Printers and copiers are of two types – one which uses inkjet cartridges and the other which uses toner cartridges. While inkjet printers use regular ink, the other types use dyes and pigment ink.
Some modern-day printers have both options and separate slots for dyes and pigments.
Which ink is best for a print?
Dye inks generally make use of color substances that are dissolved in liquids. However, pigment inks make use of small color particles which are held in suspension. For instance, water-soluble dyes can be seen as tiny sugar particles which dissolve in water, and pigment inks resemble when sand is mixed in water.
Dye-based inks provide a wider color pallet and space, forming vibrant color prints. However, these prints are not waterproof and come off when they come in contact with water unless they are printed on particular substrates and are coated with unique label materials. However, some dye-based inks are water resistant, meaning they do not come off unless friction is applied or rubbed against hard surfaces. Hence, they are recommended for indoor use and products with a shelf life of less than a year. When prints of dye inks are exposed to direct sunlight, they start to wear off and fade quickly. Initially, the print quality from dye and pigment inks is the same.
Advantages of dye ink
- They provide softer prints with crisp and vivid colors
- They do not wear off in contact with water when coated with unique materials
- They are the best inks for inkjet printers when used indoors.
Advantages of pigment ink
- They produce a dense and accurate black color when compared to prints from dye ink
- The pigments of the print hold their colors when they are exposed to direct sunlight
- They can be used for outdoor prints like banners, signage, etc.
Which ink should you choose?
The type of ink chosen also affects the selection of printers. Suppose you’re looking to print vivid colors for household use and other school or university project purposes, choosing a dye-based ink printer is best. Since the prints do not hold a longer shelf life, they provide excellent quality for a limited time. However, if you’re looking to print banners, posters, signage, and other official or commercial purposes, it is best to choose pigment-based inks. It is used in industries that need long-lasting labels or for printing their logos and images on parcel boxes.
Storing the ink
Usually, inks dry up when they are exposed to air and not in use. Hence, you can take it off the printer, close it tightly, and wrap it in a plastic kitchen container when not in use. Also, it is best to keep prints in the same printhead.