FAQs

GALERIE Desktop Sheets FAQ’s

My printer doesn't print
Check that everything is turned on and that all the cables are attached correctly, if possible use the driver to perform a communication test with the printer. Try printing a test page from the driver. If all of this works then try printing using a different application eg a word processing package to check the printer/computer communication. If all of this is OK then try printing a small image to the printer (most packages have tutorial or sample images which are small files), if this is OK then it may be that the file was large and was just taking a long time to process.
It takes a long time before it prints
Photo images and graphics can be very large files and therefore take longer to process, be patient and see if it works eventually. If it is just slow then this might indicate that you need more memory, or that you are running low on disk space. Trying to do other tasks in parallel will slow the machine down as well.
Edges look jagged
If the resolution of the file is too low or the enlargement too great then this can lead to “jaggies”, these are where the individual pixels of the image become visible and are especially obvious in curved parts of text that have been over-enlarged.
The image is too dark
This could be because the original image is very dark, either change this in the application or use the controls of the driver to try to lighten the image. When scanning an image, try to use the white and black point controls to set the range of light and dark for the image. If it doesn’t look like the screen then this may be because your screen is not calibrated. Several tools exist to help set up the monitor, these are often shipped either with the image application or with the graphics card.
The image is too light
This could be because the original image is very light, either change this in the application or use the controls of the driver to try to readjust the image. When scanning an image, try to use the white and black point controls to set the range of light and dark for the image. If it doesn’t look like the screen then this may be because your screen is not calibrated. Several tools exist to help set up the monitor, these are often shipped either with the image application or with the graphics card.
The paper won't load into the printer
Check that the driver is not set to manual loading, then make sure that the paper is not damaged in any way and is flat. Also check that there is nothing obstructing the paper entering the the printer such as tears, and ensure that the paper is correctly positioned in the media tray. Try feeding the paper manually, one sheet at a time or using a different media tray.
The printer loads more than one sheet at once
Try putting fewer sheets in the tray and fanning them before loading them. If this fails then try loading them manually one sheet at a time.
The media takes too long to dry
The time taken for a print to dry depends on several factors. The amount of ink printed which in turn depends on the density of the image. Photo and graphic type images use much more ink than text and documents normally do. The temperature of the room, the humidity of the room and the amount of air movement also play an important role in determining how long a print needs to dry. For the best results carefully remove the print from the printer once it has finished printing and place it flat in a warm dry environment with good air circulation.
Sheets stick together when they collect in the output tray of the printer
Try to avoid having multiple prints landing on each other, remove the print once finished and place it elsewhere to dry.
The image is not the right colour
This can have many origins: the colour of the print may well not match that of the screen or the original unless great care has been taken to calibrate each element of the system. The colour of an image can be corrected either in the imaging application or in the printer driver. Take small steps and remember them for next time. If you have several images from the same source, eg camera, scanner or CD, then they are likely to all have the same characteristics.
After a while the image looks like its has a metallic sheen in dark areas
This is related to the conditions in which the print is made and to the way the ink is absorbed into the media. “Bronzing”, as it is often refered to, can be limited by reducing the amount of black in the image. How easy this is to achieve will depend on the imaging application you are running.
The shadow areas look grainy but the rest of the print is okay
This effect, often referred to as “coalescence”, is related to the way in which the ink is absorbed into the media. Several things can be done to reduce it, the most important is to choose the correct print mode in the printer driver. In general terms the highest quality settings available will give the best results. Choose the highest resolution possible and the finest drop size possible. Choose the highest quality media such as Glossy Film (not transparency film). Choose the best dither method such as error diffusion (for Epson use super microweave if it is available).
Are your photo papers acid free?
The term ‘acid-free’ relates to a library standard (ANSI Z39.48-1992 or ISO 11789) for uncoated paper and is used in reference to long term document storage. The term cannot be applied to resin-coated papers where the stability is mainly given by the polyethylene layers. While ILFORD RC papers meet the folding and tearing criteria of the standard, the base paper is not always alkaline. However the acidity of the paper pulp in an RC paper base does not have an impact on the long term storage of the image itself, due to the polyethylene layer in between image and paper. The inkjet receiving layer has to be slightly acidic to be compatible with inkjet inks.

GALERIE Desktop Sheets FAQ’s

Why is the quality of my prints poor?
Check the condition of the printer, is it working correctly, run a test print on a known image. Check the settings used are those recommended for the media. Check the file is of suitable size, is it over-enlarged for the data it contains?
My prints show banding - What's the cause?
Banding can come in many forms, horizontal (direction of print head), vertical (direction of paper travel), micro, etc. In general, bands are a result of the printing mechanics failing to place the ink on the paper evenly. The type of bands you are seeing will give you clues as to what part of the mechanical printing process is failing. Horizontal banding can indicate a print head alignment problem. To cure this run the print head alignment procedure as indicated in the printer manual. It may also be due to a blocked nozzle. Try a print head clean from the printer driver. Vertical banding may be caused by the printer performance and by the environmental conditions. Banding may be indicative of too low humidity. To correct this, the humidity needs to be raised so that it falls within the media manufacturer’s specifications.
What is an ICC Profile?
An ICC profile is a file that describes how a scanner, monitor or printer reproduces colour. These profiles are called “Device specific” profiles.
What does ICC mean?
ICC stands for International Colour Consortium.
Why do I need a profile?
You need a profile in order to use ICC colour management. A profile can help to provide the best colour reproduction. An ICC workflow can help increase consistency.
What is a custom profile?
A custom profile is a profile created on your device. The custom profile will take into account the ink, media, printer and local conditions.
What is an generic ICC profile?
A generic ICC profile describes a colour space for a printer, ink and media combination but is not specific to any one particular device. A generic ICC profile can be used in place of a custom ICC profile when a custom ICC profile is not available. The results are never as accurate as those achieved when a custom ICC profile is used.
What is the difference between water, oil and solvent based inks?
All three liquids act as a carrier of a dye or pigment onto a given substrate. The printer’s jetting system regulates the types of inks that can be used, e.g. Thermal Ink Jet- water-based only, Piezo Ink Jet- water, oil, solvent, etc.. Specific substrates are required for different inks as well; Coated- water & oil, Un-coated- solvent. ILFORD media are designed for use with aqueous (water based) inks – either dye or pigmented.
When should I use dye-based or pigment-based inks?
Dye-based inks are usually used for indoor graphics. They incorporate soluble organic colourants that produce outstanding colour saturation but are not generally waterproof and can fade quickly in direct sunlight. Pigment-based inks use insoluble colourants and are generally more light stable than dye inks. They are highly resistant to fading but, depending on the brand of inks used, may offer slightly muted colours. Pigment-based inks are highly water resistant and may last longer.
What affects drying?
There are many factors that affect the drying of a media; amongst these are the ink load, the relative humidity, ventilation, media and ink used.
What does ink load mean?
Ink load is the total amount of ink being placed at any one point on the media. For example: with 50% cyan, 40% magenta, 90% yellow, and 100% black ink on the paper, all at the same time in the same place, the ink load would be the total of these values added together, or 280%.
How can I control ink load?
Ink load can be controlled by the choice of media in the printer driver. ILFORD provides recommendations for the correct media to choose. Ink load can also be changed by adjusting the original image file.
How long will my images last?
The number of variables that impact on image stability are staggering. Without specific testing under controlled conditions, it is impossible to know for sure how long any printed image will last. Even when accelerated fade tests are performed, these tests can only reveal relative comparative data. Fade tests help us to make an educated guess as to how one combination of products compares to another under a strict set of rules. The main factor in ink fading is light intensity, other causes are as follows:
High humidity
High temperatures
Chemicals, such as over sprays, mounting adhesives, and self-adhesive tape.
What can I do to maximise image life?
Use a high quality ink, ILFORD test using original manufacturer’s inks. Protect the print either with a laminate, by framing or some other means. Laminate your prints with a good quality laminate.
When can I laminate?
When the prints are clean and dry. Drying time will vary depending upon ink load, media and environmental conditions. As a general rule most prints will be completely dry in 24 hours.
What happens if you laminate too soon?
The laminate may trap moisture in the image layer causing accelerated fading. In some cases the laminate may not stick to the media causing bubbles and de-lamination.
How should I store my media?
Paper should be stored in a controlled environment with 40% to 60% relative humidity at a comfortable room temperature, 15-21°C. ILFORD recommend storing unused media in its original packaging.
Are your photo papers acid free?
The term ‘acid-free’ relates to a library standard (ANSI Z39.48-1992 or ISO 11789) for uncoated paper and is used in reference to long term document storage. The term cannot be applied to resin-coated papers where the stability is mainly given by the polyethylene layers. While ILFORD RC papers meet the folding and tearing criteria of the standard, the base paper is not always alkaline. However the acidity of the paper pulp in an RC paper base does not have an impact on the long term storage of the image itself, due to the polyethylene layer in between image and paper. The inkjet receiving layer has to be slightly acidic to be compatible with inkjet inks.

OMNIJET Media FAQ’s

What is a linearisation?
Linearisation is a calibration process that helps to counteract variability. This makes output on a device consistent, and repeatable. The reproduction curve is modified during a linearisation process to bring the output results back to a known point.
How do I linearise?
The exact procedure you use to linearise your device will depend on the RIP or printer driver you are using. In general, a target file generated by the RIP/output software is printed. The resulting print will have step wedge ramps from each of the output devices primary colours. The patches on the print are read into the computer using a measuring device like a spectrophotometer, densitometer, or colourimeter. The quality of the measuring device has a big impact on the accuracy of the readings used for the linearisation. Once the readings are in the software, a mathematical correction is made to the reproduction curve of the device. These corrections should bring the printer back to a known state.
Why do I need to linearise?
To correct color shifts and ink loads caused by environmental factors like temperature and humidity.
How often do I need to linearise?
On a properly maintained printer you should linearise after cleaning, or changing the cartridges, changing the media, or changing the print settings.
Why are my cartridges failing?
There are a lot of factors that can cause premature failure of an ink cartridge. This will depend on the technology of the printer, Piezo, thermal, etc. and elements that impact its life. Some of these elements include, abrasion, temperature, voltage, humidity, pH of the inks, viscosity of the inks, and drying characteristics of the inks, dust and contamination. Ink can also dry in the jets of the print head causing a blocked jet. This will normally happen if the printer is not used for long periods of time. It is suggested that you run a small print or prime the printer at least several times a day to avoid this problem.
My prints show banding - What's the cause?
Banding can come in many forms, horizontal (direction of print head), vertical (direction of paper travel), micro, etc. In general, bands are a result of the printing mechanics failing to place the ink on the paper evenly. The type of bands you are seeing will give you clues as to what part of the mechanical printing process is breaking down. Horizontal banding can indicate a print head alignment problem. To cure this run the print head alignment procedure as indicated in the printer manual. Vertical banding may be caused by an environmental condition. If the humidity is low the media may cockle during printing, this can cause the media to be closer to the print head where there is a high ink load. This will result in low density banding. To correct this, the humidity needs to be raised so that it falls within the media manufacture’s specifications.
What is an ICC Profile?
An ICC profile is a file that describes how a scanner, monitor or printer reproduces colour. These profiles are called “Device specific”.
What does ICC mean?
ICC stands for International Colour Consortium.
Why do I need a profile?
You need a profile in order to use ICC colour management. When a custom ICC colour profile is properly implemented ICC colour management will provide the best possible reproduction when trying to match the original.
What is a custom profile?
A custom profile is a profile created on your device. The custom profile will take into account the ink, media, printer and RIP you use to generate the profile.
What is an generic ICC profile?
A generic ICC profile describes a colour space that is not specific to any one particular device. A generic ICC profile can be used in place of a custom ICC profile when a custom ICC profile is not available. The results are never as accurate as what can be achieved when a custom ICC profile is used.
What is the difference between a thermal ink jet printer and a Piezo ink jet printer?
Thermal ink jet printers use water based inks that are pumped through a disposable jetting system (a cartridge) by boiling the ink above a specific nozzle onto coated substrates. Printers using Piezo technology have a permanent jetting system that uses vibrating crystals to pump a variety of liquids, such as water, oil or solvent based inks, onto coated and un-coated substrates.
What is the difference between water, oil and solvent based inks?
All three liquids act as a carrier of a dye or pigment onto a given substrate. The jetting system regulates the types of inks that can be used, e.g. Thermal Ink Jet- water-based only, Piezo Ink Jet- water, oil, solvent, etc.. Specific substrates are required for different inks as well; Coated- water & oil, Un-coated- solvent.
When should I use dye-based or pigment-based inks?
Dye-based inks are usually used for indoor graphics. They incorporate soluble organic colourants that produce outstanding colour saturation but are not generally waterproof and can fade quickly in direct sunlight. Pigment-based inks use insoluble colourants that can be used for outdoor as well as indoor graphics. They are highly resistant to fading but, depending on the brand of inks used, may offer slightly muted colours. Pigment-based inks are highly water resistant and may last indoors, for many generations.