News & Events

Tools and Tips For the Trade


Why is my media coated?
Coated materials optimize your output by controlling the dot gain of your ink. For example, if you compare a dot of inkon a piece of notebook paper to one on your inkjet photo base, the notebook paper will spread into the fibers of the paper. However, a dot of ink on your photo paper will be held tight therefore giving you a crisp nice image. Our coatings are specially formulated to control the sized of dot, speed of drying and ensure the ink adheres to the substrate.

Why is my ink smearing?
First check your compatibility. Are you using a UV Pigmented ink on a Dye based media? If so, the Pigments are too large to soak into the coating and will sit on the surface of the media creating your smearing problem.

Do I need profiles?
Ink from one manufacturer can vary to another. So your output will depend on the brightness, absorption and reflectance characteristics of the media and ink. Profiles provide instructions and communicate to your RIP, this tells your printer the combination of ink to lie down per pass and how much ink should be dropped. Read&Co. media are optimized to work with the standard OEM profiles. However, because of variable printing environments it is recommended to use a color profiling system on site.

What media do I use?
Read&Co. provides a wide variety of media for every application. Take a look at our product listing or call us and someone will be happy to assist you!

There are fingerprints on my media?
Inkjet media and their coatings are sensitive to touch. Oils from your hands and fingers can cause the ink not to absorb properly. Be sure to use the cotton gloves Read&Co. provides in all their inkjet media to ensure you avoid smudges and other unsightly occurrences. We believe doing the little things, like providing cotton gloves will help our customers save time and money.


Why should I laminate?
Lamination is an excellent way to get the most out of your inkjet print. When you need durability from UV radiation and abrasion, laminating is your best option. Another reason why people laminate is to change the finish of their print. If you are printing on a Matte paper, you can change the finish of your output by simply applying a Gloss, Satin, Textured, etc. laminate over the surface. Or other times it is as simple as needing to add rigidity to your finished product. You can apply different laminates to your output front and back to come up with your desired thickness. It is estimated that up to 75% of all inkjet printing is laminated.

Why are my prints delaminating?
Delaminating occurs when the bond between your laminate and inkjet print fails. The main cause of this is “dry time”. Sometimes a print may feel dry to the touch, may not be adequately dry. Inks posses glycol, an oily-type solvent used to help the inks viscosity when passing through an inkjet printhead. It is important to give your prints time to dry; otherwise this glycol will eventually rise to the surface of the media and create a barrier between the media and laminate. Eventually this will cause delamination.

Why won’t my thermal laminate stick?
Double check your temperature and speed settings. If these are correct, the most likely culprit is you output. Again, make sure you give ample drying time for your output.

How long does a print need to dry?
Generally 24 - 48 hours is what is recommended. However, this is often times unrealistic in the inkjet world. There are many factors that contribute to dry time and the rate at which glycol evaporates from a print. Here are some suggestions:

  1. Printer heater can be turned up.
  2. Fans can be used to help speed up the dry time.
  3. Ink limiting will reduce dry time.
  4. Control the RH in you printing environment.
  5. Lay out the prints rather than rolled up.

How long will my print last with a UV laminate?
This is a common question that cannot be answered easily. There are many variables that contribute to the rate of fade. The most important of which is the type of ink used. Dye based inks provide an excellent color gamut but, can fade within a matter of days. Pigment inks last significantly longer and can be up for twelve months before any fading may occur. Generally speaking a UV laminate will extend the life of your print by 3 – 4 times.

Why causes silvering?
Silvering is usually caused by the adhesive not wetting out properly. You can usually solve this by increasing the temperature setting, slowing down the speed setting or sometimes both. This may also apply to cold laminates as well; a temperature setting of 110F will help gel the adhesive and accelerate the bond.

Why is my laminate cloudy?
Usually this is a result of insufficient heat when laminating with thermal laminates. However on cold laminates, it could be the result of a waterbased adhesive. Solvent based adhesives provide stronger bonds and crisp images.

How can I get adhesive off of my rollers?
While the laminator is still hot, run a sheet of paper through. This will remove any adhesive build up.


Are 3rd party inks okay to use in my printer?
Read&Co. tests all our media with the Manufacturers OEM inks and does not recommend using 3rd party ink sets. Ink is an important part of your printer because it needs to have the viscosity and surface tension necessary to flow easily and reliably through the printhead nozzles, yet dry quickly enough to avoid smudging when it reaches your take-up reel. Although you may save some money on the ink, you will likely find yourself spending more money on printheads due to wrong chemical composition. To ensure trouble free printing, stay with the OEM ink sets.

Should I use Dye or UV inks?
This depends on your application. Dye based inks are preferable if you desire a wider color gamut, but they do not last as long as a UV ink. Although OEM Manufacturers have improved their UV inks, the images will tend to be less crisp looking but, will not fade as fast as a dye ink.