Before I write this post, I have to do the whole disclaimer thing about not being affiliated with either Pixel2Canvas or CG Pro Prints. I am just a dissatisfied/satisfied customer that wants other photographers to know about this great company I have found.
I have been a brand loyalist to Pixel2Canvas since the beginning. They had a premium product (at a premium price) and a good reputation. I loved them and swore that I would never use anyone else. In fact, I have 6 of their canvases hanging in my home displaying my personal photos. I’m not sure when I became disenchanted with them. It may have been when I started noticing my canvas backings getting all wonky or when I saw the photos chipping. Now, in the interest of honesty, I will say that I am very rough on my canvas samples in toting them to client homes and coffee shops, they do take a beating and I have always just assumed that was why this was happening. Until I realized it was happening on all of my canvases (and not just the ones that travel).
A few months ago, a group of local photographers started talking about this other canvas vendor that they had discovered at WPPI. I didn’t really pay much attention until I saw one at one of our meetups; everyone was instructed to bring a canvas from all the different vendors that we used. Off the top of my head, I know there were canvases from all the main vendors (Pixel2Canvas, Simply Canvas, CG Pro Prints, and a few others); we also had some Costco, H&H Lab, and I think a few others that I can’t remember. The point is, we had a lot of canvases to compare their build quality, color, and price to. One canvas stood out leaps and bounds beyond the others and that was CG Pro Prints… so I decided to order a sample.
Meanwhile, I had a client order to place and still had credit with Pixel2Canvas. After about two weeks, I still had not received my canvas and had a client (moving out of state so I was on a deadline) waiting on this order. I checked my account and it said the package was untraceable; upon calling Pixel2Canvas, we discovered that FedEx had indeed delivered it and left the box on the side of my house next to my recycling. Of course, this is not Pixel2Canvas’s fault and their packaging is actually what saved this canvas since it had been raining for like a week straight at this point. I immediately opened it and discovered that the photo was, at first glimpse, unharmed and happy but the backing was all kinds of wrinkled and messed up. I emailed iPhone photos of this to Pixel2Canvas at their request so they definitely saw it and agreed it was a problem.
Initially, I attributed this to the whole box-left-in-the-rain issue, but a couple days after the phone call it dawned on me that the photo was totally unharmed by the rain since it was wrapped very tightly in plastic. At most, it might have been affected by a little humidity, but I really don’t even think that happened since the issues that I saw do not appear to be caused by humidity. Thus, I attribute all this to just being an inferior product.
Really, the biggest issue I have with Pixel2Canvas at this point is their customer service (although their shoddy work sure doesn’t help my views on them). When they saw the photo on the left, the response was “Do you have a JoAnn’s or a Michael’s near you? Take it to them and ask if they will fix the back for you.” Really?! Thinking this sounded a little off, I called our local JoAnn’s and they laughed at me when I asked if they could do this. I emailed Pixel2Canvas to let them know the response and was told “Okay, we will send you another backing and you can reattach it.” The backing comes in and I nervously get ready to transplant this sucker when it occurs to me that the hanging wire is screwed into the back of the canvas. Terrified that I would mess up the canvas, frame, or somehow cause it to come undone, I emailed Pixel2Canvas again and told them of my concerns: “The hardware is easily removed with a star screw driver…” Not knowing what else to do, I went to a local framer and asked for help. He told me that I shouldn’t even bother with that because reattaching the current backing would lend a better result than trying to undo the hardware and so on and so forth. So, he kindly did his best to fix it for me. The backing, although smoothed out, was just – for lack of a better word – crappy. Now, I already told you I am hard on my samples… but this was not a sample and had been carefully tucked away in my office. It wasn’t until I had this canvas in the daylight, right outside the framer’s, that I noticed the chipping on the corners.
Ok, I’ve complained enough. It’s time to get to the good stuff; now I get to tell you why CG Pro Prints is so awesome-sauce! Their corners are the tightest and flattest that I have ever seen. Every canvas is finished off with a clear acrylic coating, providing a very scratch resistant protective layer with a satin luster. And, this is the one that really sold me, their finished solid backing; you can knock on the center of the canvas, that is how well these things are built! Oh, and did I mention that they are less than 1/4 of the cost of Pixel2Canvas?! So, to recap: better build quality, more durable, and less expensive! I think that is a dream combo right there. My singular critique would be that I wish the wrap depth was 1.5 inches instead of 1.25 inches, but they are still new and I have hope that there will be more options like this in the future. But all in all, AMAZING product!
If you’ve stuck around this long and read my extreme praise for CG Pro Prints, you probably want to try them out for yourself. It just so happens that the wonderful people over at CG Pro Prints have offered a discount to all y’all! Go, order some inexpensive and amazing canvases, and tell them I sent ya! Then head on over to my Facebook page and tell me what you thought.