Seiko Instruments USA, Inc.

Wide-Format Prints May Not Be as Lightfast as You Think According to a New White Paper from Seiko

Seiko Instruments USA (SIU) has published a comprehensive lightfast study of wide-format printer inks including Hewlett Packard Latex inks, Epson GS inks, Seiko I Infotech ColorPainter low-solvent GX inks, and the new ColorPainter HAPs-Free IX inks. This study was conducted to provide digital printers, sign shops, screen printers, custom vehicle restylers (car wraps), and fleet graphics producers scientific data about the longevity of their prints from popular wide-format color inkjet printers.

The lightfast testing of 4 leading wide-format printer inks show that some ink color densities decay (fade) as much as 94 percent in 18 months, while others decay very slowly – only three percent in 18 months. "While many printer manufacturers promote their inks and prints as lasting up to three to five years outdoors, this test data clearly shows that for long-term outdoor graphics, some of these inks simply may not last that long," explains Pat Ryan, General Manager of Seiko Instruments USA – Infotech Division. "Customers using these printers and inks may be at risk for customer replacement claims in the future if they over-promote the output's actual outdoor performance in sunlight and near-window applications. It is important for everyone in our industry to understand and know how long various inks last under various conditions, so they can use this information when comparing printers. By publishing our lightfast test results, we are helping customers and potential customers make better purchasing decisions using scientific data instead of relying on unsubstantiated sales claims."

This new data is included in a white paper that identifies 23 reasons why the ColorPainter W-64s may be a better printer than the HP Latex printer for companies producing outdoor graphics such as signs, banners, backlit films and fleet graphics. The white paper includes comparisons of important print metrics such as color gamut, ink lightfastness, gloss levels, print-to-print color consistency, print speeds, ink usage, print head replacement rates, and overall running costs.

Interested parties can receive a copy of the white paper electronically, or by traditional mail by contacting Seiko Instruments USA directly at Additionally, the white paper, "Why The ColorPainter W-64s Is A Better Choice Than The Hewlett-Packard Latex For Outdoor Graphics", can be downloaded directly from via this link.