How to dry ink printed on back of photo paper

kdsdata

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As the subject says, I need to find a way of drying the ink printed on the back of my photos. In an attempt to provide extra information for details, particularly people, shown in the photos I printed that information on the back side.

This information seems to be wanted by the younger generations, likely because "they" generally don't want to hang out with us old folks, and they don't know less and less who is family anymore, because as generations are added to families the links become spread very thin. I can understand their concerns. So the issue is that I printed such info on the back of the photos, but the ink doesn't want to dry. It smears even after an overnight drying.

Does anyone have any suggestions? a) first, how to dry the back of the photos I have already printed, b) then, are there any special settings that could print less ink, or other paper settings? The back of photos seems to be fairly reluctant to accept the ink. c) Is there any way to treat the paper back-surface to accept the ink better but doesn't affect the actual photo on the good side?

As usual, your help will be greatly appreciated.
hey... we had a good downing of wet snow in Calgary, so it looks very Christmas outside.
Anyway, Best Regards,
Fritz
 

Ink stained Fingers

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The back of photos seems to be fairly reluctant to accept the ink.
A good photo paper of the RC/PE type is just as you experience it - the paper base is sandwiched between very thin PE foils - on both sides , and a RC (resin coated) layer is added wlhich is the active surface to print onto. You cannot print directly onto the PE film. You probably would need some solvent type inks to do so.

I'm not aware of any special treatment to overcome that situation, but I would recommend you to look to some alternatives. This could be a photo paper in the lower pricing range - which is not sandwiched like the PE papers, they have the ink recepting coating on one side and a paper back side - you actually can print on, and they have a 'cast coated' surface. There is a wide range of these papers on the market - lots of no name papers or with a brand name of the dealer, and there is a wide pricing range as well , but pricing is not an indication of quality. You would need to test several of those - making an ICC profile - looking to the gamut and black level, and some papers curl pretty strongly - others don't.
Or you look for double sided papers - with an active surface on both sides. Such papers are available as the cast coated or the PE/RC type as well.
 

PeterBJ

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If you can accept writing the info by hand, then a fine tipped permanent marker can be used. Markers for CD/DVD are suitable for this purpose and the ink is almost instantly dry and doesn't smear. I have tested Staedtler Lumocolor and Stanger CD markers and a No-Name permanent marker. They all worked well. Other brands might also work well.

I printed a test on the back side of a Netbit 4"x 6" photo paper that is PE coated on back sides. The print still smears after half an hour drying time, but the CD marker test is dry to the touch immediately after writing and does not smear

Here is a scan:

CD Marker test.jpg


You could also print the info on an adhesive label and attach that to the backside of the photo. Would that be acceptable?
 
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PeterBJ

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The Hat posted while I was editing my post to add the idea about the adhesive labels.
 

kdsdata

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Once again, good advice.

I will see if I can find either some of the paper that has "paper" on the back, for the photos that I need to mark up, my writing is just not nice enough for "archival" notes. I will need to keep using my regular paper for all the other photos. I had bought a big batch at the local camera shop where they will cut to size big commercial sheets down to 4x6. That's a very cost effective way of getting paper.

Now about the snow. I must be born for the north, because I kind of wake up when it snows. Yes, yes, I know that the original Christmas was not in the cold climates. But I was posted in Houston over the winter one year, and Christmas Season just didn't feel right for me wearing shorts and Tee-shirts with 80 deg outside. On the other hand you did freeze when you then went into a shopping center with the air conditioning set to 55 deg ^_^. For me a posting to Fort McMurray in the winter was always nice. You ask why. No Bugs. That's why. No mosquitos, no black flies, no nothing that even crawls, not even inside. Nothing but clean "clear" air. You can see the big borealis, bright as daylight, wow.

Anyway thanks for the advice.
Fritz
P.S. After submitting my reply I thought I should investigate the PE mentioned in one of the replies above. Found that knowledge very useful for investigating different photo paper types. Can't thank you all enough for all your help.
 
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MooreDesignLabs

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Just print to a self-adhesive label and stick that on the back..
P.S. And you can keep your Feckin SNOW.. :lol:
This is exactly what I was going to suggest. Small Avery labels would be an efficient way to add information without worrying about smearing or drying.
 

brwinters

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I've also had this idea. Unfortunately (only in this context) Canon paper uses this lining and that prevents inkjet adhesion.

Something I will say is that at work, we have a Fuji (Epson) drylab which prints backprint info (order number and whatnot) onto the lined backs of roll paper using a couple of dot matrix print heads, inline with the process. I just tried printing dot matrix onto the back of a piece of Canon photo paper with an ImageWriter II and it did kinda work, but not nearly as well as the Fuji machine does. Not sure if it's a difference in paper or ribbon/wax material for the dot matrix. (Or maybe the heat, since this is parallel with the heat-curing stage?)

I also tried laser and inkjet.

--

Dot Matrix results: 6/10 adhesion, but does smudge if rubbed. Also massively dirtied the print side. (Printer from 1985.) Also it shredded the lining a bit.
1701235436029.png



Inkjet results: As expected, 0/10 for adhesion. Totally rubs away and smudges with even the slightest touch. Doesn't dry at all. Only strength was that it didn't damage the print side surface at all. (Gentle process compared to needles and/or extreme heat. And one of my more used, thus more thoroughly cleaned, machines.)
1701235546548.png



Laser results: 11/10 for backprint. Actually worked incredibly well. However, the heat damaged the print surface colors, which can be seen as horizontal lines in the color bars of my maintenance print page.
1701235660872.png


P.S. Excuse the bad alignment on the dot matrix. 1985 printer using an old generic UNIX driver is very fussy and I could barely get the paper loaded to begin with. Platen roller needs TLC on that machine.
 

kdsdata

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Hi All, luckily I could leave the photos back up open to the air for almost a week now. Just to report, the inks is essentially dry, except for heavy smearing. It's dry enough now that I can put the photos, back to back with perhaps onion skin between, in an envelope to send out with Christmas cards.
On that note, thanks for the advice, and useful other info,
All the Best of the Season,
Fritz, from the cold of Canada.
But oh... are the stars clear and bright in todays night sky.
 
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brwinters

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It's dry enough now that I can put the photos, back to back with perhaps onion skin between, in an envelope to send out with Christmas cards.
My only concern is it might smear more while in shipment or be affected by temperature/other variables. While it may work, it doesn't seem like a bulletproof solution and it leaves more to be desired for long-term/archival purposes.

Just thought, I'll have to try laser backprint before printing the image side, to see if it's the surface that's damaged by the heat or just the ink being affected. Perhaps laser would work if done first. I'll report my findings posthaste 🫡
 
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