A couple of weeks ago, we kicked off the start of this aqueous vs. dye sub series by looking at resolution and detail.
We started this series to answer the huge amount of questions we’ve received from our customers about how Allure Aqueous Photo Panels compares to dye sublimation transfer to metal.
This week, we will look at how aqueous metal compares to dye sub metal in white point and contrast.
Aqueous vs. Dye Sublimation: White Point and Contrast Showdown
White point is often the most striking difference when comparing Allure Aqueous with dye sublimation metal.
The sublimation process requires metal panels to be placed in a heat press, where they are cooked under pressure at 350-400F, for 70-90 seconds (depending on brand, size, and other factors).
This heat invariably causes the coating to turn more yellow.
The white and/or lightly colored areas of your image are produced by a lack of printer dots, relying on the whiteness of your media. Therefore, nothing can stop the yellowed base from shining through those areas of your print.
As you can see above, the image printed on the aqueous metal (right) clearly looks whiter than the dye sub metal (left).
With Allure Aqueous photo panels, you print directly onto the bright white ink-receptive coating. The white and/or lightly colored areas of your print stay as white as they were out of the box.
Lamination (required for protection) may slightly reduce whiteness, but much less than the sublimation process.
CIE Whiteness Values (W-E313):
- Allure Aqueous With Laminate – 105.83
- Chromaluxe Dye Sub – 76.50
So Why Is White Point Important?
Artists and photographers typically look for a nice, bright white in their prints.
For example, when looking at wedding photography prints, you would want the bride’s dress to look white. The result of that is determined by the media’s white point.
The dress will come out to be a nice white color if the white point is strong, but when the white point is weak, the dress will look very dull.
Not only does white point affect the whites of the image, but it will affect the rest of the colors as well. The vibrancy of the colors is determined by the brightness of the surface you print on.
Breathing Color has been developing and improving our proprietary inkjet coatings for over 15 years. Allure uses some of this same technology, so you can print on this metal and know you will get the highest-quality prints on the market.
- The aqueous print (on the right) was printed with an Epson 9900, with Ultrachrome HDR ink, on Allure Photo Panels
- The dye sublimation print (on the left) was printed with an Epson SureColor F6200 on Chromaluxe Gloss White Aluminum
The stunning black and white photograph used in this article was taken by our friend Marcus Bell at Studio Impressions.
Check out Round 3 of this series, in which we compare interesting findings on profiling and color consistency.
Don’t want to miss it? Just opt in to our blog mailing list and you’ll get a friendly email when Round 3 has been released.
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