print permanence

Ever wonder how long your prints will last given that the photographs we have do fade in colour over time?

 

The answer lies in print permanence ratings. While it is true that prints done today have been rated to last hundreds of years, it is important to understand the context which those numbers are derived. Some prints are rated to last hundreds of years because the tests were performed with the print frame under an UV-filtering glass.

 

The simplest way to understand how long your print will last is to make a comparison against how long a photographic print will last when similar tests are performed. 

 

How long your prints last is a function of three components:

 

The Print

Two things determine the theortical longevity of your print: the ink and the paper. This is something that you probably already know. 

 

How the print is displayed

After the print is made, it is displayed either bare-bulb (without frame) or framed with glazing. The choice of materials and the workmanship of the frame plays a part in determining how long your print will actually last. For example, the use of UV-filtering glass will greatly slow down the fading of your prints.

 

Where the print is displayed

Environmental factors contribute to colour fading. These factors include temperature, humidity and exposure to sunlight. Our prints are intended for indoor display. This means away from direct sunlight. Ultra violet rays from the sun breaks down the colourants of the ink resulting in colour fading. 

 

What print permenance ratings tell you

Generally, print permanence ratings tell you how long your print will last given the following:

  • the paper used
  • the printer (ink) used
  • the display conditions (display with or without frame)
  • the environmental conditions (temperature and humidity levels)

 

Understanding the display conditions used for print permanence ratings is relevant as it is less meaningful to use ratings for a canvas print that is framed under glass.

 

We have included links to print permanence reports for papers that have such tests performed. These tests were performed in another part of the world where the envoirmental factors are different from Singapore's. To make meaningful comparisons, we benchmark print permanence ratings of these papers against similar tests performed by the same organisation on photographic papers. 

 

The print permanence ratings for photographic papers can be found in page 2 of this report by Wilhelm Imaging Research performed for the HP Indigo digital press. In this report, photographic (sliver-halide) prints do not last more than 26 years when displayed without frame. Two of the papers tested last less than 20 years. In order not to exaggerate the multipler, we use 26 years to determine how many times longer a print produced by our HP printer will last for the paper in question. We use the ratings for display without frame as this ratings tend to result in lower multiplers meaning that your prints should last at least as long as the stated multiplier. 

 

We also note that the tests performed on the Canson Infinity papers were done using an earlier version of our printer, the HP Designjet Z3100. This printer uses the same ink in 11 of 12 ink tanks as our printer: the difference being the red ink, whose formulation is improved in our model, the HP Designjet Z3200. Thus, it is in our opinion that the print permanence ratings for our printer will not materially differ from those presented in the test report.

 

Papers with print permanence ratings 2 times longer than regular photographs when displayed without frame

 paper-Canson-PhotoGloss-270paper-Canson-PhotoSatin-270paper-Ilford-GFSpaper-Ilford-SmoothGlosspaper-Ilford-SmoothPearl 

 

Papers with print permanence ratings 3 times longer than regular photographs when displayed without frame

paper-Arches-Aquarelle-310paper-Arches-Velin-315paper-Canson-BFKpaper-Canson-Edition-310

paper-Canson-RagPhoto-310paper-HP-glosspaper-HP-matte

questions

faq

our printer

z3200

how to order

  1. Send us your images here or via online file sharing/transfer services such as dropbox/yousendit/wetransfer
  2. Tell us the print size and paper to be used
  3. We will check the image and get back to you on pricing
  4. Confirm your order and we will inform you when your print will be ready

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