Print Care

Comprints. Photography, creative digital imaging.

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Protecting Prints...

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.

Handling Prints...

Handle prints with great care and touch them at the edges only 
Hold prints on opposite sides with two hands to avoid bends 
Protect from dirt, dust, scratches and fingerprints
Do not write on prints (front or back)
Avoid liquids from coming into contact with prints
Avoid any type of mechanical impact
Wear protective gloves when handling valuable prints

 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

Framing Prints...

• 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 affordable online custom framing, including the ability to upload a jpeg of the print 
to be framed to help assess the frame's suitability.

Storing Prints...

• 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