Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S • October 2017 • 35 material (called "china clay"), is bound to the paper with synthetic viscosifi- ers such as styrene-butadiene latexes and natural organic binders such as starch. The coating formula may also contain chemical additives that evenly disperse the coating, or polymer resins to enhance water resistance and wet strength. These resins also increase the longevity of the print and help stabilize the ink against ultraviolet radiation. Fine Art Papers Fine art inkjet papers are manufac- tured for the professional photographer and artist. These papers are similar to traditional watercolor, printmaking, and photographic papers. They differ however because they are coated with resins and clays that are engineered to receive and hold ink. They meet similar standards for longevity and durability as traditional fine art papers and are usu- ally "archival" meaning that they have a neutral p H and are free of lignin and optical brighteners. Fine art inkjet print- ing requires that the paper have perfect amount absorbency to accept the ink and prevent excessive ink spread. Fine art papers are usually made of 100% cotton rag pulp. Some fine art papers are mold made, while others are machine made, and may vary consider- ably in surface texture. They are avail- able in several surfaces including smooth, lightly textured, rough and even canvas (see Figure 5). Fine art papers, like most quality inkjet papers, can be purchased in either cut sheet sizes or in rolls from 8.5" to 72" wide (or larger), and up to 300' long (see Figure 6). Inkjet Photo Paper Certain papers on the market are spe- cifically formulated for printing photo- graphs. These papers are usually bright white. To obtain maximum whiteness they are either bleached, or coated with pigments such as titanium dioxide. They can also be coated with a highly absor- bent refined clay that limits ink spread. Many of these papers, when printed with archival pigment-based inks, are equal to or can exceed the image quality and longevity of traditional photographic continuous tone printing. Photo paper is typically categorized by its surface texture: glossy, semi-gloss, satin, semi-matte, and matte finishes. Paper thickness can vary. Higher- quality photo papers are thicker and have advanced coatings that sometimes enhance drying time. They are usually coated on one side. Glossy photo paper has a shiny finish. It is smooth and has a high degree of reflectivity. Matte photo paper is not shiny and has a slightly tex- tured feel to the touch (see Figure 7). Glossy inkjet papers produce the best color density and the widest color gamut. Photo papers vary in their longevity and their color gamut capacity. Ink suppli- Figure 6: Fine art archival papers are available in rolls and sheets.

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