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Re: a question about type



>I'd want to look into the durability of the print first.  Will something
out
>of a computer printer last or will it flake off, fade, etc. after a few
>years?  Or will the ink chemically react with the paper to cause paper
>deterioration?


Laser printer toner is a mix of iron oxide and plastic that is melted into
the paper; I suspect it is as archival as the paper it is printed on. Also,
laser printers can print to a wide variety of paper colours and surfaces.

Ink jet printers use dye inks, and their durability is constantly argued
over in the comp.printers newsgroup. It seems that ink jet ink fades
considerably in a month or less in the sun, and in a year or two hanging on
a wall in a bright room. (although the first ink jet prints I made two years
a ago seem fine). I have no idea what the life is in the dark, closed up in
a book. Hewlett Packard does have a pigmented black ink for some printers,
this should be better.

There are other problems with ink jets. The inks are transparent, so for
bright colours you need bright white paper, colours are muddy on off white
or even normal white papers. The coated papers needed for high-definition
printing are quite fragile, the paper seems to separate into a coating and a
paper backing. Some ink jet paper is really a white plastic with some sort
of coating for the inks to dry on. The inks smear if water gets on them, you
have to paste with a basically dry adhesive like a glue stick.

The quality of the ink jet image varies dramatically with the paper you use,
so you may want to try several different types.

There are some exotic and very expensive printers (Dye sublimation and
colour laser printers)  that melt coloured wax onto the paper, I believe
these are not too archival either. The surface must be rather fragile...

For some comic relief, a Kodak study of its recordable cd's (cd-r's)
estimated the lifetime of the cd-r to be 216 years. But if they had used
industry standards for the estimates, the lifetime would be 12,000 years....

So forget about life of the printed images, store the layouts on a Kodak CDR
and keep it forever...and hope there is a computer that can still read it
12,000 years from now .


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