Ink Type

Most printer inks are made from dye. They can produce stunning results but until recently there were serious questions over their archival longevity, with reports of prints fading in just months. Manufacturers have worked hard to improve on this, with some success, but even the best dyes cannot compete with pigment-based inks when it comes to colour-fastness. Pigment inks are more expensive but don't fade as quickly. The disadvantage is their more matt finish, which is less easily absorbed into glossy papers and can diminish their sheen. The latest top-of-the-range inks (eg Epson's Ultrachrome ink) are a combination of dye and pigment to offer the best of both worlds.

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