Archival pigment print, a type of inkjet print, uses pigment-based inks, providing long-lasting, high-quality images. Its main difference from standard inkjet prints is the type of ink used, as pigment-based inks resist fading better and produce wider color gamut than dye-based inks typically used in standard inkjet printing.
Is an Archival Pigment Print the Same as an Inkjet Print?
Choosing the right type of print can make all the difference when it comes to purchasing art or photography. Archival pigment prints and inkjet prints are two popular options, but what are the differences between the two?
In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of each type of print, and help you make an informed decision on which one is right for you.
But before we compare the two, let’s look at both archival pigment prints and inkjet prints separately.
What are Archival Pigment Prints?
Archival pigment prints are a high-quality type of print that uses pigment-based inks to produce images.
One of the main benefits of archival pigment prints is their longevity. Because they are printed with pigment-based inks, which are more stable and resistant to fading than dye-based inks, they can last for up to 200 years or more under the right conditions. This makes them an excellent choice for collectors, artists, and anyone who wants to ensure that their prints will look great for many years to come.
Archival pigment prints are also known for their excellent color accuracy and tonal range. The pigment-based inks are able to produce a wider range of colors and tones than other types of prints, which can result in more accurate and detailed reproductions of original artworks or photographs.
In addition to their longevity and color accuracy, archival pigment prints are also printed on high-quality, acid-free paper or other archival substrates that are designed to resist fading and deterioration over time. This helps to ensure that the prints will retain their quality and appearance for many years to come.
Overall, archival pigment prints are a great choice for anyone who wants a high-quality, long-lasting print that will retain its color and vibrancy for many years.
What are Inkjet Prints?
Inkjet prints are a popular type of print that uses ink droplets to produce images. They are created using inkjet printers, which are widely available and relatively affordable.
Unlike other types of prints, which may require specialized equipment or printing processes, inkjet prints can be produced using a standard desktop printer.
One of the main benefits of inkjet prints is their affordability and accessibility. Because they can be produced using a standard inkjet printer, they are a great option for artists, photographers, and anyone who wants to create high-quality prints without spending a lot of money.
Inkjet prints are also known for their versatility. They can be printed on a variety of different paper types, including glossy, matte, and fine art papers, which allows for a range of different finishes and textures. This makes them a great option for artists who want to experiment with different paper types to achieve a specific look or feel.
While inkjet prints are generally of good quality, they may not be as long-lasting as archival pigment prints. The inks used in inkjet printing are typically dye-based, which can be less stable and more prone to fading than the pigment-based inks used in archival pigment prints. However, by using high-quality inks and papers, it is possible to produce inkjet prints that are of a high standard and can last for many years.
Overall, inkjet prints are a great option for anyone who wants an affordable, versatile, and accessible type of print. While they may not have the same longevity as archival pigment prints, they can still be of high quality and produce excellent results.
Print Quality: Inkjet vs Archival Pigment
When it comes to print quality, there are some key differences between inkjet and archival pigment prints.
Archival pigment prints are known for their exceptional color accuracy, tonal range, and overall image quality. This is due to the use of pigment-based inks, which offer greater color stability and resistance to fading than the dye-based inks used in inkjet printing.
Archival pigment prints also typically have a greater depth and vibrancy of color than inkjet prints. This is because the pigment particles are larger than those used in inkjet inks, which allows them to create a more intense color and a greater range of shades and tones.
In contrast, inkjet prints may be more prone to color shifting over time, particularly if they are not printed using high-quality inks and papers. This can result in colors that appear duller or less vibrant than they were when the print was first created.
However, it’s worth noting that the print quality of inkjet prints can still be very high, particularly when they are produced using high-quality inks and papers. Many professional photographers and artists use inkjet printing as a way to produce high-quality prints that are affordable and accessible.
Print Longevity: Inkjet vs Archival Pigment
When it comes to print longevity, or how long a print will last without fading, there are significant differences between inkjet and archival pigment prints.
Archival pigment prints are known for their exceptional longevity, with many prints lasting well over 100 years without significant fading or deterioration.
This is due to the use of pigment-based inks, which are resistant to fading and degradation over time. Additionally, archival pigment prints are often printed on high-quality archival papers, which are specifically designed to withstand the test of time.
In contrast, the longevity of inkjet prints can vary widely depending on the quality of the inks and papers used, as well as the conditions in which the prints are stored. Some inkjet prints may begin to fade or deteriorate after just a few years, while others may last for several decades.
However, it’s worth noting that with proper care and storage, many inkjet prints can still last for a significant amount of time. For example, keeping prints out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry environment can help to prolong their lifespan.
How to Care for Your Archival Pigment & Inkjet Prints
Whether you’re working with archival pigment prints or inkjet prints, proper care is essential for ensuring the longevity of your prints.
Here are some tips for taking care of your prints:
- Handle prints with care: When handling prints, make sure to use clean hands and avoid touching the surface of the print. Hold the print by the edges or use gloves to avoid transferring oils or dirt onto the print.
- Display prints in a proper environment: Exposure to light, heat, and moisture can all cause prints to deteriorate more quickly. Keep your prints out of direct sunlight and in a cool, dry environment with low humidity.
- Use high-quality materials: When storing or framing prints, make sure to use archival-quality materials that are specifically designed for long-term preservation. This includes acid-free matting and backing, UV-filtering glass or acrylic, and sturdy frames that provide adequate support.
- Avoid using cleaning products: Never use water, cleaning products, or solvents to clean your prints, as this can cause damage. Instead, use a soft brush or compressed air to remove any dust or debris from the surface of the print.
By following these tips, you can help to ensure that your archival pigment prints or inkjet prints last for many years to come. With proper care, you can enjoy your prints and preserve them for future generations to appreciate.
Conclusion: Choosing Between Archival Pigment & Inkjet Prints
When it comes to choosing between archival pigment and inkjet prints, there are several factors to consider.
Archival pigment prints offer superior print quality, longevity, and color accuracy. On the other hand, inkjet prints are generally more affordable and offer a wider range of paper options.
Ultimately, the choice between the two comes down to the specific needs and preferences of the artist or buyer.
If you are looking for a high-quality print that will stand the test of time and accurately represent the colors of the original artwork or photograph, an archival pigment print may be the best choice.
However, if affordability and paper options are a top priority, an inkjet print may be a better option.
Regardless of which option you choose, proper care and handling are crucial for ensuring the longevity of your print. Be sure to display your print in a space that is protected from direct sunlight and high levels of humidity, and handle it with clean hands to avoid smudging or damaging the surface.
Overall, both archival pigment and inkjet prints have their advantages and drawbacks, and the decision ultimately depends on the needs and preferences of the individual.