Sign & Digital Graphics

October '17

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36 • October 2017 • S I G N & D I G I T A L G R A P H I C S DIGITAL PRINTING AND FINISHING DIGITAL GRAPHICS ers frequently provide color profiles for their ink systems when used with spe- cific papers. Longevity of a print depends on the specific combination of inks and paper, but it also depends on local envi- ronmental conditions. Exposure to heat, moisture and sunlight light can fade an archival print over time, no matter what paper it's printed on. Presentation Paper Lighter weight, inkjet paper—some- times called presentation paper—is not much different from standard office bond except it can be can be used for all types of printing. These papers are less expen- sive and of lesser quality. I suggest they be used for proofing only. Paper Weights This section is not about the heavy object you place on a stack of bills to prevent the wind from blowing them away. No, the weight, or thickness of paper is a critical consideration when printing. Heavier media often conveys higher quality and increases the strength and durability of the print. A common method for determining the weight of paper is called U.S. Basis Weight that cat- egorizes paper into specific classes, the most common designations being: Bond, Text, Book, Index, Cover, Tag and Offset. The U.S. Basis Weights system can be perplexing. Higher numerical val- ues don't always mean that the stock is heavier or thicker. For example, an 80 lb. text paper is not the same as 80 lb. cover, for instance—it is much lighter weight. The basis weight is defined as the weight of 500 sheets of paper in its uncut "parent sheet" size, before being cut to standard letter, legal or tabloid sizes. An uncut sheet of bond paper is 17" x 22", while an uncut sheet of cover stock is 20" x 26". If 500 sheets of bond paper (17" x 22") weigh 20 lbs., then a ream (500 sheets) of paper cut to letter size will be labeled as 20 lb. bond. And if 500 sheets of cover paper (20" x 26") weigh 65 lbs., a ream of this paper trimmed to tabloid size would be marked as 65 lb. cover. Only with papers that share the same basic sheet size, can weights be com- pared. When shopping for paper, if you see reams of bond paper identified as 17 lb., 20 lb. and 26 lb. paper, you can be confident that the 26 lb. paper is thicker and no doubt more costly than the other choices. Paper Management Here are a few tips for managing and storing inkjet paper and prints that will help you use this medium most efficiently and help prevent waste. Store your paper sheets in a temper- ate, dry environment, flat, not upright to prevent warping and curling. Download the ICC profiles from the paper manufacturer to produce the most reliable color. If your printer requires you to use dif- ferent black ink for matte vs. glossy or satin paper, swap cartridges if necessary. If you are using matte or fine art papers with pigment-based inks, sand- wich an interleaving tissue between the prints for storage. Black and darker pig- ment inks can sometimes rub off and scuff easily on matte and cotton papers. Whenever possible, gang prints des- tined for the same type of paper to save time and reduce scrap size. Use smaller sheets cut from larger rolls when there is excess. Your large- format printer can handle a multitude of sizes, so save your scraps if they are of reasonable size. Mat your archival prints with archi- val, one hundred percent cotton, acid- free mat board to prevent yellowing and deterioration over time. Store prints in plastic bags or sleeves made from biaxially oriented polypro- pylene. Avoid using any materials that contain polyethylene or plasticizers that can yellow your paper. SDG Figure 7: A comparison of matte (left) and glossy (right) photo papers. (Image courtesy of

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