Are Digitally Printed Canvases Outliving Paper Prints?

Are Digitally Printed Canvases Outliving Paper Prints?

You may have noticed hospital artwork that has faded over time. In 2003, when DAS first began working in the healthcare art field, most hospital art programs included framed, museum quality published art, which over five to seven years often fades to blue due to 24/7 exposure to bright fluorescent lights.

 

For the past eight to ten years, art printed on canvas has become a steady component of healthcare art programs as stretched canvases rather than traditional frames offer cost effective options that provide larger scale images with more impact.  With many printer inks being sold as 100-year inks we have all been hopeful that these new inks will extend the life expectancy of printed artwork.  While we’ve trusted that the 100-year printer inks will improve both ink quality and longevity, the inks have not been around long enough to stand the test of time.

Installed-5-year-Canvas-print-with-non-fade-inks
Left: Canvas Print with Non Fade Inks; Middle: Published Print with Fading; Right: Canvas Print with Non Fade Inks

 

Recently DAS had the opportunity to compare how the performance of printed framed published art from an art publisher, compared to the performance of same sized artwork printed on canvas with 100-year inks as they hung side by side for four years under the same lighting conditions. The framed published artwork had begun to fade to blue. While the entire print had not yet turned blue, it was no longer full color spectrum as it once was.  The nearby canvas prints showed no visible sign of fading.  They were as vivid as the day they were hung four years ago.  So, healthcare art is looking better and lasting longer thanks to the combination of today’s LED healthcare lighting being less intense than its fluorescent forerunner and the 100-year inks available for printing.