Getting Started with Inkjet Technology Part One
This post is taken from the Spring 2016 Edition of The Blueline Magazine.
High-speed production inkjet printing opens new doors for graphic designers — from connecting with your audience on a personal level, to printing higher quantities at a cost-effective price. However, it’s important to remember that the technology involved in inkjet printing is different from offset and toner digital. To get the best results, it’s a good idea to learn a little more about the process. If you’re new to inkjet printing, follow these key steps to ensure your printed piece looks as amazing as you envision it.
- KEEP AN OPEN MIND
The guidelines for designing and printing an inkjet piece are not the same as those recommended for offset and the learning curve is steeper than you might expect. The ink formulation is different, the machines may seem unfamiliar and you might need paper treated specifically to accept inkjet inks. Considering this, it’s wise to go into your first inkjet project with an open mind and the willingness to adjust your expectations.
- SHOP AROUND
Think about the intended purpose of your printed piece and evaluate what’s most important. Is crisp detail essential? Is color matching a must? How long will the piece be used? Discuss your goals with your printer to determine whether or not inkjet printing is a good fit for your project. You can also ask your printer to show you samples of similar jobs printed on inkjet machines, to see if you’re happy with the quality. Another aspect to consider is ink type. As explained in The Designer’s Guide To Inkjet, written by Elizabeth Gooding and Mary Schilling, there are two types of inkjet inks: dye-based and pigment-based. Results vary by machine and type of paper used, but typically dye ink sinks into the paper, making it more scratch-resistant. Pigment ink colorants sit on top of the paper and have a tendency to appear more vibrant. Pigment is also more color-fast than dye, providing a longer shelf life. Find out whether your printer is using a dye-or pigment-based machine and make the selection that best fits your project.
- TALK TO YOUR PRINTER
Once you’ve chosen the right print provider, schedule a call or, better yet, a tour of the facility. Discuss your expectations for the printed piece as early as possible, share your design and communicate any places where you’d like to achieve a color match. As with any print technology, getting everyone on the same page from the beginning is key to a great end result.
To learn more about Domtar’s offering of inkjet products, visit our Collection of Production Inkjet Papers page.
This blog was originally published on DomtarBlueline.com, July 13, 2016 and republished on domtarpaper.wpengine.com February 8, 2019.