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Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Inkjet Canvas Evolution and Coatings

Inkjet Canvas Evolution and Coatings


As a giclee printer with Giclee By The Bay, I have experienced quite a change in the quality and stability of substrates in the past dozen years or so. I recall one ancient event, when our best customer said he was coming over and would explain his concern when he arrived. He really didn't need to explain, a thousand pictures was worth a single word. (An expletive, that is.) He filled my sofa system with roll upon roll of canvasses with the surface cracking and peeling off!

It took a while to figure out what was going on, but we finally pinpointed the problem, that lead back to faulty coating on the canvas. Despite that, the dealer/manufacturer wouldn't warranty the product. They would rather we go out of business than them. We made good on our promise of quality with our client and used a different supplier, eventually replacing the giclee canvasses and moving on with the same understanding client.

Thankfully, we've progressed from the dark ages and most products are stable. What I find most encouraging is that inkjet canvas coatings are now profiling out to be remarkably similar to one another. Indistinguishable is probably more accurate. Somehow, the industry figured out that having a unique profile wasn't to their benefit, since a new customer would need to re-profile all their legacied images which would be a significant burden. Considering the time and materials needed, it wasn't worth it. So, the industry fell in line and switching from one canvas to a similar product sold by another distributor or retailer, is without generally without worries.

Interestingly, even when switching from one surface finish, such as matte to satin or gloss requires only a minor, universal change in Brightness/Contrast or a slight adjustment in the midtones and blacks using Selective Color in PhotoShop.

If you're looking for more info, give us a call or write to Canvas and Paper Warehouse and we'll be happy to fill you in on the straight scoop. We will tell you the background of products rather than telling you it's proprietary. No nonsense here, just friendly advice.

By Jim Kosvanec