While almost any porous surface that is flat enough can be run through an ink-jet printer, including off-the-shelf papers made for printmaking and watercolor, results are usually less than satisfactory with the resulting image dull, faint or blurry. For the most part this is caused by the substrate being overly absorbent, with no way to encapsulate or prevent the ink from spreading outward or penetrating too far into the surface.
Conversely, on non-porous materials like acetate, plastic and metal, the inks readily pool up, run, and are easily smeared by both the printer mechanism and subsequent handling. In order to combat these problems and achieve the desired richness of color and detail, each droplet of ink somehow needs to be kept distinct and held in place by the substrate.
This is perhaps the major function and benefit of applying an ink-jet receptive coating. GOLDEN’s three Digital Grounds not only have the potential to extend the languages of printmaking, photography and painting in significant ways, but they liberate digital imagery from the flatland prison of pre-coated papers and canvases.
Digital Ground for Non-Porous Surfaces is similar to the Clear described above but optimized for increased adhesion and performance on non-porous surfaces such as aluminum or plastic. We do not recommend using the Digital Ground for Non-Porous Surfaces on a desktop printer unless the printer’s ‘pizza wheels’ or ejection rollers have been removed.