Expanding Beyond Wide Format Inkjet Paper

If you use wide format inkjet paper for architecture, engineering and construction documents, maps, and technical drawings, you can find a huge selection of coated and uncoated bonds, Mylar, and vellums at Freedom Paper. But many of our customers save money by printing simple signs, banners, photographs, and trade-show graphics on the same wide-format inkjet printer they use to print their everyday documents.

wide format inkjet, freedom paperSo, Freedom Paper can deliver much more than wide format inkjet paper. We have gradually expanded the Freedom Paper product line to include high-quality, value-priced display films, banner vinyls, photo papers, and fabrics that can be printed on wide-format inkjet printers that use aqueous dye and pigment inks.

This summer, we added 17 new Freedom Paper-brand products. All these products have been tested to work with the newest models of wide-format inkjet printers, as well as many of the older Canon imagePROGRAF and HP Designjet CAD/technical printers that are still in use. Here’s a quick overview of the newest additions to the Freedom Paper family of products:

Sign and Banner Materials

Our growing selection of sign and banner media now includes innovative materials that can be used to make graphics for a wide range of indoor and outdoor display conditions.

For example, polypropylene films are a popular alternative to heavyweight paper for printing durable indoor posters because polypropylene doesn’t tear or crease. The smooth, white surface of polypropylene film also does a good job with photo reproduction. Some polypropylene films are designed for banner-stand graphics that are frequently rolled and unrolled. The self-adhesive film has a peel-and-stick adhesive that enables you to post graphics on posterboards or other sign blanks that feed through your printer.

Freedom Paper recently added these 4 polypropylene materials:

We also offer more pliable banner materials that can be used for fence wraps, decals, and more durable outdoor banners. Here are our four newest banner vinyls:

The Premium Matte Adhesive-Backed Vinyl has an strong, permanent adhesive for mounting graphics to sign materials. The Low Tack Block-Out Matte Vinyl has a low-tack removable adhesive that is ideal for making signs that will be mounted on windows, glass doors, display cases, and some types of walls.

Window, Backlit, and Display Films

FPAqueousWindowPerfIf you really want to get creative, and produce your own posters and graphics for displays in windows, lightboxes, or pop-up displays, Freedom Paper offers economical versions of some of the most popular types of materials, including:

The perforations in the window film ensures that building occupants can continue to see through the window, even though the printed graphics look solid from the outside.The Semi-Rigid Hybrid Inkjet Film is a 14-mil combination PET/polypropylene film with a light-blocking gray backing. This opaque materials is a great choice for trade-show, retail, and event graphics in pop-up displays because the film can endure repeated insertions without breaking, tearing, or chipping.

Fabrics

To print re-usable graphics that are easy to handle, considering an inkjet-printable fabric. These wrinkle-resistant fabrics have been very popular for trade-show graphics because they are easy to ship, install, and store. Because inkjet fabrics don’t have to be mounted or laminated, fabrics an be used to make “soft signage,” decorative banners, and backdrops. Freedom Paper recently added three inkjet-printable fabric 

Inkjet Fabric PSA is a self-adhesive fabric for printing wall decals and murals that are super-easy to install and remove.

Photo Papers

Thanks to aerial photography, GIS imaging, phoneography, and low-cost stock photography images are featured in more presentations than ever before. To help you get the best results in printing image-rich documents and displays, Freedom Paper offers a wide range papers designed to hold the heavier ink loads associated with photo printing.Our two newest photo papers enable you to produce photo posters, orthophotos, maps, and exhibition photos at budget friendly prices.

Call Us and We’ll Help You Choose

If you are ready to move beyond wide format inkjet paper and try making your own photo enlargements, signs, banners, or graphics, give us a call at 866-310-3335. Tell us more about the type of graphic or sign you would like to create (and how long it needs to last), we can help you chose the best product for job.

Sign up for Freedom Paper’s newsletter and we’ll keep you informed of additional new products and application tips!

LINKS

Freedom Paper Wide Format Inkjet Paper & Media

Freedom Paper E-Newsletter Sign-Up 

Choosing the Right Canon Inkjet Paper or Display Media

Canon inkjet paperAs a reseller of Canon inkjet paper, we are pleased that Canon Solutions America has published a helpful new white paper: “Smart Media Decisions for Your Wide Format Printer.”

The paper can help AEC firms, GIS users, retailers, schools, universities, and other users of Canon wide format inkjet printers and Canon inkjet paper understand that they can get more from their printers by trying inkjet media other than coated paper.

The authors of the white paper emphasize that “Whether you have a monochrome CAD printer or a state-of the-art color machine, you can choose from an extensive variety of media options for color and black-and-white applications.”

Selecting the right inkjet media not only affects the overall quality of your prints, but can also help you get the most from your investment in a wide format printer. With the right choice of inkjet media, your wide-format inkjet printer can:

  • Help your business attract new clients
  • Streamline construction workflows and reduce errors in the field
  • Generate sales at point-of-purchase (POP)
  • Exceed customer expectations and demonstrate your commitment to quality
  • Build awareness of events, service opportunities, and resources
  • Differentiate your company

But with the hundreds of printable substrates now available, choosing the right media can be daunting. In the white paper, Canon Solutions U.S.A. recommends five questions that can help guide your media-selection process.

1. What’s the application?
Are you printing short term, point-of-purchase signage? Or do you require architectural renderings and client presentation materials? Are you printing posters and banners for campus events or displaying student projects? The types of prints you want to produce will guide your media selection.

2. What are you trying to achieve?
Are you seeking to reduce errors and streamline workflows? close a deal with a potential client? increase sales? Will you want to change the graphics frequently? The right media choice can have an impact on how you achieve your ultimate goal.

3. How will the output be used?
Evaluate how and where your printed output will be used. Prints that will be used outdoors require different media than prints that will be posted indoors. Prints that will be showcased on an easel also may require different media than prints that will hang on a wall. The length of time the print will be displayed also matters.

4. What’s your budget?
While no business can afford to ignore the cost of inkjet media, using the wrong type of media can undermine your efforts to optimize the performance of a poster, sign, map, photo, or presentation. Many of the newer media choices are less expensive than you think.

5. Have you explored all the media options compatible with your printer?
Even the most basic four-color CAD inkjet printers can handle a wider variety of inkjet media than you may realize. If you haven’t yet tried different media options, some key capabilities of your wide format printer are being underutilized. Consult your printer specifications (or call an inkjet-media specialist at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335) to better understand the full spectrum of materials that your printer can handle.

The white paper notes that the media options most commonly suited to the needs of AEC companies, GIS firms, retailers, and educational institutions include:

  • Presentation bond
  • Synthetic paper
  • Gloss or matte photo paper
  • Canvas
  • Vinyl
  • Tyvek
  • Backlit film
  • Self-adhesive products

While learning more about these options can seem overwhelming, taking the time to understand each of these media types can help you more effectively choose the right type inkjet media for a specific application.

Freedom Paper offers a wide assortment of Canon inkjet paper. For specific suggestions about which type of inkjet media would be best for an upcoming project, please call us at 866-310-3335. Tell us what model printer you use and how the print will be displayed or handled, and we can help you choose a paper that will be most cost-effective in meeting the requirements of the job.

LINKS

Canon Solutions America: Smart Media Decisions for Your Wide Format Printer

Freedom Paper: Canon Wide-Format Inkjet Printers and Media

Inkjet Media Terms: Water-Resistant vs. Waterproof

inkjet mediaMany product descriptions for inkjet printable media use the term “water resistant.” Relatively few materials are described as “waterproof.” This is an important distinction, because some photos and graphics printed on “water-resistant” materials might not last very long in a driving rain outdoors.

To help consumers of HP inkjet photo papers better understand the difference between waterproof and water-resistant, HP published a technology backgrounder that describes the six tests they developed to determine whether a product could be described as “water resistant” or “waterproof.”

The tests simulate different ways an inkjet-printed photo might be exposed to water during everyday handling. For example, water could be sprayed, dripped, or spilled onto a print, then blotted or wiped off. The most rigorous test involves immersing the print in water for one hour.

An inkjet media is described as “water resistant,” if an image shows only slight changes after four HP water exposure tests. If there is no perceptible change to the image and paper after all six of the HP water exposure tests, the media can be considered “waterproof.”

inkjet media, waterproof vs water resistant

Note that these tests apply only to water. Prints can still sustain damage if exposed to fluids such as coffee, soft drinks, wine, or cleaning fluids. That’s why many photographic prints are framed behind glass or acrylic, laminated, or protected with a spray or clearcoat.

The authors of the paper also note that “The type of ink used during the printing process also changes how well a photograph holds up to water…Pigment inks are inherently insoluble in water, providing excellent water resistance. Dye inks, on the other hand, must be water soluble in order to adhere to paper coatings. This solubility causes dyes to be more vulnerable to water damage.”

Keep in mind that other inkjet-media manufacturers might not use the exact same tests to determine which of their materials can be described as water-resistant and waterproof. The key point to remember is that while a “water-resistant” media can withstand some incidental contact with water,that doesn’t mean it’s sufficiently waterproof for outdoor use.

If you need any help determining which HP inkjet materials are waterproof, give us a call at 866-310-3335. Tell us more about the specific requirements of your project, and we can help you choose the right material.

LINKS

HP Technology Backgrounder: Water Resistance of HP Photos

HP Inkjet Photo Media Available from Freedom Paper

Newest Hahnemuehle Baryta Paper Features Silky Gloss Finish

hahnemuhle baryta

hahnemuhle barytaThe newest Hahnemuehle baryta photo paper is Hahnemuehle Photo Silk Baryta. This 310gsm matte inkjet photo art paper has a true Baryta (barium-sulfate) layer that imparts a silky gloss. The paper can be used for fine-art photography, portraits, deluxe photo posters, and short-term exhibitions and signs.

Baryta is a clay-like substance that historically was used to make art papers smooth enough for darkroom printing. Now, instead of holding the light-sensitive chemical emulsions used in photographic darkrooms, the Baryta layer provides a smooth, reflective surface for inkjet printing.

Hahnemuehle Photo Silk Baryta delivers an excellent color gamut for high-resolution images with crisp, brilliant colors, creamy whites, and deep, velvety blacks.

The elegantly white, finely structured alpha-cellulose base paper contains a minimal amount of long-term-stable optical brighteners. It is acid-free and internally buffered and meets criteria for durability according to ISO 9706.

The paper is available in four cut-sheet sizes (8.5 x 11, 11 x 17, 13 x 19, and 17 x 22 inches) and four roll widths (17, 24, 44, and 50 inches).

Hahnemuehle is a German manufacturing firm that has been producing fine papers since 1584, A pioneer in developing inkjet printable fine art papers, Hahnemuhle thoroughly understands the level of quality and consistency that fine-art printmakers and photographers expect.

Freedom Paper proudly offers a wide selection of papers from the Hahnemuehle DigitalFineArt collection in cut sheet sizes as well as rolls.

Call us at 866-310-3335 if you have questions about this Hahnemuhle baryta paper and how it compares to Hahnemuehle Photo Rag Baryta Gloss and Baryta FB.

LINKS

Freedom Paper: Hahnemuehle Photo Silk Baryta 310gsm 

Wide Format Inkjet Printing of Fine Art Photography Explained in New Guide

book on using wide format inkjet printers to output fine art photographs

wide format inkjet printingUsing a wide format inkjet printer to make frame-worthy enlargements of your favorite photographs doesn’t require you to be a software engineer or color scientist. That’s the premise of the new e-book “Digital Fine Art Printing: Field Guide for Photographers” by landscape photographer Robert Rodriguez Jr.

While he debunks the myth that printing your fine art photography is too complex, he admits that “There are so many variables involved that it’s easy to make a mistake in your workflow when you first start, and then wonder why the printer seems to have a mind of its own.”

He wrote this book on fine art photo printing for photography enthusiasts who simply want to use a wide format inkjet printer to consistently make great-looking photo prints.

Why Make Your Own Prints? 

Rodriguez considers printing his own images one of the most enjoyable parts of photography. He likes having complete artistic control and producing a tangible, finished product.

He believes that part of the artistic freedom of photo printing comes from experimenting with different paper surfaces and textures, and observing how different papers display an image.

In the end, Robert says he likes printing his own images because the print looks and feels exactly as he envisioned it. Prints tend to evoke more emotional responses in the eyes of viewers and don’t look different on different types of tablets and monitors.

The book covers a range of practical topics, including:

  • evaluating the characteristics of a good print
  • choosing the right printer for your requirements
  • choosing the right paper for your images
  • optimizing capture
  • processing images with vision
  • using color management software to control quality
  • using Lightroom’s Print Module and soft-proofing features
  • handling and presenting your prints
  • weighing the pros and cons of canvas vs. framed prints on art papers

Great Advice from an Experienced Teacher

Below are just a few of the tips Robert Rodriguez, Jr. suggests in the book. Many of his tips are based on questions he has received from photography enthusiasts who have attended his printmaking workshops.

Stick with a few papers at first: When you’re just starting out, settle on a few papers from one manufacturer and stick with them for awhile. Learn how your images are affected by the characteristics of each type of paper.

Learn to print on a smaller desktop model first. If you need prints bigger than 13 x 19, you can outsource the work until you have sold enough prints to justify the investment.

Choose the right size for the print: Consider whether your image would look better large or small. The scale of a print changes how the viewer interacts with it and the emotional response.

Learn how to use the Lightroom Print Module. It can remove some of the complexity, confusion, and repetition of steps from the printing process.

Take good notes: Use an app such as Evernote to keep track of details related to printers, papers, media types, photographs, and framing materials.

“The reality is that there is nothing quite like the look of a photograph printed on a beautiful paper,” writes Robert. “It differentiates you as a photographer and really conveys your dedication to the craft of photography.”

When he teaches classes in his studio in Beacon, NY or at other locations, he says, it’s great to see the sense of satisfaction students get when they realize that printing isn’t as hard as they originally thought

wide format inkjet printing

The book is lavishly illustrated with some of the author’s own photographs.

The 145-page book can be downloaded for $19.95 as a PDF, ePub (Mac, iPad), or Mobi (Kindle) file. A free book preview of the book can be requested through a form at the bottom of the order page.

About the Author

Robert Rodriguez Jr is a landscape photographer, printmaker, teacher, and writer who strives to convey the deep, spiritual beauty he sees and experiences in nature. A graduate of the Berklee College of Music, Robert transitioned to photography after a 15-year career as a music arranger and producer. His images have appeared in the New York Times, and his photography is featured extensively by Scenic Hudson, a non-profit organization dedicated to land and nature preservation in the Hudson Valley.

Robert owns and operates Beyond the Lens Photo Workshops, which offers photography workshops every year in the Hudson Valley and national parks around the country. You can learn more about his workshops by reading his Beyond the Lens blog.

At Freedom Paper, we applaud Robert Rodriguez Jr. for encouraging more photo enthusiasts to consider learning how to make prints from their work. We agree that experimenting with different paper surfaces and textures can be an integral part of the creative process.

LINKS

Book: Digital Fine Art Printing: Field Guide for Photographers

Wide Format Inkjet Printing Paper & Supplies

 

Buying a Used Wide Format Printer for CAD/GIS Jobs? 8 Things to Consider

wide format printerCanon Solutions America has published a white paper entitled “Buying Used Wide Format Printers- What You Should Know.” The paper lists eight factors that can influence whether the short-term savings of buying a used wide format printer will make economic sense over the long term. They point out that latent hidden costs associated with a used wide format printer can prevent you from saving as much as you might expect.

Here are the eight factors that can add increased risk to purchasing used printers:

1. Security: A used printer could be useless in a secure environment if the printer’s controller isn’t running a Windows 7 operating system or higher. Older printers also may not have some of the security features that have been added as information has become increasingly electronic.

2. Software License: Some software licenses can’t be transferred to a third party. Software license(s) you acquired as part of the used printer may not be transferable to you.

3. File Processing Speeds: Some older printers have slower processing speeds and smaller memories than newer models. A smaller printer memory can take more time to print large, multi-page PDF, GIS or BIM files.

4. Printer Drivers: Manufacturers typically don’t update drivers for discontinued models of printers. As a result, drivers for older systems might not work at all when the operating systems of individual workstations are upgraded. If a 5-year-old printer is two three generations behind in print driver technology, printing from your CAD or other Windows applications may not be fully supports. So, your print could be missing important fonts, layers, line weights, etc.

5. Print Quality and Color Output: Older, used printers may print at a lower resolution, making it more difficult to render the quality required for complex black-and-white and color files.

6. Service and Parts: Getting service and parts may be an issue, particularly if you don’t buy the printer from the manufacturer or an authorized dealer. The availability of some parts may be limited as the older printer gets closer to obsolescence.

7. Financing: Leasing used large format printers usually carries higher financing rates. The risk of obsolescence is exacerbated if you are locked into lease for several years.

8. Total Operating Costs: If your print volume is low, the printer will likely be in stand-by mode for most of the day. Older equipment is often not as energy efficient as comparable new models, which can result in needless energy costs over time.  Other costs to consider with older equipment include slower file-processing times, the inability to correctly print large, complicated files, and the likelihood of increased downtime.

Technology Keeps Changing

The white paper points out that “Only you can determine if there is sufficient reward for your business by purchasing a used wide-format printer. It always feels great to find a ‘deal.’ However, consider how much technology has changed over the past several years and how it is likely to change in the future.”

LINK

Buying Used Wide-Format Printers — What You Should Know

New CAD/Technical/General Use Printers

 

Inkjet Canvas Innovation: Hahnemuehle Canvas Metallic

Metallic Inkjet canvas - Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic

Inkjet canvas printing options blossomed this spring when Hahnemuhle introduced Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic 350gsm. This bright white, finely textured canvas has an elegant silver and pearlescent gloss that adds a novel, shimmering effect to inkjet canvas prints. 

Metallic Inkjet canvas - Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic

“This iridescent Canvas Metallic is a great product that extends our successful Hahnemühle Digital FineArt Canvas range perfectly.” said Andrea Sippel, product manager of Digital FineArt Paper for Hahnemuhle GmbH. “For vibrant and shimmering art productions, digital art or collages as well as fine art photo prints, Canvas Metallic offers an entirely new, amazingly shiny three-dimensional look. The sample print shows a painting of Jesus Vilalonga that blends perfectly with the elegant silver shine.”

Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic is perfectly suited for use with the easy-to-use Hahenmuhle Galerie Wrap system. It is available in three roll widths: 17, 24, and 44 inches.

The ink-receptive coating on Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic can handle the extremely high ink densities needed for dark colors. It can reproduce a large color gamut and images with sharp resolution.


Call the experts at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335 if you have any specific questions about Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic. We would be happy to tell you how it compares to the other fine Hahnemuhle inkjet canvas products we offer.

LINKS

Hahnemuhle Canvas Metallic 350 gsm

 

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