Fine Art Printing - A Quick Look at Fine Art and Pigments
One of the essential elements to fine art printing is that of the pigment print. The term "pigment print" is used generally for any type of printed image that uses strictly pigments. Pigment printing processes have been utilized since the middle of the 19th century. The image stability of pigment printing is superior to that of any other method of printing, including traditional silver-halide or metal-based.
Digital inkjet printing has seen a surge in the use of the pigment ink as ink sets have been refined to be compatible with the latest in high-resolution inkjet technology.
Where archival dye-based ink sets exhibit excellent color gamut, pigment inks excel in permanence. A dye is molecularly soluble in its vehicle, but pigment is not. Pigment particles tend to be large enough to embed into the receiving substrate making them water-resistant. The particulate nature of pigment inks ensures their archival superiority. A particle of pigment is less susceptible to destructive environmental elements than a dye molecule.
Many digital papers have coatings which enhance color gamut. However, these delicate coatings are susceptible to scuffing and scratching, and diminish the archival properties of the print. Prints made with coated substrates are not considered true digital pigment prints.