Friday, January 26, 2018

Why You Should be Printing with Inkjet Printers

With the rapid sophistication of modern printing, it's becoming harder and harder to discern differences in quality when it comes to comparing the various methods one can print fine art. On Etsy alone, fine art and design prints can be found on laser-printed cardstock, off-set printed fancy paper, or inkjet-printed on high-end 100% cotton rag. But while digital laser and offset printing can be appealing due to their lower cost, inkjet printing is still by far the best choice for artists and photographers, and here are our reasons why.

An example of an inkjet printer - the Epson SureColor 

More Precise Printing Process / Higher DPI 

 Unlike laser and off-set printing, inket printers do not make colors by layering one on top of another. Instead, inkjet printers print using precise nozzles connected to colour cartridges. These nozzles are activated by little electrical pulses that activate the nozzles to put out a single dot of color in a certain area. This is why inkjet printers often will advertise their high-resolution capability – this means that the higher number of dots per inch (dpi) they advertise, the smaller the dots each nozzle is able to print, resulting in a much more accurate and rich color combination than other printers.

Photo sourced from

Wider Color Gamut / Smoother Continuous Colour

 Although technically inkjet printing operates on the same principles as CMYK, unlike laser and offset-printing, inkjet printers have a wider range of inks in which to print. While laser printer and off-set printers have 4 different color rolls or drums (one for each color: Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, and Black), inkjet printers often have secondary inks available in various shades of the main colors.

CMYK Rollers for Off-Set Printing

Laser printer showing the 4 CMYK drums inside

For example, rather than having one cartridge for black (K), some inkjet printers may have matte-black or gloss-black. They may even have several different shades of gray, light cyan or dark magenta. Having a wider range of precise ink colors means inkjet printers are able to replicate a wider color gamut with more accuracy. This also results in more natural, continuous shades of color, which is why inkjet printing is often used to feature black-and-white photography.

This is why some fine art printing companies will ask files to be supplied in Adobe RGB rather than CMYK. A 6-color or 12-color inkjet printer, therefore, can create color gradations with more precision than 4-color offset or laser printers. 

Inkjet Inks, in various colours for smoother gradients 

Larger Choice of Paper

Example of Hahnemule paper, showcasing continuous grays in a b/w photo

In addition to offering a larger gamut of color in their inks, inkjet printing also offers a wider range of paper choice. This is because certain inkjet printers are built to take specific types of paper that laser printers cannot. For example, an archival 100% cotton rag paper would be too thick and textured to run through a large format laser printer.

While offset printers are able to print on a variety of paper as well, they are not usually of archival quality, and therefore do not offer the same width in color gamut. Archival papers are often acid-free as well, and photopapers are made only to receive inkjet inks. Outside of archival papers, injkets can print on virtually any other type of material as well - canvas, transfer paper for dye-sublimation printing, textiles, etc.

At KeenArt Medida, we use the Epson Surecolor inkjet printer for all your print needs. It carries a 12-color cartridge capability for stunningly smooth results. We also carry a wide range of substrates, including fine art paper, photopaper, canvas, textiles, etc - check out our selection our website today!

Fine Art
  • Fine Art - Hahnemuhle, Photo Rag 
  • Fine Art - Hahnemuhle, Textured German Etching 
  • Fine Art - Hahnemuhle, William Turner 
  • Fine Art - Hahnemuhle, Fine Art Baryta 
  • Fine Art - Moab - Entrada Rag Bright 
  • Fine Art - Moab - Entrada Rag Natural  
  • Photographic Paper - Metallic Paper 
  • Photographic Paper - Premium Luster 
  • Photographic Paper - Premium Glossy 
  • Photographic Paper - Premium Semigloss 
  • Coated Paper - Enhanced Matte
Synthetic Textiles

  • Fabric - Satin Cloth
  • Fabric Removable Adhesive - Peel n' Stick
  • Canvas

KeenArt Media is a family-owned printing company specializing in fine art prints and reproduction services, such as scanningdry mounting, and dye sublimation (onto metal or wood!). Whether it's for the home or for the gallery, we have you covered.  Inquire today!

KeenArt Media Ltd. Toll Free: 1-888-533-6278
Working Hours:
8:30 AM to 5:00PM Monday to Thursday
8:30 AM to 4:00PM Friday

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