Printable Substrates | Functional Coatings | Converting

Print Media is Vital – Why Choosing the Right Substrate is Important

When it comes to print job performance, the media materials used are crucial. Print providers need to distinguish which substrate will give the best outcome when dealing with digitally printed applications using inkjet. Durability and handling necessities, along with the ink and toner bonds, are concerns the printer must face.

The end user application, availability, appropriate packaging, ink attachment, and the total performance regarding the runability are just a few main factors when choosing the best substrate. It is also valuable to know that the substrate can have an effect on press expendable life, along with any post print-finishing processes the substrate may come in contact with.

When deciding the optimal substrate for a certain print task the most essential factor is the customer’s end use. This use can be a house sheet, fabricated media, a premium paper, or even a pressure sensitive. Is the customer using it as a photographic manual, or as a flyer/mailer? How can media become beneficial for marketing and advertising customers?

When using an inkjet press, specialized papers are manufactured for digital imaging. This means to paper fabricators that the requirements of the press are taken into consideration when paper is produced.

The substrate finishing includes the papers gloss level and desired ink gloss when choosing media. The propriety of existing substrate selection for a specific inkjet platform to be used is promptly followed. When creating technical papers for the inkjet, media needs to be smudge-proof and blemish-free after being ran through the press and dried. If a substrate is used that has not been properly developed for the press, issues such as image quality, binding, and dullness can occur.

The gloss level, aesthetics, campaign consistency with media, and the expectation of the finished product are some of the same considerations that apply when choosing a material for inkjet printing.  Choosing a media that is qualified for the press can help side step many of these issues and create ease and confidence in workflow.

Issues such as media failures, and large amounts of waste can be contributed to using the wrong substrates for a certain engine. When dealing with non-optimal media, common issues like poorly finished products and image quality can occur. The greatest concern is the adhesion of the ink and toner. If the substrate is not design for that specific form blistering, a processing defect, can occur.  The fusion, tracking, and bleeding are the main obstacles when dealing with non-optimal media for inkjet. Media selection can also affect the press speed; however, slowing down in order to secure a more sufficient job is preferred than not being able to get a satisfying job at any speed.

The press can also be affected by using poorly chosen media, causing corruption due to large amounts of dust and reducing life. Even post-press is affected by wrongfully selecting media. The lifecycle of a finished product may be decreased due to printing on the incorrect substrate for the application or atmosphere.

When it comes to inkjet, the color of the end product can simply be enhanced by taking advantage of treated media. These treated substrates are designed to surface more color by generating denser blacks and a more diverse range of color. By exploiting on color performance, pleasing brand owners, and expanding rate reactions, print providers can accelerate return on investment.

Choosing a supplier with a great reputation for inkjet substrates is key. Masterpiece Graphix offers a full line of specialized papers and substrates for your printing needs.  Synthetic Paper is a great product that combines the printing ease of paper with the strength of plastic.  We also have great text and gloss cover papers in 80# and 100# that are C2S optimized and feature superior gloss and ink adhesion.  We also feature a great line of fluorescent matte papers for label applications and many metallic and foil options for eye catching printing.

For printers to get the most from their investment in equipment, substrates must constantly bring new opportunities to the table. The nature of print causes an emotional reaction to visual motivation which has been proven through studies over time. Media will continue to be a visual message provider as traditional print progresses to an element of value. Ideas like direct mail, stationary, packaging, labeling, and photography become larger with the advancements of media. Traditional ways of serving diverse markets within the graphic arts will benefit with this new media. Providers in print service who take advantage of the cutting edge substrates and uniquely apply them can get ahead of the competition with everyone striving for individuality. There is no need to invest in new equipment when the substrates can significantly expand pass their potential. With these new advancements, companies can enlarge their business which was once not possible.