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10 Tips For Better Printing On Vellum, Transparencies And More

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Printing on vellum or transparencies can be tricky and frustrating. Below are some tips and pointers that will help you out. These are based on a tip submitted by user Scraperfect.


TIP 1: Try printing on transparency setting as this puts out a lot less ink. 

DRAWBACK: The printing will not be perfect, bold or crisp, and the ink may still dry slowly.


TIP 2: Use vellum made specifically for inkjet printers or office supply vellum which often prints fairly well.

DRAWBACK: Inkjet vellum can only be made in plain pearl, embossed, or metallic coating. No sparkle! Also, inkjet vellum tends to be more expensive and still takes a long time to dry.


TIP 3: Use the "right side" of the vellum. If you can find a less shiny side, use it. 

DRAWBACK: You will probably be frustrated trying to find that side and waste a good deal of vellum in the process.


TIP 4: Don't use big, wide fonts as thinner lines won't show the resisting as much.

DRAWBACK: If you want big, bold fonts for your title, who wants to compromise?


TIP 5: Since the ink will smear when it's wet, don’t touch it until it is totally dry or use embossing powder and a heat gun.

DRAWBACK: Waiting to use your vellum--sometimes for hours or days--can be a drag. And while embossing can be attractive, who wants to have to do this every time you print on vellum?


TIP 6: Buy markers specifically made for vellum and stamp ink specifically designed to stick to more difficult surfaces

DRAWBACK: Buying additional special inks and markers can be costly, and your storage space may be limited.


TIP 7: Buy pre-printed vellum, transparency film, ribbon and twill tape.

DRAWBACK: Pre-printed supplies are expensive, aren’t personalized, and when you buy packs of quotes, you may find some you love and throw away the rest (or forever store them).


TIP 8: Buy inkjet transparency film for printing on.

DRAWBACK: Inkjet transparencies may not be acid-free and the ones that are may be expensive and difficult to find. (While Polyester film, such as film negatives and ‘write-on’ transparencies are acid free and archivally safe, most ink jet transparencies are treated with acid to make the matte surface and are not acid free. If archival safety is important to you, make sure the inkjet film specifies archivally-safe.


TIP 9: Buy shrink plastic specifically made for inkjet printers or use sand paper to rough up the surface so the ink adheres better.

DRAWBACK: Inkjet shrink plastic may be less commonly available and more expensive. You may already have non-inkjet shrink plastic in your child’s supplies and while sanding helps, the surface may still resist the ink.


TIP 10: Avoid using mulberry paper, shiny holographic papers, cool acrylic-coated, flocked papers, other specialty papers, clay and wood for backgrounds. Don’t try to print on these materials.

DRAWBACK: Limiting your usage means you’ll have fewer opportunities to use these cool materials.

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