Wide format printers are designed to cater to different kinds of printing requirements and environments. As different printing applications have unique qualities and requisites, it follows that they require a different wide format printer ink for changing requirements. This is why chemists and product developers create varying ink formulations that cater to the varying needs of users and meet the quality standards like fade resistance, light fastness, outdoor durability, versatility, manageable production costs, and the ability to pint on a wide variety of materials. STS inks carries a long list of wide format printer ink supplies, including HP compatible ink cartridges that you can choose from, depending on your printing requirements. Here, we discuss some of the most common types of ink formulations that are used in wide format printing:


  • Aqueous or water-based inks – These inks come in two varieties: dye and UV inks. Dye-based inks are combined with water when they are applied. When the water evaporates, it leaves the ink behind, resulting in bright colors. However, dye aqueous inks tend to fade quickly under UV rays, which makes them more appropriate for indoor use. They also don’t have waterproofing qualities, which is why they are more ideal for short term promotions. UV inks, on the other hand, can be described like chalk dust suspended in water. The same principle applies (water evaporates, leaving behind the chalk-like dots) to form images. The advantage of UV inks over their dye-based counterparts is that they are a lot more resistant to UV rays, therefore lasting longer even when used outdoors. However, they do not produce colors as brilliant as dye inks do.

  • Solvent inks – Solvent or pigment inks contain dyes, but instead of being mixed with water, they make use of relatively inexpensive volatile organic compounds that are flexible on different kinds of surfaces. They offer advantages like UV resistance, durability, and waterproof outputs.

  • Latex inks –Latex inks are relatively new developments that offer great advantages in terms of adhesion to various types of unconventional surfaces like vinyl. Latex inks offer many of the same advantages as solvent inks, without the volatile, toxic chemicals.

  • UV-cured inks – As the name suggests, UV-cured inks require curing through UV-light exposure. The advantage of using UV-cured inks is that they dry very quickly, which makes them very appealing to printers that require quick mass production. They also adhere to different surfaces, but can be expensive especially when used for color printing. That’s why purchasing compatible inks from STS limits operational costs for all of the above ink types (www.stsinks.com).