Ink jet printing is the favorite technique used by photographers and professional labs. This technology is based on 2 different types of inks, ie pigment-based or dye-based inks.
The dye-based inks are made from water soluble dyes, originated either from plant extracts, or for the most important part, from the synthetic chemistry.
They offer more saturated and vivid printed colors, as they have a low diffusion factor. Due to their surface tension properties, they will be also easily absorbed by the surface of the paper, and therefore make it possible to keep the gloss of the printed product.
On the other hand, and despite steady efforts from the suppliers' side, the dyes are light-, humidity- and ozone sensitive, which is considered as a major disadvantage in the quest for ever higher high durability in photographic application.
The dye-based inks are cheaper and mostly used in SOHO or amateur-aimed printers.
The pigment-based inks are made from pigment originating from organic synthesis, which are encapsulated with a synthetic resin and suspended in a liquid.
The corresponding molecules are much larger than for the dye-based inks. Due to their size and chemical structure, these inks show much greater lightfastness and are less prone to fade with humidity and gases (especially ozone).
On the other hand, their size will impair the fixation below the paper surface and may alter the surface of the printed material - especially on glossy media.
The use of pigments can also lead to metamerism and 'bronzing' (color saturation with metal-like surface aspect). Due to their high production costs, the pigment-based inks are mostly used in high end printing jobs for professional use and special attention for longevity.
You can download from Canson Infinity website the profiles for the most widespread pigment-based printers, for our paper and canvas media.
Please click here for checking the available ICC profiles and type of printers.