The HP Supplies Guys: Make Your Photo Prints Last Longer
byThomBrown07-18-201209:10 AM - edited 07-17-201211:22 AM
Have you ever wondered what’s going on inside your printer? There’s a lot that goes on between clicking “print” and holding your high-quality printed page. In this series, the HP Supplies Guys, Thom Brown and Michael Borg, take us under the hood of the printer to show how ink, toner and paper work with the printer to create good-looking, long-lasting prints.
If you’re like me, now that the kids are out of school, you’ve been doing a lot of fun outings and taking tons of photos. When you’re ready to share those photos, you want something that looks good, not only today, but also tomorrow, next month and even years from now. This means your prints need to be able to stand up to the elements, including liquids, dust and light.
We all know that to get superior results out, you have to put quality stuff in, and for printing photos that means starting with Original HP ink and HP photo paper. HP designs printing supplies to withstand some abuse so you can create stunning prints that will last for generations. Here’s how it works…
Accidents happen. We’ve all spilled water or coffee on a photo – or had kids who did, or experienced the haphazard swish of a dog’s tail. But an accident doesn’t have to mean ruined photos and memories.
By combining Original HP ink with HP photo paper you create prints that are practically spill-proof. This is because HP ink bonds to HP photo paper and the unique coating on the paper remains intact despite contact with liquids, keeping the ink in place. So even after a spill or sweaty hands – your colors won’t run or smudge and the paper will stay flat when it dries.
Although some cheaper alternatives claim that their inks and paper are every bit as durable as HP’s, using these products is really a gamble. Cheap supplies of course cut corners, and with them a spill could mean a ruined photo with bleeding colors and curled paper with dog-eared corners. Watch this video to see the true difference in durability between HP ink and photo paper compared to the rest:
Inkology Live: Pure Ink Video
To achieve this kind of difference, HP does rigorous testing on its ink and paper formulations. We simulate spills, handling and humidity – among other things – to ensure your photos can withstand anything you throw at them.
There are a couple of things you can do to protect your photos:
First store prints in a dry, clean area that is raised off the ground.
Avoid storing your photos in basements, attics or places with extreme environmental conditions and high humidity, which can reduce the quality or your photos.
Color fading is a change that happens very gradually and you usually will not notice the change until one day you examine a photo and notice that your relatives now have green faces. This fading is largely due to exposure to the sun or indoor lighting such as fluorescent lights. Light can slowly erode the dye on your print, causing it to lose the quality and brilliance it once had.
The only way your color photos printed at home will survive fading is if they are printed with fade-resistant ink on high quality paper that locks in color. Original HP ink is designed to capture the best color density and withstand fading and current HP Photosmart inks printed on HP Photo Paper are rated at over 60 years of display permanence.
While some non-HP inks could appear equal in color saturation immediately after printing, they tend to lose their true-to-life colors and vividness with time due to light exposure. In fact, studies from the industry leading authority, Wilhelm Imaging Research, show that Original HP ink has up to 50 times the display permanence compared to non-HP ink.
To ensure HP prints can withstand the test of time, we test photo ink and paper extensively, putting prints through an environmentally controlled light chamber that I like to call my Time Machine, which replicates the effects of lighting on a photo that is framed behind glass and hung on the wall for decades.
Even though your prints CAN resist fading, there are things you can do to help your photos last longer:
When you display a color photograph make sure it doesn’t get direct sunlight
Protect the print from the elements by placing it in a glass frame
For the best long-term results, ensure your prints are stored in folders, sleeves, albums and boxes that have passed the Photographic Activity Test (PAT).
Don’t store your photos along with any potentially harmful chemicals or corrosive agents, like paint, cleaning materials or gasoline.
We hope you enjoyed learning more about the science of printing. Join us again next time for more from the HP Supplies Guys, and if you want to continue the conversation, leave us a comment or follow me on Twitter: @ThomatHP.