Saturday, November 19, 2011

How to extend the life of your inkjet proof

A great deal of effort is put into the making of a contract quality inkjet proof. However, if it is not properly taken care of, its useful life can be shortened and its integrity as a color reference compromised.

How the inkjet media and proofs are stored and handled, as well as their exposure to ambient office or light booth lighting, affect the color of the proof and its color integrity over time.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help maintain, or extend, the color integrity of your inkjet proofs.

• Depending on the surrounding ambient temperature and relative humidity, it can be several minutes, or even hours before an inkjet proof is dry enough to handle. So, before handling a proof, make sure that the ink is actually dry.

• Handle the proof by its edges to avoid leaving fingerprint smudges on the imaged area. Fingerprints may also leave residual oils on the media which may repel ink when the proof is imaged. After the proof is imaged fingerprint oils may dissolve water-based proofing inks leaving unsightly marks on the proof. Try to always use lightweight cotton gloves when handling proofs.

• Avoid bending the corners of the proofing media.

• If you will be stacking proofs, always place a light-weight slip sheet between the proofs.

• Store proofs in cool, dark, low humidity shelves or envelopes away from light or dust as inkjet proofs will fade with exposure to ambient office or light booth lighting.

• Keep all unimaged media in their boxes when not in use and store in a cool dry place away from light and dust.

• Always allow the proofing media to acclimate for 48 hours in the proofing area before printing.

• For optimal results, if available, follow the recommended environmental conditions provided by the proofing media manufacturer.

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