Because we print on silver halide, we print in continuous tone – so we have an automatic advantage over any ink or toner-based system. On top of that, our proprietary print head has revolutionised the entire process by allowing us to print every individual pixel in your image exactly where it should be, and in perfect alignment. Finally, we have a fully colour-managed work-flow, never alter images, and our integrated 32-bit colour management ensures that our colour accuracy is second-to-none. Every single image is individually checked at multiple stages, before being carefully packaged for despatch.
It is that level of care and attention that allows us to stand fully behind the quality and accuracy of our printing.
If you are interested in more detail about how we do it, read on. If not, try us today with your favourite print, and let your eyes see for themselves – seeing is believing!
For high-end colour printing applications, there is a traditional divide between contone and halftone output.
Any ink- or toner-based printer prints using a half-tone process. This was originally developed in the 19th century as a way to reproduce black and white photographs in newspapers. It reduces shades to patterns of dots of different sizes, shapes or spacing which could be printed with a single ink. Halftones simulate continuous tone images by optical illusion: the human eye blends the dots into single tones. Colour halftone printing groups different coloured dots close together to fool the eye into seeing different colours. However, grouping the dots into rosettes is essential to avoid unwanted visual effects like moire patterns, and this ultimately forces compromise.
Continuous tone photographic images on silver halide are different. They contain an infinite range of colours within a very large gamut, and no dot structure. They are produced via a wet chemical process that uses the reaction of light on substances in the photo-sensitive paper to achieve incredibly smooth images. This is wonderful for pictorial graphics and photographs, but historically has had a softness that makes it less successful for text and fine detail. The L.Type print addresses this deficiency through exceptionally sharp imaging – giving us all of the traditional benefits, but with even greater accuracy, gamut and colour fidelity.
A close-up look at sections of the image below clearly shows the difference.
The images above were printed on a leading half-tone printer. Under magnification, the dot and rosette structure is clearly visible – as is the associated loss of detail and colour intensity.
The L.Type images below, however, retain all of the original detail and colour and absolutely no dot structure is visible under the same magnification.
The reason the L.Type print is so good is that every pixel is exactly the correct size, and perfectly positioned, with all colours perfectly aligned, in a manner that practically eliminates interaction with any neighbouring pixel. We describe it as “400 Pixels Per Inch (PPI) true continuous tone". This avoids any softening or blurring of the image, and colour bleed in fine details and reversed text. You cannot make a jigsaw look right if the pieces don’t actually fit together.
The result is the sharpest photo print on silver halide, ever, which also enables the reproduction of fine text and graphics: