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Why Use Pigment Based Ink and Why Use Dye Based Ink

By Simon Williams
·
June 20, 2019

Before you determine which ink you need for your prints, you need to first understand the difference between pigment based and dye-based inks. Pigment-based inks will be used in instances over dye-based inks, and vice versa. Your business operation and overall need will determine which ink will be best for your needs, as well as the conditions in which the prints will remain once they have been printed.

What is a pigment-based ink?

Pigment-based inks are made up of a collection of solid particles that come from pigment powder. The pigment powder is typically known for being the more durable of the two inks, as it’s less likely to fade and will very rarely smudge. Professional and hobbyist photographers are more inclined to choose pigment based inks due to the consistency of colour that can be achieved. Archived documents are also often printed with pigment based inks, as they can be stored for longer and will not smudge within their confines. One of the drawbacks to printing in pigment-based ink is that it is more expensive than its counterpart.

What is a dye-based ink?

For those who love a bright and vibrant colour range, dye-based ink may be the way to go. Although smudges can be frequent with these inks, and fading will happen quicker than the pigment based inks. Dye based inks will also need more time to dry completely given the range of coloured and water-based makeup. This may rule it out as an option for those who need quick, quality prints. Recent developments have enhanced the dye-based ink, although issues like running (when in contact with water) are still a prevalent issue.

Which ink is right for you?

Armed with the knowledge of which ink performs best in various circumstances, you can select which ink will deliver the greatest outcome for your need. If you find yourself printing photos and colour dominant documents, dye-based ink will afford you a more vibrant palette. Longer lasting text-based documents will be best printed in pigment-based ink. Pay attention to considerations such as sun exposure and opportunities to smudge, and factor those likelihoods into your decision-making process.

The modern printer will likely use a combination of pigment based and dye-based inks, but make sure you ask the question before you place your order with Cartridges Direct. Finding and using the right ink can impart the impact you are looking for, and could even save you paying for a benefit that you don’t require.

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