We all have seen colour photos that have faded with the passage of time. It's an unfortunate fact that exposure to light fades color photographs. I find this quite ironic, considering that exposure to light is what created the photographs in the first place. Nevertheless, colour photographs will fade prematurely if they are not displayed or stored properly. The information on this page is intended to give you some guidelines to help you extend the life of your prints for as long as is possible.
All of our fine art prints are produced using digital darkroom techniques. Archival inkjet printing has now evolved to a point where the quality equals (and sometimes betters) that of a traditional silver halide photographic print. All images are printed using Epson Ultrachrome inks on either Epson or Hahnemühle Fine Art archival papers, and have a projected life which exceeds that of Fuji® Crystal Archive Paper (60 years under
normal viewing conditions*), which is arguably the de facto standard for printing material of archive quality.
Under normal viewing conditions*, these prints have an archival life of 75 years, and under dark storage conditions**, better than 200 years.
The following points apply just as much to traditional silver halide prints as they do to any other form of photo printing technology.
The lower the ambient lighting level of your room, the longer your print will last. A print in a moderately-lit room will last much longer than one in a brightly lit room. Do not display your print in direct sunlight - exposure to direct sunlight is the surest way to fade it.
Avoid displaying your print in areas of high heat or humidity. A cool, dry room is better than a hot one with loads of humidity in the air. An air-conditioned room is obviously best.
Avoid displaying your print in a room where the air is polluted. Prolonged exposure to cigarette smoke, cooking fumes, pesticide sprays and other airborne contaminants will reduce the life of your print.
If you're interested in learning more about print permanence, may I recommend this excellent web site:
* Normal Viewing Conditions means that the photo is matted and framed under glass and is displayed under average room lighting conditions.
** Dark StorageConditions means the print is stored in the dark at 23° Celsius and 50% relative humidity.