301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques

A great book for photographers and digital artists about inkjet printing and printers.
301 Inkjet Tips and Techniques
An Essential Printing Resource for Photographers
By Andrew Darlow
Thomson Course Technology PTR, 2008
ISBN-10: 1-59863-204-3
ISBM-13: 978-1-59863-204-0

This amazing book is aimed squarely at helping photographers with all those issues we have with inkjet printers and getting the results we want.

Divided into sixteen chapters, the first eight contain tips by Andrew and guest artists and photographers write the second eight chapters. Each chapter has a short introduction before getting into the tips. Some chapters are broken up into sections with their own introductions.

Andrew Darlow inkjet printing book review

Contents are:

  • Getting Started
    • Decide Whether Inkjet Is Right For You
    • Using Outside Print Companies
  • File Preparation: An Overview
  • Choosing an Inkjet Printer
  • Color Management
  • Black and White
  • Inkjet Paper, Canvas and Coating
  • Portfolio and Presentation
  • Specific Printer Tips and More
  • Inkjet Paper Tips
    • Using Hahnemuhle’s Photo Rag and Other Coated Watercolor Papers
    • Using Crane’s Museo Silver Rag
    • Printing on Uncoated Fine Art Papers
    • Displaying Work Using Posterhangers
    • Achieving Saturated Color on Art Papers
  • Art Reproduction, Canvas and Finishing
    • Art Reproduction: Image Capture and Color Management
    • Printing on and Coating Canvas
    • Choosing and Coating Inkjet-Compatible Materials
    • Techniques for Hand Coating Canvas
  • Portfolio and Marketing Tips
    • Web Site, Portfolio and Marketing Tips
    • Creating a Commercial Portfolio with Inkjet Prints
    • Making Innovative Promos and Portfolios
    • Making an Advertising Portfolio with Double-Sided Inkjet Paper
  • RIPs, B&W and Color Management
    • Using Qimage for Standard ad Panoramic Printing
    • Printing with the ColorBurst RIP
    • Printing with the ImagePrint RIP
    • Printing with the StudioPrint RIP
    • Using Inkjet Printers as CMYK Proofers
  • Exhibitions, Editioning and Image Tracking
    • Exhibition Tips and Techniques
    • Organizing, Tracking and Documenting Limited Editions
    • File Naming, Image Tracking and Backup
  • Packing, Lighting and Framing
    • Lighting for Exhibitions and Proofing
    • Protecting, Framing and Packing Your Work
    • Lighting a Space Effectively and Efficiently
  • Unique Art Applications
    • Using inkAID to Precoat Nonporous Surfaces for Printing
    • Making 3D Stereo Cards with an Inkjet Printer
    • Creating and Hanging Irregularly Shaped Art Pieces
    • A Close-up Look at Lenticular Imaging
    • Printing on Uncoated Papers Using inkAID Coatings
    • How to Print Over Deckled Edges
  • Additional Tips and Print Permanence
    • Creating an Exhibition Scale Model
    • Creating a Digital Composite
    • Creating a Magnetic Wall for Print Viewing
    • Windows Printing and the Epson Stylus Photo R1800
    • Printing on CDs and DVDs
    • Better Printmaking
    • Doing Your Own Print Permanence Testing
    • “Alphabet Soup” and Standard Cut Paper Sizes

This is a darn good book, with a couple of small issues. The range of coverage is excellent, being both broad enough and yet having enough depth to solve real issues. The way the book is organized makes it easy to either read it from start to finish or dive into it on demand when an issue needs a solution. This later would be my way of using this book.

Andrew’s tips in the first half of the book demonstrate true wisdom and nicely share his experience of printing photography. The section on printer choice will help many people, though the information is of necessity fairly brief and will date quickly (providing a good excuse for a new edition, I guess).

The second half of the book brings in other expertise and nicely extends and rounds out the first section. Andrew has done a good job choosing people for this section who not only know their stuff but also know how to communicate what they know.

There is some really great stuff in this book. I really liked the coverage on portfolios and other promotion items, coverage of coatings and coating techniques and paper and canvas choice. Others will undoubtedly have their own favorite sections based on their own interests.

I do have a few small issues with the book. Many of the tips are very brief and actually form a sequence covering one topic, so I would sometimes count five or six tips in some parts of the book as really only one tip. Because of the two sections, there is some duplication. It is not that big an issue and is, in some ways, an advantage since it extends the perspective. There are also a few tips that could probably have been left out of this book because they are off topic, such as the one on creating a website. But these are all pretty minor. My only significant complaint is that the resource information has to be found on the companion website. Call me old fashioned but I tend to think that at least website addresses and phone numbers should be in the book for the references within tips, with additional information off on the website. Now I can understand why this is an attractive approach and it is probably in practice not that big an issue because you will mostly use this info to go to a company’s website and this way does save you typing. But it means some of the value of the book is lost without the website and it will limit some people.

Despite the above minor issues, this is a great book. The information is appropriate, I’ve noticed no errors of fact and it is beautifully illustrated. The companion website extends the book nicely. Andrew has done a great job choosing the people for the second half of the book and their contributions are great too. The early sections will greatly help people looking to buy their first decent printer or upgrade, while later in the book their printer use is nicely extended with great options and ideas. Obviously it doesn’t cover everything (no book can), but it is a very useful addition to the literature covering this area.

This is a great book to keep near your computer and printer. Highly recommended.

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