Although the differences between the two might seem rather obvious, there still are plenty of people who get puzzled once presented with the title question. While both formats are completely worlds apart in terms of their original purpose, it does not necessarily mean that one is better than the other. It all depends on what you’re looking for. To shed some light on what exactly makes both formats so unique, My-Picture.co.uk has prepared a little piece to finally answer the question: What is the difference between print and poster?
Although the modern iterations of both were introduced somewhere around the same time (as both were made possible by the introduction of lithography), both the use and the idea behind these mediums really shared very little in common back in the day. While the ability to reproduce canvas finally allowed the masses to have their own versions of famous artworks stored at their places, it surely wasn’t meant for mass production in the same vein that the poster format was.
Meant specifically to print thousands upon thousands of copies, the poster format saw its true conceivement with the invention of chromolithography. By all means, the poster was (and, to some degree, still is) a means of delivering information, often juxtaposing graphical and textual elements in one artwork. Distributed across the country to inform about specific events, posters were easy to re-produce, transport and set up wherever necessary.
Meanwhile, canvas made its mark already a couple of centuries earlier. Replacing wooden panels as the most popular format for fine art creations, canvas dethroned the somewhat dated medium by the beginning of the 17th century. Before becoming the most popular format for photo printing, it was equally in demand by those who practised acrylic painting and embroidery. Today, it is easily the most popular format for photographers and decor enthusiasts who want to duplicate their artworks cost-effectively while maintaining the appeal and integrity.
Long story short, while the poster was, first and foremost, intended to convey information, the canvas was always employed to simplify the creation and reproduction fine art pieces.
Which One is Better?
Now, this one hugely depends on your preferences. While canvas print is a sturdy, reliable composite that combines woodwork and print, the photo poster, either frameless or framed, is mostly a paper-thin photo reproduction promoting, say, your beloved film franchise. There is practically no competition when it comes to material prowess. While a regular poster can be torn apart with the swipe of a hand, canvas can be thought of as a close alternative to classical oil painting, produced to serve for a considerable amount of time. A poster, as high-quality as it may be, remains unchanged only as long as it remains untouched.
Once again, all of it comes down to our subjective tastes. Posters can often boast incredibly vivid, eye-catching hues printed in a pin-sharp resolution. Meanwhile, the material specifics of canvas provide that visuals, despite being strong in contrast and remarkably sharp in detail, will always emphasize visual harmony and somewhat muted aesthetics. The downside in both cases? While the former might come off as a bit too much for certain tastes, the latter can leave some desiring more impact. Here, however, it has to be noted that 90% of the visual impact lies within the photo itself. Here, we arrive at the first obvious strong point of a canvas.
Although posters, as already implied, can often be genuinely high-quality, the amazing look is rarely protected from the negative effects inflicted by time and environment. Canvas prints, on the other hand, are printed with solvent-free HP latex inks that are specifically matched with the surface in order to produce long-lasting results. Your canvas print will simply stay perpetuated in time if the conditions around it aren’t extreme in nature.
Canvas also provides a higher level of customization. Besides the option to have a unique large-scale reproduction of a photo picked by you, you can also enhance the composition by adding different coloured frameworks and customizing the edge design. For those looking for a medium to display deeply personal photos, canvas just might be the right choice to go with. Meanwhile, a poster is pretty much the ultimate choice for quirky tributes, film poster reproductions (obviously), and clever quotes. Sure enough, all of these can also be printed on canvas, with the only difference being vastly increased longevity.
Although both are superior means of personalising one’s environment, canvas is undeniably the superior decor that will become a full-fledged, organic part of your interior ecosystem. Meanwhile, the poster will always retain the somewhat slightly disposable quality about it. That is if you don’t lock it up in a treasure chest of sorts. With prices that can easily compete with the majority of poster-selling websites, make sure to check the canvas prints section on My-Picture.co.uk.