By Melissa Donovan
Part 2 of 2
The first part of this series on print on demand Web storefronts profiled Printful and its work as a print, fulfillment, and drop shipment provider to ecommerce businesses worldwide. The company works with wide format digital printers and direct to garment devices to create everything from sublimation-based pillows to t-shirts. It credits digital print with its current success.
While there are hundreds of companies with Web-based storefronts using business to business and/or business to consumer models, each offers a unique take. Here, we learn more about CanvasPop, a creator of high-quality canvas and frame art prints.
Co-founders and friends Nazim Ahmed and Adrian Salamunovic began CanvasPop in 2009. Seven years later, the company has expanded into four countries, with offices in Ottawa, Canada and Helsinki, Finland; production facilities in the U.K.; and a 30,000 square foot art factory in Las Vegas, NV.
Overall, the company employs more than 100 full time, part time, and seasonal staff members. It ships to customers throughout the U.S. and Canada, and some of Europe. 2016 brings with it plans to increase the number of shipping destinations.
100 percent of CanvasPop’s business involves wide format printing. The majority of its prints are larger than 16×20 inches.
To create its products, CanvasPop relies on Canon U.S.A., Inc. imagePROGRAF iPF8400 44-inch printers. It’s worked with wide format digital print since launch, when it “recognized that as digital and mobile photography became more popular, and everyday consumers had greater access to digital cameras, there would be an increased need for large format printing options,” explains Alyssa Hanson, marketer, CanvasPop.
The goal is to provide professional and emerging photographers, as well as everyday consumers, with high-quality canvas prints at an affordable cost. CanvasPop achieves this with the help of Canon printers. Hanson notes that in addition to the highest caliber image quality, the printers also have the bonus of being environmentally friendly.
Canvas prints are output on Breathing Color’s Lyve Canvas—19-mil, matte white, archival grade, and OBA free. Every canvas print is finished with a protective scratch-resistant UV laminate. Framed art prints are output on premium 345 gsm semi-gloss Vibrance Baryta fine art paper also from Breathing Color.
Ease in uploading and ordering graphics from CanvasPop’s website can be credited to its proprietary system. The company made the decision early on to create a completely custom storefront, built by in-house developers. “Innovation and agility are important parts of our company culture. Building the backend of the site ourselves granted us the flexibility to pivot when business demands and create constantly,” says Hanson.
This control allows the team to create unique features for its customers in the front end. For example, the new Word Art Maker function allows users to add custom text or shapes to any photo with a photo editing tool. Additional features include printing directly from social media sites like Facebook and Instagram.
The CanvasPop team created a Web storefront that is user friendly for its customer base, complementing its high-quality print product. Wide format steered this company into what it is today. Its founders realized the influence of digital photography, its effect on the consumer, and the need for personalization. Understanding the connection between this and big prints, CanvasPop chose digital wide format print to create a sustainable business model backed by a robust home-grown website.
Apr2016, Digital Output DOPOD1604