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materials best for impermanence

Discussion in 'Everything Else InkJet Printer Related' started by fader, May 21, 2018.

  1. May 21, 2018
    fader

    fader Newbie to Printing

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    Hi there,

    I search for print materials, which provide fast fadening and strong color shifting characteristics.

    For my diploma work at an art university (please don`t stop reading now), I experiment with print (im)permanence. I`m glad that I have found this forum, especially the thread "Papers to minimise fade with aftermarket dye inks." which include impressive fading and color shift tests, exactly what I have searched for more then a year (but did not completely answered my question). I asked at many printing shops for my concern, which is admittedly a little bit strange, but surely not unanswerable.

    First of all, I`m not a printing pro, even not an amateur. I know the basics between permanent and dye ink, know a little bit about the pros and cons of papers, but all in all, I`m technically a beginner.

    What is my plan? I want to fade large format prints in direct summer sunlight (maximal 47 in x 52 in or 106,8 cm x 133 cm but at least 42 in x 31 in or 95 cm x 79 cm). The prints are fixed into a wooden construction with a protection of acrylic glass and placed some weeks or months in the direct sunlight until they have a nice fading and color shift.

    [​IMG]
    The photoconstructions with acryl glass on the top in the Italian sunlight.


    I have done this last summer in Italy, but had problems with the materials: As nearly all print shops I have visited said, that with the years, large format printers with dye inks in print shops have nearly disappeared, I let print the photos in a first run with pigment inks. Just for my interest I filled one of this exposure constructions with small photos printed with a thermal sublimation printer. After 5 weeks I came back, the large photos didn´t show a slightly change, but the small thermal sub. photos changed exactly as I have wished (see photo below).

    [​IMG]
    Small thermal sublimation print after 3 weeks in the sunlight: that´s what I want in large.


    In meantime, I have found a print office, that is running a HP Designjet T7200 large format ink jet printers with dye inks (I don´t know the paper brand, but it´s "semigloss"). I ordered some prints and placed it into the sun beside the other pigment ink prints. While I still did not note any changes on the latter, the dye ink prints showed good fading tendencies and a color shift after 3 weeks, which is okay, but I`m not fully happy with the "aesthetic" of the fading and color shift, which goes too much direction yellow.

    [​IMG]
    detail of a print, made on a HP DJT7200 with dye ink on semigloss paper (unfortunately no more product details): the color shift tends to yellow, the blacks don´t fade enough for my taste.


    My qestion: I like the changes concerning luminance, lower contrast and especially the color shift to magenta in the small thermal sublimation prints best, unfortunately this technique isn´t available in larger formats. Which combination of technique, ink and paper should I use to get similar fadening / color shift results, at least in the format 42 in x 31 in or 95 cm x 79 cm?

    As I cover parts of the prints with cardboard maskings, this areas should not affected by the sunlight and therefore the print quality (good detail, bright clear colors) is also very important. Further I prefer heavy, glossy paper. I know, maybe I expect too much..

    Later when the process is done, I plan to place the pictures behind UV protecting glass.

    I´m not owner of any inkjet printer, so I´m dependent on print shops or private persons whith the right equipment.

    I`m happy for any ideas, the more concrete, the better! So if you have names of paper and ink brands, you where unhappy concerning fading and color shifts, let me please know!

    best,
    fader
     

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  2. May 21, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    That's an interesting project indeed, I did several tests of inks and papers for their fading performance, companies like HP or Epson or Canon etc typically thrive to deliver the most stable products to their customers - to say their inks are much more stable under sunlight or ozone than no name third party inks. You are correct that almost all large format printers use either pigment inks or (eco) solvent inks or other special inks depending on the purpose.
    You are right with your observation that prints typically shift to red - cyan is fading faster than magenta ( in most cases) and black shifts to a chocolade brown. Please be aware that it is not just the UV of the sunlight causing the breakdown of the dye molecules but as well to a high degree the ozone of the air which raises as well under the sun, but is as well active any time else. So protecting your prints under UV protection glass just will slow down the fading. Keeping air circulation would still let the ozone get to the prints.
     
    Last edited: May 21, 2018
  3. May 21, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    @fader, I like the way you think and the results you get are amazing, but you can achieve this same photographic result without using the sunlight, this can be created in Photoshop using just one over layer of your print...
     
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  4. May 21, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    yes, but probably with less fun watching the slow decay of colors - and seeing the prints every day with a different tint.....
     
  5. May 22, 2018
    The Hat

    The Hat Printer VIP Moderator

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    Very true but you can decide yourself which colours you want a bit stronger and which one to let go almost completely, the down side is you don’t get the sun tan yourself...
     
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  6. May 22, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    @fader , if you look for a pretty fast fading dye ink available about everywhere, use the Epson 664 ink which is a bottled dye ink for the Epson ink tank printers. These inks fade pretty fast, and could be used in other large format printers with piezo printheads for refill. The Epson 106 ink on the opposite is a much better ink - fading much slower than the 664 inks. All these are dye inks.
    You may look as well to this thread discussing fading performance
    https://www.printerknowledge.com/threads/brother-bottled-ink-bt5000-6000.12359/page-5#post-107831
     
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  7. May 22, 2018
    Andreas S

    Andreas S Getting Fingers Dirty

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    Hello Fader,
    The easiest way would be to ask a CAD Printing office or an architect to print out your artwork. They use dye inks in their plotters and usualy they also have photo quality paper in stock. I think that HP CAD plotters will give you the best results in quality.
     
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  8. May 24, 2018
    fader

    fader Newbie to Printing

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    Thanks for your help and hints, that helps me a lot!

    @ Ink stained Fingers: That´s exactly the point - to let the prints fade in real sunlight gives this project the essence and fills it with life. it`s this more or less slow process and the appearance of energy caused by the natural environment that is fascinating me. Even I have a clear wish concerning the fadening and color shift characteristics I like the idea about the random in this process.

    I also thought about UV lamps, that´s maybe useful for scientific tests, and nobody would note a difference to sun faded prints, but it has not this..magical thing.

    @ The Hat: As I have read that some materials start visible fading after one day, there is not so much different between "live editing" in photoshop and it`s analogue version in the sun.
    However, photoshop was useful, as I simulated the fading test results in the linked thread "brother bottles ink..".
    But I`m not sure if I get realistic results with just changing the luminance (I have done that with the gradient curve) in c m y (k), concerning color shift. The most tests seem to move direction yellow, as the yellow ink did not fade at all or in some cases just very slightly.

    If I want a strong color shift to magenta / red, I need an ink that fades much faster only in cyan and/or yellow, is this right?!

    All in all, considering the permanence, which is paradoxically important too, I have to look for inks where the cyan proportionally - compared to M Y K - has higher fading characteristics, but should be in it`s absolute value not too high. E.g. a fadening test results 60 - 20 - 20 - 20 and another 3 - 1 - 1 - 1 . They both get the same color tint, but latter would take longer for it.

    As I have understand the paper is as important as the inks. For example the Epson 106 ink test with Labelheaven 230 glossy paper compared to glossy PE Sihl/Aldi paper: The former seems to develop quite balanced as to color shift, the latter get a stronger reddisdh tone (and fades overall much faster).

    Again, this tests are so wonderful for my project, as I can choose my favorite color shift caused by the combination from ink and paper, I just hope that my favorite paper is also available in large format.. An if so, I hope to find a print shop / architecture office etc.. which agrees to bring my own roll of paper or if necessary my own inks. Are this 2" core rolls thought to be installed directly in "usual" large format printers or are they just for cutting smaller formats?

    And what kind of paper should I use, that will not immediately dissolve with some occasional raindrops?
    Glossy paper seems to me to have always a protection layer. For example the small thermal sublimation prints were very unimpressed by water. But I have also prints, where one tiny drop destroyed the ink in a radius of 2cm.


    @ Andreas S: I think the HP DJ T7200, with which I printed the large photos, is actually a CAD Plotter or at least a "hybride". The results are okay but as I mentioned not exactly that kind of color shift as I liked. But as I have learned, maybe it just has to be printed onto another paper.


    And a last question for today: If I want to keep the pictures fresh for a long(er) time, I won´t come around to build a vacuum frame with Anti-UV glass?


    Best
    fader
     
  9. May 24, 2018
    Ink stained Fingers

    Ink stained Fingers Printer Master

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    just a few words to your project plans - I appreciate that you look to the fading results of my tests - but please be aware that I'm mainly using inks which are suitable for Epson printers with piezo printheads and not at all for printers with thermal printheads like Canon or Epson. I barely have tested any Canon/HP compatible inks.
    The color of inks are typically getting lighter and loose saturation which you would need to simulate with Photoshop or else. I'm for simplicity of my tests just recording the lightnesss changes - no color/hue/saturation changes.
    If you want such data in much more detail you need to go to the Aardenburg tests and reports
    http://www.aardenburg-imaging.com/light-fade-test-results/
    Go to Reseach - Light Fade Test Results - you need to register but that's for free. These reports tell you in detail
    how the colors fade and shift.
    Papers for large format printers are typically supplied on 2" cores, in some cases on 3" cores, that's a kind of
    industry standard, but you cannot just take your ink and go to a print shop and let them use your inks - refill is not
    that simple if they are not prepared for that and don't do it anyway, and there is a risk that your ink may not run
    reliably on such a printer and you have all the risk related to that. You need somebody who is familiar with refilling and willing to support you with your project.
    All your prints need to be protected against condensating humidity and rain whatever, the prints are not really waterproof.
    You are right that yellow is fading much less than the other inks, and be aware that black as well is fading strongly - either to a light gray or milk chocolade brown which depends on the ink/paper combination, it is not possible to forecast how any other combination would work.
    And when it comes to preserve the prints afterwards - you may consider lamination, that
    closes the surface up against ozone - instead of a vacuum frame - and low level illumination, it is not just the UV but as well the shorter wave lengths of the visible light causing the breakdown of the dyes - it's a tricky situation - first you want to get the fading effect and then you try to stop it. You may as well consider spray coating instead of lamination, that would give you a similar effect. There are sprays on the market specifically offered for that purpose.
    Like this one https://www.amazon.com/Hahnemuhle-Protective-Spray-Digital-Prints/dp/B0009MX2VS
    This one is very expensive, there are lower priced sprays on the market as well - some offer you either a matte or a glossy finish.
    Or this one https://www.specialistinks.com/video.php the Marrutt print guard spray
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2018
  10. May 24, 2018
    Andreas S

    Andreas S Getting Fingers Dirty

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    The plotter you mentionned is a hybrid printer using dye and pigment inks (black is pigment).
    As Ink stained fingers said, you can't bring your own ink to a printer. Even if there is no risk to use dye inks with any epson photo plotter it's very hard to purge them without the genuine epson maintenance software. With HP and Canon they would at less say vaf……ulo as there is high risk do dammage the printheads.
    To resume : There are 4 components in printing which have to be treated independently. (That's the approach in industrial R&D)
    A) Machinery. In your case you can't influence this point, you have to take whatever your print office is using. In your case you are lucky that they are using dye inks.
    B) Rip software. Here you can play around with density values. This can be usefull for the fading behavor but "out of the printer" the colors will be wrong. That means "no go".
    C) Ink. In your case same as A.
    D) Substrate. Here you can do a lot if you leave the easy way of using standard inkjet papers. Take time to visit an offset printer, not the huge ones but a small family business. These people are very open minded to everything about printing and art. Ask them about modern coated but not the glossy ones or bristol card. There is a huge choice of them on the market and even all of them claims to be white there are shades from green to redish. Normaly they will have a catalogue with samples of all of them so you can choose a reddish one for further testing. There are some caveats : The paper needs to be available in a size you can use for your project and you will probably need to do some adjustments in the printing software to have best results. But generaly these papers are well suited for use with inkjet (I uses them myself) and much cheaper. For modern coated use 300g/m2, Bristol 220-250 g/m2 is fine. To test them you can order a sample (normaly 3 sheets A4 for free) print on them and ask the offset printer to expose the printout in a printing plate insolation unit for one hour or two. This will give you the same result as natural insolation of at less 1 month.
    If you are using special inkjet paper it will be very hard to find paper with shades of color as the aim is as white as possible. INAPIA and Antalis also provides inkjet paper. The offset printer can order a sample of them too. Nowadays most of the offsetprinters also have one or more plotters in use and they have more experience on playing around with papers and special effects than print offices.
    Andreas
     

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