Lasting impression: canvas prints lead by example

“What is the environmental impact of your product? Is a question increasingly asked to printers. So what has been done so far and what changes are being introduced to make printing more sustainable?

It’s not just production practices that matter – a commitment to responsible development is also important. Another important factor is the product line that a company chooses to manufacture, as some print sizes are much more difficult to produce sustainably than others.

Canvas prints, for example, are now one of the most durable print formats on the market. So what sets canvas prints apart – and how do they help print shops meet increasingly pressing environmental demands?

The Picanova Group, one of the world’s leading canvas printing companies, explained to Printweek how canvas has become a standard bearer for sustainable printing. As one of the world leaders in canvas printing, Picanova Group believes that canvas has become a standard bearer of sustainable printing.

Sustainable printing goes global
The advent of globalization has brought about a new wave of sustainability concerns, so it’s right that companies with a global presence receive the highest environmental scrutiny. After all, a change made globally will have an immediate impact on the footprint of the industry at large.

For example, at Picanova Group, we operate stores in several countries, and a sustainable development policy introduced in one territory will generally be extended to others as well. Picanova’s Australian outlet,, for example, uses the same production practices as their UK, French and German stores.

Canvas prints use biodegradable materials
A canvas print is basically a piece of printed canvas wrapped over an interior stretcher frame. And the frames used in today’s market are largely made from woods like pine or spruce. Provided the wood is sourced from sustainable forests, this means that the bulk of the materials used in a canvas print are inherently biodegradable.

The fabric itself, it must be said, often includes synthetic materials: to make their canvas more resistant, many printing brands combine natural and synthetic fibers such as polyester. But in fact, using synthetic fibers can have an environmental benefit in itself, as the more durable the canvas fabric (the more resistant it is to moisture, heat and wear), the longer it lasts. – and the less likely it is. to require additional lamination.

Canvas prints last for decades
All photo prints undergo a fading process over time. So unless buyers can find prints that slow this process to a minimum, they risk ordering replacement prints multiple times in their lifetime, contributing to our unsustainable consumption patterns. And canvas prints really stand out here: Customers buying from a reputable supplier can expect exceptional UV resistance, with prints that will last at least 75 years if treated with minimal care. It’s a life of great performance.

Canvas prints are safe for the environment – and for people too
Environmental concerns have also led to changes in the inks used in canvas printing. These days, solvent-based inks are rarely used and non-toxic, solvent-free alternatives such as latex inks are now considered the gold standard for the industry. Latex inks offer the same color vividness and chemical stability as solvent-based inks, but they are hypoallergenic and environmentally friendly.

Custom Canvas Prints: A Solution to Overproduction
Overproduction has an obvious impact on the environment. And although for some companies reducing overproduction without running the risk of delay is a real challenge, the printing industry has a huge advantage here. Companies with bespoke photo products, such as custom canvas prints, can wait until a purchase is made before starting production, which helps reduce excess inventory and waste.

What’s next for canvas printing?
Environmental concerns will only become more urgent – and companies in almost every industry will need to adapt. Print shops that already produce the more sustainable print formats such as canvas are likely to adapt the eco-friendly production practices used there (for example, producing more custom prints on demand rather than to continue serial production) to their other goods as well.

And as the demand for custom printing products increases around the world, suppliers who already invest in sustainability are likely to see their market presence increase as they benefit from increased customer loyalty.

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