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Inkjet & Proofing

Best papers for inkjet printing

With an inkjet, compared to a digital print, you're trading speed for quality.  An inkjet will produce remarkably high-resolution images but take longer to print.

Papers suitable for inkjet printers require a special coating that receives the aqueous dye or pigment-based inks without feathering.  Coating technology has advanced to produce vivid high-resolution images  with high density (Dmax) and wide color gamut – or the broadest range of colors.  The best of these papers, with suitable pigment-based ink systems, can match or exceed the image quality and longevity of photographic gelatin-based silver halidecontinuous tone printing methods used for color photographs.

Fine art inkjet papers provide the luxurious feel of a handmade paper producing a print of great value. Generally speaking, papers for fine art inkjet printing fall into two categories: alpha-cellulose and cotton. The former is often associated with photo gloss, matte and luster surfaces, whereas cotton papers tend to be heavier, more textured and supple to the touch.  As cotton is a stronger fiber, prints made on cotton papers tend to have greater longevity, although this is heavily dependent on handling, storage/exhibition conditions and the inks.

Papers for inkjet are offered in either sheet or roll format making them compatible with the various photo quality printers on the market. Much to the disappointment of photographers in the United States, sheet sizes follow the US traditional “office” standard of 8.5x11, 11x17, 13x19 and 22x17 and not the photo aspect ratios of 8x10, 11x14, 16x20.

Image Courtesy: Andy Biggs

Image Courtesy: Andy Biggs

Inkjet and proofing papers

Inkjet & Proofing Papers