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5 Tips for Choosing the Right Print Size

5 Tips for Choosing the Right Print Size

When looking for the perfect print to decorate your home or office there are quite a few choices to make! Once you find an image you love, you’ll need to decide on what size works best for you. There are a number of factors to consider, which we will walk you through to help you choose the right print size. 

1- Decide on Paper or Canvas 

The same image on paper and canvas

The surface you are ordering your print on will affect the size you should order. Our canvas prints arrive to you stretched on a hardwood frame with hanging wire attached, ready to hang on the wall as is. This means that if you have a 30” space to fill, you can order a 30” canvas to completely fill that space. 

Paper prints, on the other hand, will need to be framed before you can hang them on the wall. The type of frame you choose will affect how much additional size is added to the print, but even the most minimal frames without any matting will still add a small amount of size. If you are ordering your print on paper, you’ll need to factor in the size of the frame before you choose your print size.

Framing Options

There are myriad options when it comes to framing prints, and we’ll keep it simple here, but if you’d like a more in-depth overview of framing options, you can read our article on the subject here. The factor that most affects frame size is matting. If you don’t want a mat around the image, it’ll just be the frame itself adding additional size. If you do want to mat the print, this can add several inches to each side of the print. 

2- Make a Budget

Your budget will of course affect the print size you choose. Larger prints are more expensive, so if you are on a tight budget, you may need to look at smaller print sizes. A good option could also be to order a few smaller prints to fill your space, as this can sometimes be cheaper than buying a single, very large print. 

Framing Costs

While paper prints are cheaper upfront than canvas, they will need to be framed while canvas is ready to hang on the wall by itself. If you have a specific budget and want to order paper prints, we would recommend taking a look at framing options to get an idea of what those costs will be before ordering your prints so you know what to expect. 

You can either look at pricing for premade frames from stores such as Michael's or Walmart, or you can speak with a local framer to get an estimate for custom framing.

A mockup of a canvas print of a vintage photograph hanging in a kitchen

3- Measure Your Wall Space

It might seem like a no-brainer, but don’t forget to measure your wall space before ordering your prints! Make sure you know how much space you have to fill so you can decide if you want to order one large print or multiple smaller prints to fill the space. If you have a small space you need to fill, take a look at our guide to using prints to decorate a small space for some inspiration!

You can check out our cheat sheet for print sizes to get an idea of what size prints will fit well in different areas of your home, though keep in mind it is a general guide, and you should still double check the specifics of your space.

4- Consider Potential Wall Damage

Hanging prints will create holes in your walls, and the size of the hole will depend on the size of your print. Heavier prints and frames will need stronger hanging hardware, which is larger and will create a larger hole in your wall.

Additionally, many people like to hang larger, heavy frames on two hooks rather than just one. This spreads the weight out more and makes it easier to keep the frame hanging level. Using two hooks will add durability, but will create an extra hole in the wall.

Do you rent or own?

If you are renting your home, you’ll want to make sure that creating holes in the wall isn’t a violation of your lease. Typically, small holes from hanging hardware are allowed, but make sure you look into the details of your lease to be sure. If you own your home, this is less of an issue, but you’ll still want to make sure you can fill that hole if you ever need to move the print or redecorate. 

5- Consider Standard vs. Nonstandard Sizes

If you are ordering canvas prints, this one is a non-issue, as your prints will be ready to hang on the wall as soon as you get them. If you are ordering paper prints, as we’ve mentioned, you’ll need to think about framing options. Standard-size prints are inherently easier/cheaper to frame, as premade materials can be used. Whenever possible we offer our images in standard sizes to make framing easier, but depending on the original proportions and the composition of the image, it sometimes isn’t possible to crop to a standard size. 

If you would like to buy a premade frame for your print, you’ll want to look for prints that are available in standard sizes.

Framed Print Mockup

Premade Frames 

You can buy premade frames at most craft stores, as well as stores like Target and Walmart. You’ll still have plenty of options to suit your tastes, with a wide variety of frame styles available. If you have a particular style in mind, you might want to find a frame you love first, and then look for a print that will fit that size. 

Custom Frames

If you are open to the added cost of custom framing, print size isn’t much of an issue. Any nonstandard size can be accommodated, as all the materials will be custom-cut to fit your print perfectly.

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