Looking at Latex: Sustainable Printing

If you were presented with a way to enhance the standards, increase the reliability, and improve the speed in which your products were produced, you’d do it, right? In 2013 Custom Color took the opportunity for better quality, increased reliability and quicker production when we transitioned our roll prints from solvent to latex.

Custom Color Latex Printer

In 2013, within six months of purchasing our first HP 3000, we noticed the  incredible abilities of the printer and we acquired another. In 2016 we purchased an HP 3500 and upgraded our two 3000s. With three HP 3500s and one HP 370, we have the capacity to run 72,000 square feet of vinyl substrate and wallpaper per day. There is no other printer on the market that can match the fidelity, consistency, and speed of the HP 3500.

Latex is a generic chemical term in our Custom Color Dictionary that can scientifically be defined as the “stable dispersion (emulsion) of polymer microparticles in an aqueous medium.” Better explained, latex ink is composed of plastic-like particles of pigment suspended in a water-based solution.

Similarly to the HP 3500, latex ink meets, and oftentimes exceeds, many industry and company-wide standards. We chose to transition to latex ink for these reasons:

High Health and Environmental Performance:

HP Latex inks contain no Hazardous Air Pollutants (HAPs,) are non-flammable and non-combustible, and are nickel free. Because the ink is free from the harsh chemicals that solvent inks present, we are able to produce odorless prints for all environments. This means that the most sensitive spaces, like restaurants and hospitals are free from ink odor. 

The HP latex inks that are used in our four HP printers have qualified for the Ecologo and Greenguard Gold certifications. These inks meet some of the world's most rigorous and comprehensive standards for low chemical indoor emissions – the emissions are so low that special ventilation is not required in our facility. Furthermore, all HP Latex printing supplies and consumables are recyclable.

Meets Custom Color Standards:

Custom Color has almost 50 years of experience in the graphics business – because of this, we have incredibly high standards in terms of quality, reliability and speed. Latex inks provide a wide color gamut, which we certifiably achieve through our G7 Master Qualification.  

Latex ink allows for a higher resolution print – every detail is achieved, regardless of substrate. Since the introduction of latex printing at Custom Color, we have been able to exceed our previous production speeds. Latex ink eliminates the 24-48 hour degasing period – we can now take prints straight from the press to the lamination station to be finished off. Latex ink provides an impressive level of scratch-resistance, which translates to fewer reprints and happier customers.

Our Allegiance to Latex:

The health and environmental performance is superior to that of a solvent printer while the colors and consistency are more reliable. Our HP printers and latex inks produce higher-quality prints in a shorter amount of time, which keeps us providing ink in a blink to the best customers in the business.

See some of the work that is printed on these machines here.