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Choose Your Ink Well

There are two main types of ink that are used in inkjet printer, dye ink and pigment ink. Each has different characteristics which can produce different results on paper, so it is important to look at the benefits of both and then make an informed decision about what will bring the best result for your personal printing run.

Pigment based inks are inks that are not absorbed by the paper, but they sit on top of the surface as tiny particles. The main benefits of pigment based inks are that they are usually water fast; dye-based inks usually begin to run when wetted if they aren’t printed on water-resistant coated paper. The ink dries very quickly, with little colour fade and a relatively long life cycle. As a bonus, there is also a reduced bleeding level on the edges of a piece printed in colour.

Dye based inks mean that the ink is absorbed into the fibres of the paper instead of sitting on top of it, which creates differences from pigment and dye-based inks in colour intensity, ink stability and contrast. The main advantages of dye- based ink are that there is a wider range of colours that can be produced compared to pigment-based ink, the level of brilliance and contrast is generally very high. In addition to this, they are also relatively inexpensive to boot.

Each type of ink has its own applications, such as dye-based ink is often used in monochrome (black and white) printers, whereas pigment-based ink is more common in colour printers. The reason for this is that up to ten different colours can be used in a colour printer, and there is a need for a fast drying ink so the colours don’t bleed into each other. A digital printing company may get a lot out of both these types of inks for the many different kinds of digital printing they offer and their clients’ varying needs.

As time goes by, there are more and more improvements being made to both dye-based and pigment-based inks to iron out any weaknesses of each type, so both kinds of ink are becoming stronger and stronger. It is also important to note that ink is one of three factors that can create a high-quality document; the printer itself and the printer paper also contribute to this. If used correctly, both pigment-based and dye-based inks can create fantastic looking prints which cater to your personal printing needs.

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