Motif canvas prints are the latest product to be offered by the company who provided Apple-branded print products from 2005 to 2018.
It was never clear why Apple decided to exit the business, but the good news is that you can continue to buy the same products in the same way, just under a different branding.
We explained the background when I tested the company’s photobooks.
Back in 2017, it was announced that RR Donnelley – the same company used to produce Apple-branded print products – was launching its own Photos plugin, under the Motif branding. This launched in 2018.
RR Donnelley has some impressive creds. It’s the largest commercial printer in the world, and the company Apple trusted for its own branded print products from 2005. In that time, RRD printed more than 75 million photo products for Apple. It also offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee, refunding or reprinting if you’re not completely happy with the result.
Although you now need to install a third-party plugin, the experience you get is almost identical to the old one. You can still create all your print products directly through Apple’s own Photos app on the Mac, and it still uses the smarts built into that app for the image analysis used to help create the finished result.
Motif canvas prints
Since then, the company has occasionally added to the print products available, and its latest offering is canvas prints. Here’s what the company has to say about them:
Motif’s photo canvas prints are high-quality, gallery-wrapped canvases that come fully finished and include a wall mounting bracket. Each canvas is printed on a high-quality poly-cotton canvas and is stretched over a solid pine frame, preventing wrinkles from appearing over time.
Canvases can be simply made using a single image or a collage of images.
Motif offers these in four sizes, which can be hung vertically or horizontally:
- 8 x 10 inches
- 10 x 14 inches
- 16 x 20 inches
- 24 x 36 inches
Prints wrap around the edges of the canvas, which can be either 3/4-inch deep or 1.5 inches. If you have important content at the edge of your photo, you can instead use the full size of the canvas and opt for your choice of solid color for the edges. In my case, I wrapped the photo.
Creating your canvas
As with any Motif print, the process is somewhat unintuitive, but very easy once you know how.
First, you need to install the Motif app – this is a free download from the Mac App Store. Run this app before you open the Photos app.
In the Photos app, select the photo or photos you want to print. Then go to the menubar and select File > Create > Wall decor > Motif.
That opens a new window that allows you to choose your canvas size. As I’m in the UK, my options are shown in centimeters and pounds, while in the US you’ll of course see inches and dollars.
For my test, I opted for 20 x 16 inches, and chose a Portrait mode photo of Charlie, a cat who is sadly no longer with us.
I’ve had a lot of wall-mounted photos over the years, and have tried everything from very high-end art printers to mass-market consumer ones. What I learned from this is that the cheaper consumer ones are pretty poor, and that the high-end ones aren’t noticeably better than the middle-range ones.
That being the case, I’ve typically found the mid-range ones to be the sweet spot, so I ended up buying from specialist photo printers, but avoiding their top-end finishes.
Motif isn’t at the very bottom end of the prices available out there, but it’s really not far off. Their canvas prices range from $30 for a slim-edge 8 x 10, to $150 for a 24 x 36 gallery edge.
My expectations at this price level wouldn’t be very high, but for the fact that I’d been really impressed by the company’s photobooks.
I was equally impressed here. The print quality is really good, and the canvas texture looks great. One common problem with cheap canvas prints is that the tensioning isn’t good, meaning you get slight wrinkles or floppiness in the print, but this one is perfect.
If I’d ordered this from the middle range of a professional lab, I would have been entirely happy with the result. In a way, that’s not too surprising – the company is, after all, a commercial printer. But to offer this quality at consumer-friendly prices still impresses me.
It comes complete with a decent-quality hanger, or you can simply hang it from the inside of the wooden frame.
I guess the tl;dr version of my review is: This canvas is hanging on my wall, and will remain there.
25% discount for 9to5Mac readers
The pricing is already very competitive for what you get, but if you order by the end of January, you can benefit from a 25% discount. Just use the discount code 9TO5MAC25 when you place your order.
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