you have complete control over the look. Whether you want family photos or holiday photos you can add them. It is really easy and simple.

A quick search for intoroskins on YouTube will show you some of the great skins on offer and how to make your own.

10:12 am - Friday, February 18, 2011

#37 Colin

I used a company called tradecanvasprintscompany.co.uk and as you can guess by the name they offer canvases at trade prices. Very pleased with the results. Nice thick cotton canvas rather than the cheap polycotton product.

5:31 pm - Wednesday, May 11, 2011

#38 Raf

Colin,
Trying to advertise your company here is all good, but to be honest - polycotton canvas is actually much better for many reasons than 100% cotton, also there isn't any price difference, especially not in favour of cotton canvas :)

12:07 pm - Friday, May 13, 2011

#39 Fabio

Raf, you are absolutely correct. Cotton/Poly is actually better in quality and durabilty. No price difference either. Not sure why someone would want to use pure cotton for canvas. I am all for pure cotton for paper.

2:20 pm - Friday, May 13, 2011

#40 Raf

Just looked on the website Colin has advertised
http://tradecanvasprintscompany.co.uk/about.php
Check the 'About' section which screams that these is a business from spare bedroom, and after full time job... Don't try to be sarcastic, but please, have some respect for others...

9:06 pm - Saturday, May 14, 2011

#41 John

When I need to choose the best canvas print company in US I use http://www.canvasprintsreviews.com

12:07 pm - Tuesday, October 30, 2012

#42 Timothy Neet

I thought the first photo that we had printed came out great -- the colors were rich and bright.

10:10 am - Monday, December 24, 2012

#43 Timothy Neet

In the last month I have ordered 3 different canvas prints from CanvasDaddy - I just recently received the last one and I am very happy and excited to give them away for gifts! I had a problem with my first order - but CanvasDaddy replaced it very quickly and the replacement is perfect! I will continue to use CanvasDaddy for my future canvas print orders. Thank you,

10:15 am - Monday, December 24, 2012