Redesigning the science of personalized art with CanvasPop

Photo credit: Jordan MacDonald

You can tell what sort of a company CanvasPop is creating just by walking into their office.

Comfy seating, rich colours and a mix of textures with an open-concept design to remind employees that everyone here is in this together.

CanvasPop is an online ecommerce business that prints customized photos and art onto high-quality canvas and delivers it across North America and Europe. Their services allow anyone, from amateur photographers to professional designers, to print their images at any size.

Born from the success of DNA11, which popularized the concept of DNA art in 2005, CanvasPop has now landed on the world’s stage for their ease-of-access digital art services.

After successfully raising over $3.3 million in funding in early 2018, the company announced that they would be expanding their services and doubling down on new ways to create personalized art.

Nazim Ahmed, cofounder and CEO of CanvasPop, believes that this starts at home.

Last year, the company redesigned their Ottawa location with a modernized and “fun” look, while keeping the rustic features of the historical warehouse intact.

“A big focus here is on culture,” says Nazim. “Ensuring that everyone who works here – from the second they walk into the business and throughout their entire tenure – turns into a better person. A big key to that is that they are inspired by their physical workspace when they come to work every day.”

The intended effect of their office’s latest design was to encourage creativity by personalizing the working space to how the whole team wanted it. Management spoke with employees and distributed surveys to find out what would make them feel more comfortable and productive.

The result is beautiful; flashy purples splashed against minimalist white walls, leafy office plants sprouting from desks, and exposed brick running up the lofty ceiling. You can imagine that this is where game-changing ideas are captured.

Photo credit: Jordan MacDonald

They stay focused though, and there’s a lot coming down the pipeline. Growing their existing clientele across Canada, the United States and in Europe within a highly competitive market, and finding new ways they can innovate their space can be a tricky balance to strike.

Of course, CanvasPop has always been quick on the draw when it comes to utilizing new technologies. They were the first to bring custom printing directly to Instagram users, and they don’t shy away from low-resolution or complex aesthetic shots either.

“Here, we have a very strong balance between technical people and creatives, and we’re always trying to make sure that balance is in equilibrium,” says Nazim. “The merging of art and technology is a process we’re excited to nurture as we continue to grow and innovate as a company.”

Creativity can be found just about anywhere you look in the building. As you walk in, you spy an assortment of blank canvases hung on the walls, a fantastic use of symbolism that perfectly suits the brand; it says CanvasPop is here to offer tools for artists to fulfill their own creations.

Above every workstation is a frame, each detailing a major city in North America that the company has seen success in. A reminder of where they have come from and where they are going, too.

When Nazim describes his view for the future of CanvasPop, he foresees an intersection of three key aspects of product and service optimization.

“The focus right now is on the intersection between art, technology and personalization,” he explains. “We have been evolving that concept since we began DNA11, and now that the existing business is strong and growing we are now focused on further discovery and innovation in this space."

The future appears bright for CanvasPop, as they shift their focus to these core values and strengthen their growing services with new and innovative tools for personalized artwork.

Already a major player in the North American market, along with a strong presence in Europe, the company is also looking outward and eyeing opportunities in other geographies. CanvasPop has received numerous commendations for its services, including being noted the #1 Best Canvas Print Company by

“We’re already a global business, and we’re excited to expand,” Nazim says.

Perhaps by this time next year their walls will have a few new cities inhabiting those blank frames, and Ottawa will have yet another technology giant to boast about.

To learn more about CanvasPop visit their website here!