New findings to colour changes in prints during long-term dark storage of prints
Parraman, C. (2010) New findings to colour changes in prints during long-term dark storage of prints. In: 4th International Conference on: Preservation and Conservation Issues in Digital Printing and Digital Photography, Institute of Physics, London, 27 – 28 May 2010.
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The most important impact on colour fading in prints is exposure to light and air. However what happens to coloured prints during long-term storage in boxes, drawers and on shelves? In short very little, but changes do occur. Measurements to samples, printed in July 2005 and stored in a range of dark and darkened conditions, have shown some interesting results. As more emphasis is placed on the effects of light, the dark stability of inkjet prints is relatively overlooked when considering how to preserve or store coloured prints. This presentation builds on previous research, which was presented to the 3rd International Conference in 2006 “What happens to prints during storage? To evaluate the whiteness of artists’ enhanced inkjet papers and changes in relation to the fading of ink” [Parraman & Wang]. The original study measured the changes to the whiteness of papers. Prints were stored in different conditions and were monitored over the course of a year. Since 2005, the storage of these prints has continued. This study has concentrated on the changes to colour during storage. With reference to ASTM F2035 - 00(2006) Standard Practice for Measuring the Dark Stability of Ink Jet Prints, the suggestion in the Standards outline, is that whilst natural aging is the most reliable method of assessing image stability, materials and inks and therefore any data produced, quickly becomes redundant. However, for this investigation, the materials are still very much in circulation. The leading fine art papers, and pigmented inksets used in these trials are still employed. We can therefore demonstrate the characteristics of colour changes and the impact of ink on paper that utilises natural aging methods. With the emergence of digital imaging technologies in the 1980s, there followed a desire to print high quality colour images for artists. When Graham Nash and Mac Holbert, of Nash Editions USA, began printing using a Scitex Iris (3047) printer they realised that whilst the Iris technology produced beautiful, rich and dense colour, the dye-based inks were incredibly fugitive. They found that the early inks, if left in daylight for a few hours would fade. This has been an ongoing problem for inkjet technology, and echoed by Henry Wilhelm’s paper How long will it last? An overview of the light-fading stability of inkjet prints and traditional color photographs (Wilhelm, 2002). This is not exclusive to printworks, but the research also considered the wider implications for colour film restoration and thee-dimensional fragile artefacts in museums. The aim is to study a range of traditional and contemporary three-dimensional construction methods to make replicas of original and rare museum artefacts and how these methods can inform the practice and techniques towards the preservation of the artefacts. The aim is to study a range of traditional and contemporary three-dimensional construction methods to make replicas of original and rare museum artefacts and how these methods can inform the practice and techniques towards the preservation of the artefacts. The research has impact for international audience of photographers, conservators, preservation personnel, conservation scientists and the digital printing, ink and paper industries. Conference jointly organised by IOP Printing and Graphics Science Group and Materials and the Arts Research Centre, University of Arts, London, UK.