Pigment Based Inks?

Pigment Based Inks?

December 17, 2022 Uncategorized 0

Whether you call it fine art or giclée printing, there is a definitive difference between a conventional printshop and an archival printshop. The conventional printer will typically have offset printing equipment favoring longer print runs, using CMYK inks that fade over time. An archival fine art printer is uniquely different in that our wheelhouse revolves around providing archival prints that will last upward of 75 years or more if cared for properly, using pigment based inks and acid free papers.

Maintaining color accuracy using conventional offset printing is a challenge, even for the most experienced journeyman. However, color accuracy is a big selling point for giclée and fine art printers, using between 9 and 12 ink sets, allowing for the print production of amazingly vivid colors. Color accuracy depends on the expertise of the person, software, hardware, ICC profiles, stock and skill of the person working on reproducing your one of a kind fine art print.

Typically in a fine art reproduction printing establishment, the inks are pigment based, and the paper, or substrate used to print on must be museum-grade. This means that the combination of the ink, the printing method, and paper used will last upward of 75 years or longer. Of course the key in choosing the preferred substrate is relative to the subject matter. Is it a photographic reproduction or artistic illustration? Will you use your prints in a gallery showing, or will you be selling prints on an ecommerce platform? In general, there are two main categories of substrate selections:

  • Matte papers (matte finish) excellent for color intensive photographic prints, deep rich blacks & framing for non-glare visibility in ambient lighting areas
  • Photo papers (satin/gloss finish) perfect for vivid art reproductions & photographic prints

The type of printing equipment is important. Some printshops will install a blueprint plotter, and venture into offering fine art prints. Be weary of this practice as the results are glaringly obvious. Just look closely at a print from a plotter type printer, and the same file reproduced by a fine art printshop, the color will “pop”, the ink will lay down on the substrate in a perfect continuous layer, and when compared to the original digital file, you will be comparing apples to apples. We use an array of equipment to reproduce fine art prints, across the HP, Epson and Roland platform, and offer prints as small as 4″x6″ through 54″ wide and as long as desired.

A conventional offset printshop will have limitations on what they can produce, from a color output perspective to size constraints and quantity minimums to make the cost per piece more effective. With a fine art printshop, need one print, no problem – this is our niche and within our wheelhouse!

Want to know more, or have a question you need answered? Leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you with answers, recommendations and suggestions to make your next fine art print project a success using our pigment based inks and archival quality substrates at prices that will suit your pocketbook!

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