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Choosing the Right Ink for Your Print Project

No aspect of a major printing job can be taken for granted or ignored. That includes the ink. At this point, you are probably thinking to yourself ďDo I really need to care about the ink? Isnít that the printerís problem? Whatís next? Are you going to tell me that I have to run the presses myself?Ē but donít worry, choosing the right ink is relatively straight forward and your printer can help you make the right choice.

Ink matters because it affects how the text or images look on paper. Certain types of inks look a certain way on coated stock compared to uncoated stock. For example, if you are printing a catalog with a glossy cover and uncoated inside pages and you use the same type of ink for both, your company logo will look a bit different on the cover than it does on all the other pages and the ink used on the cover might run or dry incorrectly if it is not the right kind of ink.

Just like paper, ink can be opaque or transparent. Choosing the right kind just depends on what you are printing and what type of paper you are printing it on.

Another thing to consider when choosing an ink is how the document is going to be printed. For example, if you create a batch of letterhead for your employees to use when printing out company documents on their personal laser printers, you will want to use a wax-free ink because regular inks can melt or run when exposed to the heat generated by a laser printer.

The drying properties of different types of ink are especially critical. Youíve probably had the experience of taking a document that was just printed from your personal printer and placing it under a stack of other documents, only to realize when you go back to review the document that the ink has smudged and run because you took it off the printer too soon without letting it dry. Now imagine that happening to all 100,000 copies of the flyer you had printed because you used the wrong ink on the wrong paper. Not good.

Make sure youíve chosen a printer that is easily available to answer questions, so that you donít have to guess on what type of ink to use. The printer should know and they should be able to help you make the right decision.

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