Ink facts made easy

Pigmented ink and dye-based ink – what’s the difference?
Knowing the type of ink a printer uses will help you make a smarter decision when shopping for one. Let’s take a moment to learn the difference between pigmented inks and dye-based inks and how they will affect the longevity of your prints.
Paper type
When it comes to print life, paper type (porous for everyday prints, or swellable for photos) is as important as the ink.
Dye-based inks with porous paper – you can make a quick print that dries fast, but the quality isn’t good.
Dye-based inks with swellable paper – you can make a longer lasting photo, but it’ll take longer to print, and you’ll need to wait up to a week for it to dry.
With dye-based inks, you have to compromise quality. And deciding what type of paper to buy takes the ease out of printing at home.
Pigmented inks can be used with any kind of paper and still print fast, without having to sacrifice quality.
Dye-based inks are absorbed into a paper’s fibers.
Pigmented inks are made up of tiny, encapsulated particles that sit on top of the paper.
Fade resistance
The molecules in dye-based inks are spread out – similar to sand covering a beach. Because of this, dye-based inks fade quicker, since all of the molecules are exposed to the chemical and sunlight-caused reactions that fade the ink.
Pigment particles are similar to large pebbles on a beach. It is much more difficult for sunlight and chemicals to react with all of the pigment molecules, since most of them are hidden inside the "pebbles". That makes pigmented inks perfect for archival print life and color stability. They can last more than 100 years on some paper types under ideal display conditions.
Water resistance
The dye in dye-based inks dissolves in water like sugar does in water – completely. So if drops of water hit the paper, the dye will re-dissolve and the ink will flow across the paper.
Pigmented inks do not dissolve completely – like flour in water. They tend to settle on the tiny fibers that make up the paper. As the ink dries, the pigment particles get stuck on the fibers, making pigmented inks more water resistant than dye-based inks.
The KODAK Printer Ink advantage
Kodak has put a lot of thought into how to make the printing experience at home much better. That’s why Kodak uses pigmented inks. Each of these color cartridges contains five inks that can be used for documents and photos. And the exceptionally small size of the pigments accounts for a color gamut that far exceeds dye-based inks, so the colors you get with Kodak are much richer and brighter. Plus, pigmented inks can be used with any kind of paper.
Pigmented inks print fast, dry instantly, and last forever. So with Kodak you don’t need to make a choice between fast prints and high-quality, long lasting prints. With Kodak, you get it all. And best of all, it won’t cost you a fortune. With KODAK Ink Cartridges, you save up to 50% on everything you print compared to similar consumer inkjet printers.*
* Savings based on home printing of documents and photos using average ink costs of comparable consumer inkjet printers. Actual results may vary. For more information, click here for details.