How to make your artwork last FOREVER!

by Tamara Brooks April 22, 2014

Long Distance Love Map GiftOk, not FOREVER but a really long time. How to make your artwork last until you have grankids!

When I had my first son I printed a whole slew of his baby photos and put them in some cute & cheap Ikea 4x6” frames. Within one year the matting which came with the frame was all yellow and gross looking. I wondered why? I’d spent all that time and now it felt like a waste. I turned to a photographer friend and learned from her what makes the paper yellow and how to make sure it never happened again!

Have you ever wondered why your artwork isn’t as beautiful as it once was? Keepsakes like wedding art prints, family photos and commemorative artworks should always be printed with archival inks & paper.

So, Why Do Art Prints Fade and Go Yellow?

The reason some of your prints may become yellow and/or fade is usually due to the media your image is printed on and the type of ink used. Most prints are on paper, and paper is made from tree cellulose (Yes, I still don’t really know WHAT that means exactly but I just wanted to share the facts). Here are some of the most common reasons prints on paper using common inks begin to fade and turn yellow:

  • AIR: When cellulose comes into contact with acids in the air, the yellowing process begins.
  • SUNGLIGHT: Ultraviolet light breaks down the molecules of inks used in regular printers.
  • HUMIDITY: An imbalance of humidity in the air can affect the prints as well – too much moisture may create an environment where the print attracts bacteria and too little causes the cellulose to break down.
  • TEMPERATURE: The temperature the print is kept in can also cause the destruction of the media – both too hot or too cold. A good rule of thumb is to keep it within the 20 degree fluctuation range . SO, if you’re living in a hot area like Southern California you may want to keep the air conditioning on slightly on those hot, hot days!

Native Feathers Art PrintSo, you want to know more about my archival printing & how I do it?

A professional printer like myself will use archival paper and archival ink. However, more and more people are discovering the value of archival prints every day. When you have images printed on archival paper with archival ink, you can count on them looking as vibrant to your great-great grandchildren as they do the day you create them.

Archival paper and ink are specially made with preservation in mind. They naturally resist fading and are more durable across the spectrum. Due to the unique process in which archival papers and inks are made, they have been scientifically proven to have little to no fading for 200 years. Nautical Blue Bathroom Art Prints

The only downside is special paper and special ink requires a special printer. BespokePrints.com use the Epson Stylus Photo R2000 Inkjet Printer, which yields beautiful archival prints with an unprecedented glossy look and feel.

I know how important these artworks are and to keep them safe please try to keep them out of direct sunlight! It’ll help them stay vibrant and alive for as long as possible.




Tamara Brooks
Tamara Brooks

Author




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