Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Protecting your print from fading

If you've ever left a magazine on a window sill for a month or two, you'll be familiar with fading. Most printing inks will fade when exposed to UV light. And, since fluorescent lighting also emits UV, it can happen to prints hanging in your office, even if they are not getting direct sunlight from your window.

To keep your prints from fading, we need to use UV stable inks. Anything that is going in a window, or that will be up for years, should be printed with them. UV inks are good for up to two years in sunlight, and just about forever (well, OK, 20 years) in a normal office environment. Trade Show graphics and meeting signs are used for just a few days, and we find that UV inks are not normally required.

People often ask about using lamination to reduce the amount of UV that reaches the print. This is a throwback to the days before we had UV inks. While our testing does show that lamination slows fading, it does not stop it. We think the solution is really to use the inks that do not fade.

The good news is that the latest HP equipment gives excellent color with UV inks. Older equipment did not give us good reds, and we had to make tough choices between color fidelity and longevity. Today, you can get both. Less filling, and tastes great!


Anonymous said...

Do all of your prints (except for the trade show and meeting posters) use UV inks?

MegaPrint, Inc. said...

All of our solvent printed items are always printed with UV safe inks, and we do offer UV safe inks on all of our paper, canvas, and other materials as an option.

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