The importance of paper properties in digital colour printing

University dissertation from Institutionen för teknik och naturvetenskap

Abstract: The fast development of digital printing technology has created new possibilities to produce printed material. With office and desktop devices, printing has become a routine in offices as well as at home. The advancement of digital cameras and Internet has further accelerated the use of digital printing technology as well ass prompt the increased use of colour. In the Graphical Art Industry, digital printing has simplified the process by eliminating intermediate steps between document design and print. Moreover, with the possibility of continuously changing the print image, digital printing has created new applications and new business opportunities such as variable data printing and print on demand. Additionally, in a time when the demand of quick easy accessible and updated information continuously increases, digital printing is the link between traditional printed media and electronic media with the possibility of combining the advantages of both. Today, digital colour printing is quickly increasing and the print quality is comparable and some times even superior to traditional printing methods. However, the final print quality is to a high degree determined by physical paper properties and the interaction between paper and ink. In addition, accurate colour reproduction is one of the most important and most challenging parameters in printing. Small colour differences may blemish the visual impression of a printed image that in all other respect is of high quality. Part of this work has focused on finding and quantifying the most influencing paper properties on colour reproduction. Moreover have the attributes of a printed image that have the largest effect on the perceived colour rendition quality been determined. Furthermore, paper makers are spending large efforts on improving the paper properties of their products but in the end there might be poorly performed colour management that limit the performance. In many cases improved colour management could be more beneficial than improving the paper. This work has identified the paper properties with the largest influence on ICC profile data as well as provides evidence for the importance of including the paper in the characterisation of a printing system.

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