Do you like the fact that mounted canvas images stand out, but hate the fact that they are rough textures? Did you ever wish you could just do a nice lustre print on a gallery wood mount, but still have that nice wrap around effect like you get with canvas photos? Do you hate how fragile canvas images are in their vulnerable weak spots outside the wooden frame? If you answered yes to any of those questions, I’ve found the perfect product for you- REDIpix.com’s Satin Cloth Gallery Wrap Elite.
This is the most unique printed product I’ve seen in quite some time, and I love it. What you have here is a nice satin print that is wrapped around a nice foam core frame as shown above. It seems like a canvas mounted to wood, but the image print is totally smooth and unlike anything I’ve seen before. I wasn’t familiar with satin prints before this article, so I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but the best way I can describe it is that it is like a lustre print but very smooth (no texture like you sometimes have in a lustre print). If you aren’t familiar with lustre prints, then I can tell you that they are like the best balance between the wow of a glossy print and anti-glare of a matte print, with the disadvantages of neither. This is one notch up from that and very cool, especially when they do the protective coding on it, which seems extraordinarily durable after given proper time to dry. It doesn’t seem to show finger prints, and even my wife dragging the bottom across textured sheetrock didn’t seem to make a mark.
I also loved how they included a paper with details about my image and my logo on the back of the print. This was a really cool feature which you can see better when you click the image above and zoom.
The Ordering Process
Printing large prints is nerve-wrecking because you are spending a nice chunk of change and you don’t want it come back looking horrible. If you are like me you fret over the colors, the brightness, the sharpening and the sizing of the image. I had started with the image you might have seen on my photo blog of Skate Creek. That shot had little processing and was just given a standard digital framing that I do for my outdoor landscapes. I had a similar style print done by CanvasOnDemand that turned out nicely, but after giving it some thought I decided that I’d try to do this one without the digital frame so I could see the wrap around effect.
I started by reading the Photoshop editing tips and Print Ready articles on their site which I found to be helpful. This lead me to the Color Management page on the REDIpix.com web site so I could get the profiles for soft proofing. I’ll admit that I’m not very good at this process as I’m not a printer, so I found the soft proofs to be way more bleached out than the final product. In the end, I did the best I could without soft proofing and told the REDIpix.com team to just make it look like the file that I sent them when I printed – they succeeded, but it might have been a touch darker than I expected (this is common as prints are always darker than our backlit LCD’s).
I also read the image sizing page carefully and used Alien Skin Software’s BlowUp to resize my image to the exact size required. When I was done, I used Sharpener Pro to get my final sharpening for the resolution of the printer that REDIpix.com uses (info available on their web site or by request). I had my flattened PSD file all ready to go, but now what? Usually I have to convert it to JPEG which always concerns me a bit but fortunately they are the first printer I’ve used which accepts PSD files! Here’s my file being uploaded to the site:
When my file was done uploading, I got this nice mail to let me know so I didn’t have to stare at the screen watching the progress dialog! I love’d this!!!!
Next, I placed my order as shown here (click for a larger view – and this is the most expensive print so don’t be shocked by the price):
As you can see from this order form, there’s lots of questions to help give you the control you need to ensure your print will be done to your satisfaction! I was very pleased and felt comfortable that these guys really know the right questions to ask. After I completed that, I got the invoice as shown here:
You’ll notice there’s a RONM discount code for readers of this blog (not applied yet in the image above) – be sure to use it when placing your order!
After I was done with my order, I got mail later the same day from REDIpix.com where they sent me a couple jpeg’s to show me how their final imaging looked on my image I gave to them. They had made adjustments based on their experience to ensure the best print results, so I was happy to get this overview and 100% crop image. Now it’s impossible to tell from this review as there’s so many color translations that take place between my shot above of my print and what I see in real life, but I can tell you that the proof shown below is very close to what I got:
The 100% crop had me a little worried, but the reality ended up being a perfect sharpening result thanks to Nik Software’s Sharpener Pro’s ability to let me optimize for display and then set the output target to the printer target resolution. I was so happy to have this feature!
I always worry about my prints arriving safely, despite the fact that I know the printer will replace it if shipping company damages. However, I’m the paranoid type and hate the hassle of having to complain and return a damaged print. I’m pleased to say that despite being shipped via UPS ground which ended up taking longer than expected due to a weather issue, my package arrived safely.
Here’s some shots that show how this image was packed:
I wouldn’t say that it was packed as securely as what I get from Mpix.com, but it was packed very well. Ultimately it arrived safely, so that’s the most important thing.
I’ve had my print for about a month now and I’m very happy with it. As I mentioned, we haven’t been very gentle with it and it’s held up well. I haven’t noticed finger prints on it, but I haven’t been abusive with it either so I can say that with ordinary care your image should be pretty safe.
Despite being online, this experience really felt like I was dealing with a local printer. The upload and communication process throughout the order was excellent, and the result was fantastic. I highly recommend this print style if your the type that doesn’t really care for the rough texture of a canvas. If you do like canvas prints, I still recommend REDIpix.com as they print canvas as well as a wide assortment of prints.
Please use the RONM coupon discount code created exclusively for readers of this blog (not applied yet in the image above) when placing your order!
I was given the print discussed in this article at no charge so that I could evaluate this product in a way that wouldn’t be practical for a print I paid on my own (i.e., put my dirty fingers on the print side, test it against surfaces which would scratch a canvas, etc…). I also get a commission if you take advantage of the special offer, so please do that to help support this blog and to show your appreciation for this article!