Understanding the Best Ink Options Available for Wide-Format Digital Printing
The cost of ink is a large consideration when deciding which ink set to purchase, but there are also the considerations of durability, adhesion, color brightness and coverage. Before you dive into a new wide-format printer, you must carefully consider what you want to accomplish and which ink set will help you get there.
There are many varieties of inks available in the digital printing arena, from solvent and eco-solvent to latex, UV, solvent UV, aqueous (both dye and pigment) and dye sublimation. All inks have a few main components in common: a colorant (dye or pigment) and a carrier liquid. One of the defining qualities is the process where the color is adhered to the material or substrate.
The goal for this article is to cover the different qualities of each ink, list some of the applications for which they are used, and briefly touch on the pros and cons of each to help you make the best decision for your business.
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Ray Weiss, Director of Digital Print Programs for SGIA, joined the Association in 2014. He assists association members with technical information on digital printing as well as digital equipment, materials, and vendor referrals. He oversees training and certification workshops at SGIA along with the Association’s Digital Equipment Evaluation program. Ray is project manager for both the PDAA Certification program and SGIA's Digital Color Professional Certification program and is an instructor for the Color Management Boot Camps. Ray regularly contributes to the Association's Journal and won the 2016 Swormstedt Award for Best in Class writing in the Digital Printing category. Outside of work, Ray enjoys biking, international cuisine and spending time with his three fantastic grandkids.