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Lightfast Ink Jet Images

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Will ink jet prints made with your products meet the print buyer's needs? With great image quality and competitive price, they will meet immediate needs. But only if the ink and media were chosen to match the customer's image display conditions will the image stay high in quality as long as the customer expects.

Ink jet printing is a system. To get high quality images that last as long as customers want, you must match ink, media, printhead, printer, software operation and settings, posttreatment material and processes, and display conditions. To project ink lifetimes you must know the ink and media, and must understand how to project to real conditions from the lifetime reported at standard conditions.

Early ink jet dye inks had short lifetimes – even under dim lighting. Recent dye inks have extended lifetimes – but only under limited display conditions. Under real world conditions, a sizeable percentage of dye images will fade much sooner than the customer expects. Will these new inks meet customer expectations or will they disappoint so many customers that it will hurt business?

Pigment inks will last years outdoors and generations indoors; but can you get the printer reliability, color gamut, and image quality needed for quality images? Pigment inks in the right system give a robust printing process that produces high quality images with all the color saturation that customers require. These inks are as lightfast as the paints used by the artists who painted great masterpieces hundred of years ago and are still full of color today.

This paper will show how to relate reported lightfastness data to various display conditions. You will be able to project image life under the customer's expected display conditions. It will also examine some market perceptions about pigmented inks and high quality images. Finally, you will see tips and tricks for printing top quality, color saturated images with today's pigmented inks.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2000

More about this publication?
  • For more than 25 years, NIP has been the leading forum for discussion of advances and new directions in non-impact and digital printing technologies. A comprehensive, industry-wide conference, this meeting includes all aspects of the hardware, materials, software, images, and applications associated with digital printing systems, including drop-on-demand ink jet, wide format ink jet, desktop and continuous ink jet, toner-based electrophotographic printers, production digital printing systems, and thermal printing systems, as well as the engineering capability, optimization, and science involved in these fields.

    Since 2005, NIP has been held in conjunction with the Digital Fabrication Conference.

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