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Pigment Inks and Double-Sided Printing

Double-sided inkjet papers are a great way to produce brochures, books, portfolios, and much more.  However, double-sided printing with your pigment inkjet printer has its challenges.  Don't know if you have pigment inks? Click here and find out.

Why the Problem?

When pigment inks dry, they leave a thin layer of ink on the surface of matte inkjet papers. This is because not all of the ink soaks into the coating, and is present regardless of the paper's source or brand. Whatever is left on top of the sheet can be scuffed, smudged, or transferred to other sheets of paper.  Papers with a reflective coating do not suffer from this issue.

What does this mean for double-sided printing? 

Be careful what paper you pick for a double-sided project. Do some tests before making many copies.  Again, it's not where the paper comes from – it’s the type of paper being used that compounds the problem. 

What it looks like

If ink transfer occurs, you can see a light impression of the photo or text from the opposite page transferred to the opposing sheet. Blacks and very dark colors are much more likely to transfer.

Tips for dealing with the issue and avoiding problems

** Use interleaving sheets between pages. (Thin translucent material) 

** Try and avoid a photo facing a blank page. Ink transfer will be more obvious. 

** If possible, line up the facing photos as close as possible.  Transfer from photo to photo will be less obvious.

** If a photo does face a blank page, pick a photo with light tones and colors

** Use single sided photo or satin papers for your books. 

** Choose a double-sided luster like 50lb. Arctic Polar Luster Double-sided or the UltraProSatin® Duo 255

** Use dye inks.  Modern dye based ink can be a fine choice. Epson Claria and Canon ChromaLife offer remarkable fade resistance, especially when not exposed to light. 


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