Inkpress Inkjet Papers

In olden times printmakers toiling in the darkroom had a fair sampling of paper surfaces from which to choose, as well as paper "tones" that ranged from warm to cool, depending on the paper characteristics modified by the developer used. Alas, those days are past, with less and less surfaces available. Now, however, the choice in paper surfaces and weights has returned, albeit in the form of inkjet papers for output using both pigment and dye based inks. Today, the proliferation of inkjet paper brands speaks to the growing market for these products and provides the photographer with perhaps even more possibilities than even was available in the heyday of the chemical darkroom arts.

There are numerous issues that concern today's inkjet printer and that should play a part in making paper-buying decisions. There's the weight, feel and defined surface of the paper, the way it accepts ink, whether it is waterproof or not, the archival quality of that paper (even with various types of ink) and, last on our list but not least important, the price per sheet. In addition, printmakers need to know the proper "profile" to apply when making prints, the handshake between the image editing program and the specific ink, paper and printer used.

A fairly new player in this field is a company called Inkpress. Working hand in hand with professional photographers on one end and paper makers on the other, the company has come to market with a line of papers they feel will specifically address the needs of photographic inkjet printmakers with a variety of surfaces and weights. The company emphasizes that all their papers are "archival", which they define as being acid- and lignin-free. Plus, they have reduced and in some cases eliminated the use of brighteners to enhance the look of the papers. Dubbing them "universal media", the company also states that all their papers are waterproof. Perhaps most interesting, the company states that their papers, even with quality attributes that put them in direct competition with the higher-end papers of competitors, will sell for up to 40% less than similar papers from perhaps more recognizable brand names.

The full selection of their papers can be found on their web site, at The web site also provides very helpful hints on applying profiles to numerous printers, including Epson, 2200, 1280 and R-series, Canon's i-series and the Epson 7600-9600. It provides a quick and easy method of applying profiles and how to load them into your system. To get the profile just click on Products, select the paper and then scroll down for a choice of custom profiles. For those who choose not to go this route the site also suggests generic settings with certain printers, concentrating on the Epson 2200. It also gives helpful hints on print dialog settings for the best results.

The full selection of papers, including photo type and art type papers, both single and double-sided, are sold through retailers and resellers. We especially liked the Photo Rag in bright white, with a warmtone version available as well, and the Velvet Extreme, a 40 mil stock that sells for a very competitive price.

Check their web site for outlets.