When it comes to color printing, there are several different types of ink that are used. Each of these inks has their own characteristics which offer certain benefits in some areas while perhaps lacking in others. In wide format printing, the types of inks used are very important to get across the message and create the exact type of design that is desired.
What follows are five of the most common types of color printing ink that are used and the differences between them.
These are water-based inks that have two varieties called Dye and UV. The dye inks are mixed with water when applied and then the water evaporates to leave the ink behind. The advantage is the bright colors that it can deliver. However, these types of inks will fade rather quickly under the ultraviolet rays of the sun, so they are best kept indoors. Also, the dye inks are not waterproof either, so they are best used for short terms promotional work.
UV inks are similar to chalk dust that is suspended in the water. When the water evaporates they leave behind the chalk like little dots which then forms the image. They are very resistant to UV rays and will last longer. However, they do not have the color brilliance of dye inks.
Dry Sublimation Inks
You can choose between the aqueous type which is used for desktop and wide format printing and the solvent type which is used from Spectra, XAAR and Konica wide format printing devices. It is not quite inkjet printing, but it is a type often confused with such.
These are generally pigment inks which contain dyes, but they do not use water. Instead, they use volatile organic compounds instead that are relatively inexpensive and quite flexible on certain types of surfaces. Solvent inks are waterproof, UV resistant and are very brilliant in terms of the color provided. However, their main benefit is the durability of the ink itself which holds up quite well in all types of conditions.
Of course, the main drawback is the toxic chemicals used in their creation. For consumers, it matters little but in terms of production special care must be taken.
UV Cured Inks
These are inks which are “cured” by being exposed to strong UV-light. They dry quickly which makes them quite appealing to printers and they can be used on a number of different surfaces. Unfortunately, they are also quite expensive as well which makes a costlier proposition for those who want to use such inks for their color printing.
A new type of ink that can be used on many different surfaces including vinyl, this particular type offers many advantages in that it acts much like solvent inks but without the dangerous toxic chemicals. However, there are chemicals used which are not totally environmentally friendly as well. For many, these types of inks are still new, but offer a lot of promise.
Contact our Color Department for your wide format printing needs: 757-545-7675 or firstname.lastname@example.org.