C-type vs Inkjet (Giclée)
Firstly, let's understand the differences between these two printing techniques. Digital C-type printing is a light process, and the paper used in conjunction with this type of printing will be light sensitive. The paper contains silver crystals, overlapped and suspended in emulsion that are exposed, developed and fixed to produce a photographic image. So in other words, it's a wet process. Inkjet, or otherwise known as giclée, is a dry process whereby ink is sprayed directly onto a paper in a series of dots, known as a halftone pattern.
Digital C-type printing employs traditional C-type papers which have been modified for digital exposure. All C-Type prints will generally have a gloss or semi sheen look and feel. With Inkjet or Giclée printing, there is a much greater variety of papers which can be used, from traditional lustre right through to textured art papers. We've even been experimenting with 100% silk, Japanese mulberry paper and even printing directly onto metal. There's a lot more variety when it comes to printing inkjet, and it also offers the ability to print higher saturated colours due to the brighter pigments that make up the inks, something traditional printing methods cannot achieve.
Inkjet printing is also repeatable. This means if you print a portrait give it to your client and they've asked for another one, your print will look the same. With C-Type there are a few extra factors involved, such as temperature of the chemicals and calibration of the printer that day and so exact repeatability may be hit and miss at times.
The archival properties of;
C-type - 40 years in daylight - 80 years when stored correctly out of light.
Inkjet - 40 years in daylight - 200 years when stored correctly out of light.
At Matte Image, we use Epson inkjet printers, why? no chemicals are involved, smaller footprint, wider colour gamut, print repeatability, and we just love the variety of different surfaces that inkjet can print on.
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