High-quality materials = superior quality maps on canvas
Here’s what we use to make our maps:
To print our maps, we use the CANON PRO-4000 printer, one of the latest in the market. It is designed to produce the highest-quality print on canvas and art reproductions. But a good printer is only a part of it – to make high-quality maps, it is also important to choose original and tested ink. In Trip Map, we use the official Canon ink – LUCIA PRO, made in Japan. LUCIA PRO is a professional water-based 12-color ink system, ensuring the widest color palette and impeccable quality of the print (most other manufacturers use 6-8 colors). This technology is popular among artists that make high-quality photo art and art reproductions. And we use it to make rich-colored, long-lasting maps.
LUCIA PRO guarantees the best expression of deep, vivid, perfectly contrasting colors. This is especially visible in black and dark-colored maps. Professional ink is not only important to get the best colors – but it also ensures that the image will look sharp, clear, and non-pixelated. Professional ink can excellently represent even the tiniest details, for example, letters, which is very important when printing maps.
Printed with the original ink, the maps from Trip Map are long-lasting and will decorate your interior for decades (the estimate is based on official Canon tests). Some other map manufacturers use cheaper ink alternatives, therefore, saving for manufacturing costs but are not able to offer the long-lasting quality of the print.
We always purchase the ink only from the official Canon representatives, so we can be sure that you get the best quality product that is also safe for the environment.
We are very picky about the canvas we use. At the beginning of our business, we tried out 7 different types of canvas until we found something that was best suited for us.
To print our maps, we use poly-cotton 390 g/m² premium quality canvas, designed to make art reproductions and other types of print that require an impeccable look. This canvas is distinctive with its completely white surface, perfect for vividly representing the wide color palette, especially the rich dark tones. The clean surface of the canvas ensures that even the smallest features will be clearly visible, for example, text, which is extremely important when analyzing maps. The canvas we chose comes from a reliable British label that has years of experience in manufacturing print-related products. Some other printing houses are trying to reduce the costs by using cheaper canvas alternatives (for instance, made in China) but are not able to offer the same color expression.
Premium 390 g/m² canvas shines with its durability and resistance to ink “fractures”. It means that when set on an underframe, the ink on canvas will not crack, and the colors will look great from any angle. Our canvas does not turn yellow with time passing, ensuring that the original look of the product remains unchanged as well. The surface of the canvas is normally smooth and clean. However, if after printing the map, we find any defects on the canvas, we’ll put this map aside and print a new one.
In Trip Map, all the maps are covered with a special varnish for print. And we want to emphasize — we use a special varnish designed specifically for canvas and print, not a several times cheaper varnish for wood that you can find in construction supply stores. We know that some manufacturers choose the latter alternative to save costs, but canvas covered with cheaper varnish might turn yellow when exposed to sunlight and lose its initial appearance. Some manufacturers don’t use any varnish whatsoever, which drastically affects the display life of the product.
By being picky and not trying to save not only on canvas but also on varnish, we chose the product that is probably the best in the market and is made in Texas, USA. This ultimate varnish is meant and certified (with official certification) for use with archival media for 100+ years of display life. We use the satin varnish that gives a soft glow to the print and emphasizes the elegant texture of the canvas.
This protective layer adds water resistance to the canvas and print, so you can clean your map both with a dry or a wet cloth if needed. This is an important quality because maps are often being close-up examined, touched, and pinned. No need to worry if your map got accidentally smeared – you can easily clean the dirt!
The varnish also plays its part in protecting the map from UV rays, in other words – from being affected by sunlight. The map will not turn yellow or fade, and the colors will remain vivid. The varnish also protects the print from small abrasions that can appear after touching the product or from dust and other dirt in the environment. The varnish is water-based and is completely safe and odor-free.
Underframes / stretcher bars
For our maps, we use glued pinewood underframes made in Lithuania. They are distinctive with their sturdiness and lightweight – so the final product can be hung on any wall. For small-format maps, we choose underframes that are 2 cm thick and 2.5 cm thick for the largest format. Glued wood is used so that the underframe wouldn’t lose its shape and would remain straight with time passing.
When assembling the underframes, we always check their straightness. Our experienced team can tell which underframes are meeting our standards. If an underframe we got is not straight, seems bent, cracked, or otherwise damaged, we don’t use it and return it to the supplier.
Foam panel, book cardboard, and metal hooks
To finish up the map, in the upper left and right corners, we screw-in metal sawtooth hanger hooks. Hung on the corners, the map will always remain straight and stable. Such a map can be hung in any place in the house where there is a lot of movement, for example, in the hall or the living room. The map will not move from the wind, accidentally touched, or when pinning.
To keep our product as light as possible, we use a foam panel to fill in the construction. The panel is firmly set inside the underframe, creating a sturdy background for pinning. This panel allows the map to hold not only pins but also pictures, tickets, and other travel accessories. It is resistant to humidity – so it won’t become wavy and will not lose its shape.
The back of our maps is covered with cardboard, creating a more esthetic appearance. For the cover, we use a book-cardboard because it doesn’t have acid in its composition. It prevents any unwanted reactions that might happen when the cardboard touches your wall paint, wallpaper, or any other wall cover. It means that the wall paint will not lose its color, will not fade, etc.
With every map purchase, you get 100 pins. The size of the pins was chosen after trying out a couple of options – we wanted to find pins of optimal size and length. Our choice was a 1 cm-length pin with a 3 mm-diameter rounded head. This size lets you either pin the pin all the way in, only leaving the little bubble out, or partially pin it, leaving part of the pin out. Pin’s rounded head is of an optimal size – so you can pin several pins close to each other, for example, in smaller Europe or USA maps where the cities are close by.
The pins are packed in low cylindrical boxes with caps, so you can safely keep the unused pins until you need them.
We offer 16 different colors of pins, which allows you to create your own style and unique color compositions.
After several years in the business, we found the best ways to safely pack the maps for shipment – so that the possibility of any damage would be completely minimized.
Every map is firstly wrapped in a thin transparent wrap that protects the product from touches, bruises, or humidity. Then, we additionally wrap it into a bubble wrap. A thoroughly wrapped map is packed into a sturdy, hardened 5-layer cardboard box that firmly holds the product inside and protects it from the outside. If needed (when shipping inside the EU), the largest format maps are packed in an additional box to ensure the most effective protection during shipment.
Yes, there are many layers — but they are needed for safe, faraway (yet quick) international trips. We always recommend recycling the packaging according to the rules in your country, and if your product was damaged – inform us, and we’ll change it.