Hahnemuehle Introduces Inkjet Photo Cards in A5 Size

Inkjet photo cards made from Hahnemuehle fine art and inkjet photo papers can be used in dozens of creative ways. For example, you can safely carry a mini-portfolio of your most impressive images wherever you go. Or, you can create mini-collections of images as memorable gifts on important occasions. Or, you can use the card to print invitations to exhibitions, gallery openings, and other events.



Hahnemuehle’s first collection of inkjet photo cards were “mini cards” in a 10 x 15 cm (3.4 x 5.9 inch) format. The cards are sold in 30-sheet packs and come in an elegant metal box. The elegant packaging with the embossed rooster protects your prints and can be used as a small, mobile archive.

Because photographers know that bigger prints make a bigger impact, many have asked Hahnemuehle to offer the cards in a larger size. So, Hahnemuehle recently announced that inkjet photo cards are now available in A5 format (5.8 x 8.3 in.)

A5-sized cards will be available for three of Hahnemuehle’s most popular papers: Photo Rag ® 308, FineArt Pearl and Photo Rag ® Baryta.

Photo Rag 308 is a popular choice for creating high-quality fine-art prints. This 308 gsm cotton paper provides impressive pictorial depth for both black and white and color photographs and art reproductions.

Photo Rag Baryta is a white, cotton paper with a smooth, high-gloss surface. The very fine surface texture and the baryta gloss give portraits a particularly expressive character.

FineArt Pearl is a bright white, 285 gsm, alpha-cellulose art paper with a pearlescent surface finish that supports higher ink densities and color gamuts required for sharp images. The subtle gloss adds depth and contrast to this luxurious paper.

Hahnemuehle Photo Cards are resistant to aging and are manufactured according to the longevity requirements of galleries and museums (9706 Norm ISO).

Instructions for making borderless prints on the inkjet photo cards can be downloaded from the Hahnemuehle website: www.hahnemuehle.com.

Museo Adds Portrait Photo Paper to Its Line of Fine Art Photo Papers

The Museo® line of digital fine art media is being expanded. Coveris™ Advanced Coatings has developed Museo® Portrait™ photo paper for wedding, portrait, and school photographers who are making the transition from lab prints to inkjet photo printing.

MuseoPortraitImage_600-Designed specifically for use with Photo Black pigment inks, Museo Portrait photo papers are offered in luster or gloss finishes.

The instant-dry surface of this resin-coated paper produces vivid, true-to-life images on paper that looks and feels like traditional photographic paper.

The unmatched 11.4-mil thickness of this 290 gsm resin-coated photo paper keeps highly saturated prints free of cockling. Compared inkjet photo papers that are 7 to10 mils thick, Museo Portrait paper feels like a professional quality paper. It’s a cut above the rest.

In addition to portraits, the paper can be used for fine art photography, portfolios, black-and-white prints, and sepia prints. It is economical enough for use by photography students and school photography and for studio proofs.

“We are committed to broadening our Museo Fine Art offerings for our loyal customers,” said Tamara Pittman, product manager of digital imaging at Coveris Advanced Coatings. “We are confident that Museo Portrait will quickly become a top choice for photographers, design professionals, advertising agencies, and art schools, worldwide.”

Museo Portrait is available in 17 x 22-inch sheets and 50 ft. rolls in three widths: 17, 36, and 44 inches.

For more information, visit the Museo Fine Art page on Facebook or watch an 18-minute  webinar on YouTube about the entire line of Museo Fine Art paper. In the video, photographer Tina Forbes of Coveris mentions what types of images she likes to print on different types of Museo Fine Art Paper.

Freedom Paper is a proud reseller of Museo Fine Art paper. We currently offer two of the best-selling products in the line: Museo Silver Rag and Museo Artist Card Sets.


Kodak Offers Photo Papers, Canvas, and Backlit Film for Solvent Ink Printers

Kodak solvent inkjet paper

Until now, it’s been a challenge for users of solvent-ink printers to output high-quality fine-art prints and photographic reproductions. Kodak has solved that problem their new line of solvent inkjet photo printing paper, canvas, and backlit film. These materials are engineered to produce the best possible print quality for décor, point of purchase displays, canvas gallery wraps, and high-end photos.

Resin-coated Kodak Premium Photo Papers in satin and gloss provide true photo quality reproductions. These 10 mil papers are easy to handle, dry instantly, and can be used in a wide range of indoor environments where quality matters.



Kodak solvent canvases in satin or matte feature an acid-free base that produces crisp, vivid images that you typically get with aqueous inkjet printers. A perfect blend of durability and flexibility makes stretching a breeze, without fear of cracks appearing in your final prints.

Kodak’s solvent backlit film is a heavyweight glossy film with excellent print handling and finishing characteristics. It’s perfect for vibrant lightbox display applications.

The Origins of Solvent Ink Printing

If you’re a newcomer to wide-format inkjet printing, here’s why it’s noteworthy that Kodak has developed inkjet photo papers for solvent ink printers.

Unlike aqueous inks that use water to deliver colorants to the print substrate, solvent inks use pigments suspended in chemical solvents. These solvents can bond to vinyl and other materials used in outdoor graphics.

The first solvent-ink wide-format inkjet printers enabled print-service providers to print outdoor-durable graphics without the added time and costs of lamination. Solvent-ink printers were a bit hit with sign shops that were already using cutting plotters and self-adhesive vinyls to create letters and decals for banners and signs.

As the popularity of branded vehicle wraps has soared, the color gamut capabilities of solvent-ink printers have expanded to hit the wide range of colors used in brand logos and photographic art.

Some of the newest solvent-ink printers from Epson, Roland DGA, Mimaki, and OKI Data can output white, fluorescent, or metallic inks, creating effects that aren’t yet possible with aqueous ink printers.

The white inks create a white background for colorful prints on clear films. The metallic inks can add gold, silver, and bronze effects to indoor or outdoor advertising graphics. Designers of outdoor graphics and art can be super-creative.

Freedom Paper Sells Kodak Solvent Papers

Freedom Paper offers Kodak Solvent Papers because some of our customers that use aqueous-ink printers also operate solvent-ink printers. We applaud the fact that it’s now possible to get aqueous-ink quality on Kodak’s new line of solvent printing paper, canvas, and backlit film.


Kodak solvent inkjet paper

To find out more, call our inkjet media experts at 866-310-3335 or visit www.freedompaper.com

Debunking Myths about the Sustainability of Paper and Print

Eco Friendly Sustainable ForestWhen paper is produced and used responsibly, print materials can be an environmentally sustainable way to communicate. Anyone who questions that fact should read some of the research about the sustainability of paper and print published by Two Sides North America.

The organization points out that paper is made primarily from a natural, renewable source (wood) and has become of the most recycled commodities in the world.

Two Sides North America believes there are two sides to every story. To set the record straight about the sustainability of paper, they publish fact sheets that confirm how much has changed since the 1990s. The North American paper industry now advocates responsible forestry practices and certification, uses renewable, carbon-neutral bio-fuels, and has adopted more efficient paper-making technology.

“North American forests can provide recreational, environmental and economic benefits. They are a very valuable renewable resource that can be managed responsibly to make hundreds of products with sustainable qualities,” says Phil Reibel, President of Two Sides North America. “Much of the raw material used in papermaking comes from recovered paper and residuals from the lumber industry. But wood is essential because paper can only be recycled 5 to 7 times before the fibers break down and become unusable.”

For example, here are just four of the fact sheets they have published to debunk some common misperceptions.

The Facts: Paper is one of the few truly sustainable products. Paper is made from a resource that is renewable, recyclable, and compostable. Each year forests in the U.S. and Canada grow significantly more wood than is harvested. On average, about 66% of the energy used by pulp and paper member of the American Forest & Paper Association is generated from carbo-neutral biomass.


The Facts: Paper is one of the most recycled products in the world. When the American Forest & Paper Association (AF&PA) began setting paper recovery goals in 1990, the U.S. paper recovery rate measured 33.5%. In 2014, it was 65.4%. AF&PA members have a goal to increase the U.S. paper recovery rate to more than 70% by 2020. In addition to recovering more paper, we all know more about how to get more environmental benefits from using recycled paper in new products.

The Facts: Forest certification programs are effective tools to demonstrate sustainable forestry. Certification programs are market-based, non-regulatory forest conservation tools designed to recognize and promote environmentally responsible forestry and the sustainability of forest resources. While different forest certification systems are used around the world, they share many basic objectives.

The Facts: Digital media have environmental impacts and may not be “greener” than print and paper. Instead of asking whether paper or electronic communications are better, we should be working to determine which combination of the two has the least impact on the environment. Electronics are made from non-renewable materials and use fossil fuel energy. The sustainability of communications technology depends on conditions such as frequency of use, source of energy used, and end-of-life management of the products.

“North American forests can provide recreational, environmental, and economic benefits. They are a very valuable renewable resource that can be managed responsibly to make hundreds of products with sustainable properties,” says Phil Riebel, President of Two Sides North America. “Much of the raw material used in papermaking comes from recovered paper and residuals from the lumber industry. But wood is essential because paper can only be recycled 5 to 7 times before the fibers break down and become unusable.”

For more information, check out the infographic below or visit www.twosidesna.org


How Paper Is Made


Sources of Information about Inkjet Print Permanence Testing

Sun obscrubed by raindrops

To enable wide-format printers to be used for more than technical drawings, inkjet printer manufacturers made substantial investments in print permanence testing. They wanted to ensure that the inks and materials they developed for photo or graphics printing could withstand typical display requirements.

Print permanence testing was necessary because the first aqueous dye inks and papers used in desktop office inkjet printers and wide-format printers for technical documents faded rapidly when the unframed prints were used for projects other than presentations, everyday proofs, or indoor posters.

When choosing wide-format inkjet papers, you may see some print permanence tests mentioned in the product descriptions on the spec sheets. Print-life projections can help you determine which materials are most appropriate for the type of job you have in mind.


print permanence


Efforts to create internationally recognized test standards for print-permanence tests were complicated by the huge number of variables that exist in how inkjet prints are created and used.

For example: the longevity of the print is affected by complex interactions of a combination of factors:

  • the type of ink used
  • the type of inkjet media used
  • the environment in which the print is displayed
  • how the print is protected from UV light, ozone, humidity, and abrasion
Plus, people have different expectations for inkjet prints. Individuals who pay hundreds or thousands of dollars for printed photographs or art prints expect those prints to last for generations.
Photographs printed to promote products on windows, billboards, or outdoor banners are exposed to much harsher conditions than indoor prints. But they may not be expected to last more than a few months.

To learn more about print permanence testing, here are three organizations that have conducted print-permanence tests for the aqueous wide-format printers used by many Freedom Paper’s customers.

Wilhelm Imaging Research

Wilhelm Imaging Research, Inc. was founded by Henry Wilhelm and Carol Brower Wilhem in 1995. At that time, the first color wide-format inkjet printers were just beginning to be used for signs, photo enlargements, and art prints. Henry and Carol Wilhelm were already well known for their expertise in the stability and long-term preservation of photographs and motion pictures. So it was natural that photographers, artists, and inkjet printer manufacturers would seek their advice on the potential of using wide-format inkjet printers for photo and art prints.

Wilhelm Imaging Research has subjected prints made with widely used combinations of inks and media to a series of accelerated light exposure and dark aging tests. The tests address the question: “How long will this image last before noticeable fading and/or staining occur, and under what conditions?”

The tests results are published as Display Permanence Ratings so inkjet-printer users can make apples-to-apples comparisons about tested products. Wilhelm Imaging Research has conducted print permanence tests for papers and inks from HP, Epson, and Canon and many manufacturers of digital printers and papers.

The published reports enables you to compare projections for how long a print can last under four different types of conditions:

  • framed under glass
  • framed behind a filter for UV light
  • displayed indoors away from a window
  • stored in an album at 73 degrees and 60% relative humidity

The reports also note whether the prints have a high level of resistance to high humidity and water and how many years an unprotected print might be resistant to ozone. If the paper includes UV brightening agents to provide a white surface, it is noted on the report.

The Image Permanence Institute

The Image Permanence Institute (IPI®) at the Rochester Institute of Technology is an independent, nonprofit laboratory that evaluates image stability and photo storage and framing materials. IPI can provide standardized and custom tests for abrasion, light-fastness, air pollution sensitivity, and high-humidity sensitivity.

The IPI primarily uses imaging research to help libraries, archives, and museums understand how to preserve printed documents and images. But they also offer insights that can help individuals preserve their most treasured family photographs.

IPI Consumer Guide to Permanence Testing
From the publications page on the IPI website, you can download “A Consumer Guide to Understanding Permanence Testing.” Published with support from the Eastman Kodak Company, the guide explains factors that affect print permanence and discusses four different photo printing methods: silver halide (darkroom processing), inkjet printing, electrophotographic printing, and dye diffusion thermal transfer prints.

The IPI notes that “Three types of changes are generally studied in image permanence testing: fading of the colorants that make of the image, migration or bleed of the colorants, and yellowing of the paper on which the image is printed.”

In prints that experience overall fading, all areas of the image gradually become lighter at an even rate.

Users of inkjet prints sometimes notice that one or more of the colorants in the prints is fading more quickly than the other colorants. This type of fading is called a hue shift. For instance, if a magenta dye ink fades faster than the cyan, yellow, and black ink, the printed photo will have a greenish hue:

The IPI guide to permanence explains some of the limitations of different types of permanence testing and why informal tests (such as placing an image in in a window for a few weeks) can be misleading.

The IPI also conducts tests related to the boxes, portfolios, and poly sleeves used to store digitally printed photographs.

HP Image Permanence Lab

HP operates its own Image Permanence Lab because HP printers, inks, and inkjet materials are used to print everything from exhibition photographs to outdoor signs, billboards, and banners.  Materials designed for different types of applications undergo different types of image permanence tests.

For instance, HP materials designed to make prints for home or office display undergo image permanence testing under common indoor lighting and environmental conditions. HP uses both their own Image Permanence Lab and Wilhelm Imaging Research to conduct these tests.

If certain HP materials are likely to be displayed in store or office windows, HP Image Permanence Lab testing uses methodologies that take into account that the graphic will be exposed to partial or direct sunlight.

For materials designed for making outdoor banners and signs, the HP Image Permanence Lab performs tests in accordance with industry-leading standards. Print samples are exposed to real-life conditions at multiple U.S. test sites. Testing measures a range of environmental conditions, including temperature, humidity, light, and spray. More information can be found here.

A Few Things to Consider

Print permanence testing helped drive the development of new ink formulations and printing materials. Inkjet printable materials introduced over the past 10 years have proven to be much more reliable for use in photographic printing than materials for the first generations of wide-format inkjet printers.

If your in-office inkjet printer uses aqueous dye inks to create colors, you can still print photographic images and colorful displays on many different types of materials. But you may encounter problems if the print isn’t framed or laminated and exposed to high levels of humidity or UV light.

Your best bet for printing photographic posters and displays is to choose your print materials carefully or upgrade to a newer-model wide-format printer that uses pigment inks for color printing.

For outdoor photographic displays, you might be wise to send the job out for printing. Today, many companies that offer wide-format inkjet printing as a service use different types of printers to meet many different durability and quality requirements.

Solvent, latex, and UV-cure inks provide greater outdoor durability than aqueous inks. The photographic quality that can be output on these printers has has been steadily improving.

If you have questions about any of the print permanence tests you see mentioned in the descriptions for wide-format inkjet photo papers or sign materials on Freedom Paper’s website, please call us 866-866-310-3335

Sihl Rocket Photo Papers Boost Speed of Inkjet Imaging Jobs

Four budget-friendly photo papers from Sihl Digital Imaging can boost the speed and performance of inkjet imaging print jobs on wide-format printers the use aqueous pigment or dye inks.

Sihl Rocket Photo Papers are optimized for performance on high-speed HP PageWide XL printers.

The instant-dry papers also work well on the universe of HP Designjet, Epson Stylus Pro, and Canon imagePROGRAF aqueous-ink wide-format printers used in offices, ad agencies, AEC firms, GIS departments, schools, retail stores, and copy shops.

The four products include two 8 mil photo papers and two 10 mil resin-coated photo papers. All four photo papers feature a bright-white, resin-coated base and instant-dry coating for easy handling and finishing.

Sihl Rocket Photo Paper 3371 Gloss Sihl Rocket Photo Paper Gloss 3371and 3372 Satin are 8 mil photo papers for everyday photographs, photo reproductions, mounted promotional graphics, and posters. The lustrous Satin finish on Sihl 3372 reproduces a great color gamut and gives images with people a more natural look. The smooth Gloss surface on Sihl 3371 supports a high color density and achieves a very wide color gamut for images with fine details.

Sihl Rocket Photo Paper 3506 Gloss and 3507 Satin are 10 mil photo papers that produce inkjet photo prints that feel like they came from a photo lab. These papers are great for ad agency prints, photos that will be laminated, and more durable posters, mounted graphics, and reproductions.

Sihl Rocket Photo Paper Satin 3507The papers are all supplied in 100-foot-long rolls on 3-inch cores. Five roll widths are offered: 24, 36, 42, 50, and 60 inches.

Sihl has been producing digital-printing materials since the earliest days of pen plotters, electrostatic printers, and monochrome inkjet. As printing technology companies such as HP, Canon, Epson, and Xerox have continued to introduce printers with faster speeds, higher resolutions, and greater intelligence, Sihl has developed printing materials optimized for each advancement.

To learn more about these innovative new Sihl papers (or any of the other great Sihl products Freedom Paper sells), call Freedom Paper’s customer-service team at 866-310-3335.


Use Kodak Inkjet Backlit Film for Vivid Colors in Lightbox Displays

Kodak Backlit FIlm

An inkjet backlit film, such as Kodak Universal Backlit Film, is a sturdy, translucent film that can hold high densities of ink for vivid colors. Kodak backlit film is designed for use with lightboxes to create illuminated photographs, signs, and posters in high-traffic areas such as stores, lobbies, restaurants, transit centers, and convention centers.

Backlit films in lightboxes are also used for photography exhibitions, museum exhibits, art installations, menu boards, and wayfinding signs.

Some creative designers have used inkjet backlit films to make custom lampshades or other decorative objects.

Kodak’s Rich History in Photography

The first inkjet backlit films for aqueous inkjet printers replicated the look and feel of Kodak’s renowned DURATRANS® photographic display films for darkroom processing.

Kodak’s DURATRANS films were so popular during the analog printing days that the term “duratrans” became a generic term for the backlit photo enlargements used in television news sets, theater designs, and museum exhibits.

Perhaps that legacy explains why so many Freedom Paper customers choose Kodak Universal Backlit Film for use with their aqueous inkjet printers. With a heavyweight, durable Duratrans®-like support, Kodak backlit film for aqueous inkjet printers is easy to handle, finish, and install.

The macroporous coating on Kodak Universal Backlit Film controls the ink droplets on the surface of the film to provide the perfect combination of color saturation, image quality, and dry time. The macroporous coating also protects the print surface from scratches and helps aqueous pigment inks resist water damage.

Kodak Universal Backlit film is competitively priced and compatible with all brands of aqueous-inkjet printers, including HP DesignJets, Epson Stylus Pro mdoels, and Canon imagePROGRAF pritners.

Tips for Using Inkjet Backlit Film

If you will be mounting the backlit graphics in a lightbox that uses fluorescent lighting as the light source, Kodak Universal Backlit Film is a perfect choice.

Until LED light panels were introduced, fluorescent tubes were the only practical method of illuminating backlit displays. Many current lightbox models still use fluorescent lights because they cost less to buy and produce a brighter glow.


The translucency of Kodak Universal Backlit Film helps ensure the proper diffusion of the back-lighting and eliminates the appearance of “hot spots.” The coating’s ability to hold ink densities keeps the colors from looking washed out when lit from behind.

If you are a first-time user of inkjet backlit film, here are a few other things you should know before ordering Kodak Universal Backlit Film.

Handle the film with care. Wear cotton gloves and avoid touching the coated surface of the film when you mount it on your inkjet printer.

Use a newer model photo or graphics inkjet printer that uses aqueous pigment inks if you want to create photographic prints that are easier to handle and more water resistant. The aqueous dye inks commonly used on CAD, technical or general office printers can run or smear when exposed to humidity or water.

Use a custom color profile to get the absolute best results. But if you are just making simple signs and displays instead of super-sized photo enlargements, you can get visually pleasing results with the heavyweight coated or matte setting in your print driver or print-management software.

Allow the print to dry for at least 24 hours before laminating it. You can use either a pressure-sensitive or heat-activated laminating film, but don’t try using your hands to apply the laminating film. To ensure a solid, even bond, use a roll-laminator.

If you have any other questions about using Kodak Universal Backlit Film, please contact the customer service team at Freedom Paper at 866-310-3335.

After you have  finished your print project, send us a photo showing how and where your backlit graphics are displayed. It’s always fun to see the many creative things Freedom Paper do with their wide-format inkjet printers.


Use Kodak Photo Tex Fabric for Event Graphics or Custom Decor

Kodak phototex fabric

To breathe new life into a space, consider printing images or graphics on a self-adhesive ‘phototex’ fabric such as Kodak Phototex Repositionable Fabric.

Kodak Photo Tex™ is an inkjet-printable fabric with a proprietary repositionable adhesive that makes graphics easy to install and remove. Graphics printed on Kodak Phototex won’t leave behind any sticky residue. Nor will it remove paint from a primed wall.  Phototex can also be installed on glass doors, windows, metal, and other clean, smooth non-porous surfaces.

Kodak phototex fabric

Kodak Phototex fabric with repositionable adhesive can be printed on many models of Canon, HP, Epson, Roland, and Mimaki wide-format inkjet printers that use aqueous pigment inks. (You can use aqueous dye inks, but the finished graphics may not give you the durability your project requires.)

Use it for Promotional or Decorative Posters

Commercial graphics companies use Kodak Photo Tex™ fabric to produce retail, event, and promotional graphics. Promotional graphics printed on Kodak Photo Tex can be installed as exhibit backdrops, column wraps, or elevator-door graphics.

Today, many organizations and creative professionals use Kodak Photo Tex to customize the décor of homes, offices, dorm rooms, classrooms, gyms, conference rooms, and assisted living facilities.

On websites such as Etsy or Pinterest, you can see how photographers and designers are using Kodak phototex self-adhesive fabric to create inspirational posters, monogram labels, and customized table wraps, lampshades, shelving, wall accents, and headboards.

Photographers are enlarging images of landmarks, naturescapes, cityscapes, sports stadiums to make closed spaces look bigger and more inviting.

People moving into smaller dorm rooms or assisted-living facilities use peel-and-stick photo-collage posters to remember special people and happy moments without a lot of bulky frames or wall damage.

Corporations, schools, and houses of workshop use self-adhesive fabrics to create timeline murals for lobbies and hallways. Kodak Photo Tex makes it easy to produce wall-mounted backdrops for special events.

Tips for Using Kodak Phototex

Make sure your printer can handle the thickness of the self-adhesive fabric. The Kodak Photo Tex fabric itself is only 6 mil thick. But with the liner that protects the adhesive, the material that feeds through your printer is actually 10 mils thick. This means it may not work in older models of inkjet printers.

Optimized print settings for Kodak Photo Tex will vary, depending on what make and model of printer you use. Try a fine-art paper or matte paper setting as a starting point.

Use custom profiles with professional print-management (RIP) software if you want best-quality, consistent results on big projects, such as multi-panel wall murals.

Consider applying a liquid or spray coating to make the printed graphic less susceptible to damage during installation and display. A good coating can protect the print from abrasion, water damage, or UV light. But a coating isn’t essential if the graphic will only be displayed a short time. Promotional graphics printed with pigment inks on Kodak Photo Tex can last up to six months outdoors without additional protection.

Share Your Creativity!

Freedom Paper is a proud reseller of Kodak Photo Tex Repositionable Fabric for aqueous inkjet printers.

We also offer our own brand of self-adhesive fabric. Freedom Paper Inkjet Fabric PSA is an 8 mil fabric  that can be printed with aqueous, latex, solvent, and UV-cure inks.

Call our customer service team at 866-310-3335 and we would be happy to tell you more about which product would be best suited for the make and model of printer that you plan to use.

If you have used self-adhesive fabric to bring your creativity to life, send us a photo! We would love to see how you have used Kodak Photo Tex or Freedom Paper Inkjet Fabric PSA. Send images to: ideas@freedompaper.com


Alternatives to HP Self-Adhesive Paper for Wide-Format Prints

HP self adhesive vinyl

HP self-adhesive paper for printing large-format indoor graphics was discontinued in 2011. But Freedom Paper offers more durable alternatives to HP self-adhesive paper — HP self-adhesive polypropylene and HP self-adhesive vinyl.

Papers much larger than 8.5 x 11 or 13 x 19 inches are easy to tear, crease, or wrinkle when you mount them to foamboards. HP self-adhesive polypropylene and HP self-adhesive vinyl are practical options for printing large-format presentations, graphics, maps, posters, and signs that will be adhered to foamboards, sign blanks, and other smooth surfaces.

Polypropylene is a semi-rigid material that is more tear-resistant and water-resistant than paper. Large posters on polypropylene are much easier to handle and mount than big paper prints.

Vinyl is a thin, flexible material that conforms to flat or gently curved surfaces. With adhesive-backed vinyl, you can stick graphics on rigid sign materials, windows, walls, doors, columns, or other surfaces. Vinyl is also a better choice for signs that will be posted outdoors. .


Freedom Paper sells all four products featured in this video:

  • HP Everyday Adhesive Matte Polypropylene
  • HP Everyday Adhesive Gloss Polypropylene
  • HP Colorfast Adhesive Vinyl
    HP Universal Adhesive Vinyl

Each of these products produces an impressive color gamut and photorealistic images on HP DesignJets. They also work well on other makes and models of printers that use aqueous dye or pigment inks.

The permanent, pressure-sensitive adhesive on the back of these materials makes them easy to mount on to foamboards and other rigid sign materials. The permanent adhesive ensures secure, reliable mounting without peeling.

Because these materials dry quickly after printing, you don’t have to wait 24 hours to laminate or mount the prints.

HP Everyday Adhesive Gloss Polyproplyene is ideal for mounted posters featuring photos or maps. It produces vibrant colors with crisp details.

HP Everyday Adhesive Matte Polypropylene has a lower level of reflectivity than gloss polypropylene. This helps ensure that graphics remain readable in all sorts of trade-show settings and event venues. Images printed on matte polypropylene won’t show glaring “hot spots” under bright lights.

HP Universal Adhesive Vinyl is recommended for producing eye-catching displays for indoor applications.

HP Colorfast Adhesive Vinyl is a premium, matte vinyl for printing sharp, lifelike images on signs and graphics that will be viewed up close.  

Pigment Inks Provide Greater Longevity

Users of DesignJet Z series printers and HP Original inks can use HP self-adhesive vinyl and polypropylene to produce long-lasting indoor graphics that don’t require lamination. Prints created on HP Everyday Adhesive Polypropylene can last up to 35 years when displayed indoors away from direct sunlight.  Prints on HP Colorfast Adhesive Vinyl can last 75 years or more when displayed indoors away from direct sunlight. .

HP self adhesive vinyl

Graphics output with HP Original pigment inks on HP Universal Adhesive Vinyl can last for years indoors. Prints that must last more than a few days outdoors should be laminated.

Owners of Legacy Models Should Stick with Polypropylene

If you are using a legacy DesignJet printer (such as the 500, 800, or 1000 series), choose an HP Adhesive Polypropylene material instead of the vinyl.

Self-adhesive vinyl includes a liner to protect the adhesive and keep the vinyl flat as it feeds through the printer.  Even though the printed vinyl will be thin and pliable when the liner is peeled away during mounting, the liner makes the vinyl too thick to feed through printers originally engineered to print drawings on paper.

If you have questions, please call us at 866-310-3335. We would happy to recommend the material that would be best for your specific requirements.


HP Everyday Adhesive Matte Polypropylene

HP Everyday Adhesive Gloss Polypropylene

HP Universal Adhesive Vinyl

HP Colorfast Adhesive Vinyl


DIY Sign Printing: Inkjet Banner Materials Glossary

This DIY Signmaking series is for anyone who wants to use inkjet banner materials on an in-office wide-format inkjet printer to produce simple signs signs, banners, and display graphics. The first two posts in the DIY Signmaking Series discussed the types of signs you can make with aqueous-ink printers and some questions to consider before ordering sign and banner materials for the wide-format printer in your office or studio.

The glossary below clarifies terms related inkjet banner materials, graphic films, durable alternatives to paper, and mounting materials.

Printing Materials

Backlit sign Yes You CanBacklit film: An inkjet-printable polyester film with a translucent, light-diffusing layer. The inkjet coating is designed to handle the heavier ink densities to ensure that the colors don’t look washed out when lit. Some backlit films are designed for reverse printing so that the polyester film itself protects the printed graphics (like a built-in laminating film). Some inkjet backlit film produces prints that are bright enough to be easily readable even when the lightbox or kiosk is turned off

Block-out: A layer of black or gray material added to a banner or display material to increase the opacity of the substrate. Blockout layers are typically used on banner materials that will be printed on both sides, or for graphics that will be displayed in an open area in which incidental light shining from behind the banner stand can affect the readability of the printed graphic.

Blueback paper: A durable type of poster paper that can be pasted directly on top of previously mounted posters without the bottom sign showing through.

Calendared vinyl: Sheets of vinyl that have been squeezed (extruded) through a series of heated rollers to become thin enough to cut with knife plotter. Calendared vinyl is typically thicker and less pliable than cast vinyl.

Cast vinyl: A thin, pliable vinyl film typically used to wrap irregularly shaped objects (such as cars and coolers.) Cast vinyl is formed by spreading a thin layer of a molten plastic mixture on a carrier sheet and baking it at high temperatures. The heat removes solvents and fuses the remaining material into a pliable film. Cast film is typically more expensive than calendared vinyl.

One-way see-through film: This thin, pliable vinyl is perforated to enable building or vehicle occupants to see out of a windows that been decorated with advertising graphics.

PET (polyester) film: A thin plastic film made from stretched polyethylene terephthalate. It can provide signs and overlays with chemical and dimensional stability and a high tensile strength. Mylar® is a brand of PET film.

Polypropylene: A thin, flexible plastic sheet that is more resistant to water, tearing, and chemicals than paper.

PVC (polyvinyl chloride): A commonly used plastic that can be extruded or cast as rigid sheets or tubing, or as a flexible “vinyl film.”

Release liner: This paper or plastic film provides a layer of protection to the back of self-adhesive materials. With a release liner, self-adhesive materials can be rolled up, packaged, shipped, and printed without the adhesive sticking to everything it touches. The release liner is removed as the graphic is being installed.

Scrim:  A strong nylon mesh used to add strength and tear-resistance to vinyl banner materials.

Self-adhesive: A paper, vinyl, or film supplied with an adhesive on the back.  Until the material has been printed and is ready to be mounted, the adhesive is protected with a release liner made of plastic or paper. Self-adhesive inkjet materials use a Pressure-Sensitive Adhesive (PSA) which is activated when pressure is applied to the print with a roller, a laminator, a squeegee, or your hands.

  • A permanent adhesive is a high-tack adhesive that forms a permanent bond within hours after it is applied. It can leave a residue on the mounting surface when the graphic is pulled off.
  • A removable adhesive is a low-tack adhesive that forms a temporary bond with a smooth surface.  It can be easily removed without much residue from most surfaces months after it is applied. But after a few months, a removable adhesive forms a permanent bond, and will be more difficult to remove without leaving a lot of residue.
  • A repositionable adhesive is an ultra-removable adhesive that makes it easy to install, remove, and reuse lightweight fabric graphics. It doesn’t leave a sticky residue after the graphics are removed.

Adhesive vinyl sign

Tyvek: A registered trademark of DuPont, Tyvek® is a protective material is a tough, flexible spun-bonded olefin material that resists water, chemicals, abrasion, rot, and mildew. It is stronger than paper, absorbs little or no moisture, and is made of environmentally responsible material. Its bright white, silky smooth, opaque surface is perfect for graphic images. It’s a popular choice for concert and sporting-event signs, maps, playbooks, runners’ bibs, and ski-pass tags,

Wet-strength paper: A wet-strength paper is a latex-saturated paper that resists tears and punctures even during wet conditions. A poster on wet-strength paper can easily be pasted over a previously mounted poster.

Mounting Materials

To produce rigid signs, you must buy “sign blanks” to which you can mount adhesive-backed materials.

Acrylic: This clear or colored rigid plastic is a popular choice for making indoor and outdoor signs. Acrylic is often referred to as plexiglass or Plexiglas®.  Acrylic is used in lightboxes, architectural interiors, and POP displays.

Aluminum: This lightweight metal is ideal for smaller outdoor signs that can be mounted on a single post. Aluminum doesn’t rust. But it also doesn’t flex when exposed to strong winds.

Coroplast: This lightweight, corrugated plastic is a popular choice for yard signs, garage sale signs, and outdoor event signs. The corrugated ridges make the plastic sheets more rigid.


Corrugated: When signmakers use this word as a noun, they are referring to a lightweight, layered cardboard material in which ridged paper adds strength and rigidity to the surface layers. When used as an adjective, “corrugated” refers to any material with a surface shaped into a series of ridges and grooves.

Dibond®:  This rigid, aluminum composite material features two thin pre-painted sheets of aluminum bonded to a polyethylene core. It is lighter than aluminum, and still outdoor-durable.

Eco-Friendly Boards: These are strong, recyclable, rigid paperboards made from recycled papers or from papers from sustainably managed forests. Instead of a plastic foam center, these boards get their strength from corrugated paper centers.

Foam-core (foamboard): A lightweight, easy-to-cut rigid material for mounting posters, photos, and indoor signs. A layer of thermoplastic foam is sandwiched between smooth layers of paper or plastic.

Lexan®: A brand of clear polycarbonate sheet.

MDO: A plywood panel with fused resin-impregnated fiber overlay. MDO is used for painted sign panels, highway and traffic signs, site signs, containers, and billboards. It is very sturdy, but can warp after it has soaked up water over several years.

Polycarbonate: A tough, nearly unbreakable plastic that is lighter in weight than glass or acrylic.

Plexiglas®: A solid, transparent weather-resistant plastic often used in place of glass. Plexiglas is a trademarked name.  The word “plexiglass” is used as a synonym.

Any Questions?

For more information about DIY signmaking materials, submit a question below and we’ll track down some advice from signmaking pros.

Or, if you are already creating signs and banners on your wide-format inkjet printer, send us a photo or two. We’d love to highlight your creativity and any additional tips you might have. Contact: ideas@freedompaper.com


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