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Inkjet prints are photographs produced by a machine that sprays liquid ink on to a material to create an image from a digital file. Many photographers choose a professionally produced photography paper, matte or glossy, to create the desired effect when printed. Though serious collectors initially preferred traditional printing methods to machines, the technology of inkjet prints has improved tremendously since their inception in the late 20th century.
The technology caught on quickly, and professional studios were widely offering inkjet prints by the 1990s. Smaller machines for home printing were introduced in 1994, allowing the public to print their own photographs. Inkjet printing was used more commonly for commercial purposes, such as office use or mass-produced magazines. Though initially seen as commercial or amateur, many fine art galleries now include inkjet prints, as the quality of the machine as well as papers and pigment inks is now archival.
One of the most important machines in the history of inkjet printer is the Iris Graphics printer, assimilated for use by professional photographers in the 1990s. The IRIS printer is capable of printing high-resolution images on various types of paper, and helped to advance inkjet prints to a fine art medium.
The highest quality inkjet printers will use a pigmented rather than a dye-based ink, where the color particles do not dissolve completely. The resulting images have lasting color quality as the particles settle within
Artist Campbell Laird exploits and celebrates the inconsistencies and glitches that can result in digital printing. He prints over the same image with an inkjet printer, adjusting the digital image using computer software as he goes
In the late 1990s, artists began exploring inkjet printing for fine art purposes. Termed glitch art, this subset of artistic output aims to further inkjet prints as a legitimate artistic medium