Inkjet Media for Photo Prints, Art Reproductions and Graphics
When shopping for Inkjet Media, you need to consider your printer's capabilities and what will work best for you. For example, some printers have red ink pads while others can handle black ink.
Some printers use inks that have a glossy finish while others use matte finishes. There are also a variety of printing media available including foil, embossed, metallic, sponge, UV, or gel inks. Aqueous media generally has a high sheen and is usually coated with an extra protective coating to enable the ink to dry nicely and sink into the paper; aqueous ink is great for photos. Red inkjet media is very pigmented and very water resistant (not water-proof however) so is often used for outdoor and indoor jobs.
Red inkjet printers have their own limitations. They work fast but can produce limited amounts of text. They can handle a limited number of documents per hour and take up a lot of memory. They're not very energy efficient, either. A quick way to increase print speed without increasing costs is to use multi-task printing which divides your prints into tasks to be completed faster or to reduce the time spent on each individual job.
One example is to use your inkjet media for outdoor use only - put the document or photo in the printer, set the settings for printing in black and white or sepia, then set the quality to high and begin to take a family photo outdoors. The printouts from your outdoor printer will be highly detailed and of excellent quality. If you don't want your prints to be visible on outdoor surfaces, use photo paper instead of inkjet printouts. However, even with photo paper, using the outdoor printers for photo collection can be time-consuming. Because of the limitation of ink and slow speeds, it is best to use this media on an inkjet printer specifically for outdoor use.
Inkjet print media for photos has the same problems as inkjet media for any other kind of print, though. Colors fade over time with exposure to sunlight, heat, and bleaching. They also can smear if not stored properly, and some papers may crack under pressure. To get the best image quality, keep your images in a safe place indoors and out of direct sunlight. If you do use your printer outdoors, back up your photos regularly to protect them.
There are two kinds of coatings available for inkjet media: coated and transparent. Coated media are usually thicker and more durable than transparent ones. They are often available in rolls similar to newspapers, but are packaged in plastic inserts that protect the roll from abrasion, moisture, and dust. This coating gives your images a glossy, protective coating. In addition, the coated media gives your prints a high gloss look and increases your image quality.
Transparency coated media are available in many different grades. Like coated media, they provide protection from abrasion and moisture. However, transparency also has the tendency to smear if not stored correctly. Transparent inkjet media are excellent for printing large signs and banners because they have very high print speeds. Also, these types of inkjet printer media are great for photo prints and for fine art reproductions.