Inkjet photo printers that use either dye or pigment inks, when used in conjunction with the correct type/grade of photo paper, can produce prints that when correctly displayed or stored will retain their clarity and colour depth for many years.
Incorrect handling, displaying, storing or framing of
prints will almost certainly result in accelerated image deterioration.
Also, as certain environmental factors adversely affect
all photographic prints, it's impossible to say how soon, or by how
much will fading, colour shifts or bleaching (discolouration) occur. Nevertheless,
by following the recommendations below these risk factors
can be greatly reduced.
Handle prints with great care and touch them at the
• Hold prints on opposite sides with two hands to
• Protect from dirt, dust, scratches and
• Do not write on prints (front or back)
• Avoid liquids from coming into contact with
• Avoid any type of mechanical impact
• Wear protective gloves when handling
Display Prints Degradation...
• Light-induced degradation, more commonly called light fade
• Thermally induced degradation, called dark fade
To minimize these adverse effects the following
should be avoided:
• Displaying prints where they will be exposed to direct sunlight for an extended period of time
• Exposing to above average fluorescent lighting
• Avoid areas of hot temperatures and extreme temperature changes
• Do not frame or laminate prints for at least two weeks from
date of printing
• Do not mount photographic prints in direct contact with a frame's protective glass
• Do include at least one mount (mat) within a frame
In addition to serving an aesthetic function mounts also perform an important practical purpose; they create a narrow, permanent air gap between the print and the frame’s protective glass, thereby preventing
both items from coming into direct contact with each
other, which over time will cause permanent, irrepairable
damage to the print's surface.
Framing prints needn't be an expensive or
time consuming task. There are many companies offering
custom framing, including the ability to upload a jpeg of the print
to be framed to help assess the frame's suitability.
• Avoid storing or stacking prints facing each other
• Store individually and flat in archival quality polyester
sleeves, e.g. Clearfile storage sleeves
• Do not mount in albums with pages containing high acid content
• Only use acid-free storage boxes, which should be placed in a
dark dry cool location, and be positioned at a reasonable distance away from any external walls