Digital Printers – Latex Vs Solvent Inks

Digital Fine Art Printers

While solvent and latex inks are both widely used in the production of canvas art prints, both offer a number of advantages and disadvantages.

Latex prints are water based and are dry straight out of the printer unlike solvent based ink prints that often require at least a few hours for degassing, a process where the solvent inks alcohol carrier evaporates before the print becomes dry enough to handle without scratching the surface. Latex prints have less odours, unlike solvent inks. This makes latex prints more suitable for sensitive environments such as child care enters, medical centres or restaurants as latex technologies do not emit hazardous VOCs and can be used without any form of ventilation or air extraction. Latex prints have a different finish to solvent prints with a more natural finish where if you print on a gloss or matte substrate the finish be the same.

Latex Water Based Ink

Latex inks, also know as resin inks, use a polymer to encapsulate ink pigments which are suspended in water as a carrier. Heat is used to evaporate the water away leaving pigment and polymers to bind to the substrate. HP is largely responsible for the further development of these inks and has been developing the technology for over 10 years. Now in its current generation of inks developed for latex printers, the inks are now achieving archival quality printing on canvas and other substrates. The inks are environmentally friendly and achieve a high fidelity in reproduction, HP has certification for its latex ink technology including gold in the green guard standards.

CodaCo’s Solvent Archival Ink Prints On Paper

Archival ink prints, such as the UltraChrome SG3, offer greater scratch resistance and colour stability as well. Pigment-based inks are made for longevity, as they’re made from finely ground powders suspended in a liquid. The inks aren’t water-soluble and they dry quicker binding with the paper fibres to make them highly resistant to fading over a long period of time. They offer greater colour fidelity over many years compared with water based latex prints which can fade. Blacks can turn brown and off whites can go yellow depending on where it is hung.

Cold Press Natural Archival Inkjet Paper from Epson is an acid free, 100% cotton rag media with a bright textured matte finish. This paper has a high colour gamut and black density as well as pH buffering for archival-quality prints. The colour remains consistent from screen to print to the wall.

Picture of Martin Adams

Martin Adams

Resident CodaCo Artist / Designer

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