Print VS Screen - Why do they look different? PART 2


Last week we learnt that we live in a world of colour spaces. The CMYK or SUBTRACTIVE colour model is used in printing and the RGB or ADDITIVE colour model is used for screens, cameras and scanning... and these only make up a small portion of the visual colour spectrum. 

We also learnt that calibration between different screens and different printers can result in a slightly different representations. 

However, the type of printer and stock can also play a major role! 

Type of printer

The two types of printers we deal with here at Paper Pens & Printing are inkjet and laser printers. 

Our inkjet printer is a top of the range Canon photographic and poster printer that uses a 12 colour cartridge system and we only print on Canon Oce paper for true and lasting results. Our laser printers are top of the range Canon CMYK laser printers and we use a variety of quality stocks. 

Inkjet printers use ink as their colouring mechanism. Ink is distributed onto the paper as droplets through a series of nozzles. The ink is heated up to expand it and then it 'explodes' onto the paper before moving onto the next dot. It relies on the absorbency of the paper for the image to be produced onto the paper.

Laser printers use toner as their colouring mechanism. A laser is scanned back and forwards over the drum unit creating static which attracts the powdered toner to the drum unit in the pattern required, it is then rolled onto paper then through a very hot fusing unit to set the toner onto the page.

These two completely different processes produce very different results and work at different speeds. 

Type of stock

As we now know, colour spaces are the addition or subtraction of light, and in the terms of printing - we are focusing on the subtraction of light. This in mind, you can appreciate that the brighter and shinier a paper is, the more lustrous a print will appear. 

For inkjet printing, gloss and satin finish are the most common for portraits and landscape images. Satin is the most versatile as it still provides a lustrous finish without the distraction of added reflection and glare as provided with the gloss paper. Matte photographic paper absorbs the ink deeper into the paper giving the print a much flatter appearance, which often works well for graphic prints. We currently have a range of satin, gloss and matte inkjet papers, as well as a canvas. 

For laser printing, generally the smoother, heavier and brighter paper will provide a fuller print appearance. Standard printing paper is 80gsm, and instore we currently stock 80gsm Victory copy paper which is high white and ecologically sustainable, excellent for both standard laser and inkjet copying. For presentations or something a bit more substantial, we have a quality presentation range up to 160gsm, and also a wide selection of printable cardstocks available in a variety of finishes. 

Obviously, this is just a short list. Even things as variable as temperature and humidity can greatly affect the appearance of a print. 

We believe though, despite all the things that can change the outcome of a print that our quality is pretty great. We could thank our amazing printers, or the quality paper... but the main reason we're so good, is because we have experienced and friendly staff that are willing to go beyond to ensure that your prints meet your quality standards. 

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