At HappyMoose, we use two kinds of different printers; each has a distinct property on print quality and cost. If you have a specific result in mind, getting to know them both well will give you the chance to have better control of the outcomes.
Digital press printing:
Think the digital press printing as a glorified desktop printer. It has four colours and it takes sheet paper. Yes, the ink cartridge might be bigger, yes the sheet paper might be larger, but it's just a bigger laser printer.
With a laser printer, the prints will be a lot more affordable. But the colour will not as vibrant or rich. Also, because we print onto heavy card stock, the image will not as bright as what you might see on a computer or phone screen. Before you upload, take a look at your images with your screen brightness turned down to about 50%. This will help you get a better idea of how the print will turn out, and from there you can adjust the brightness of your images accordingly.
Most of our products are printed on uncoated, textured matte paper. This means ink will soak into the paper a bit differently than it will on a traditional glossy photo – for example, shadows will be more pronounced, and neons may not pop quite as much. It’s different, but we’re big fans, and we think you will be too!
We use digital press printing for Polaroids, Moments and Sample Prints. We are looking to migrate Calendar Prints and any card based products on this shortly. For all the rest products, we use our inkjet printer.
On inkjet printing
We use Inkjet printing for all the rest products. It's slower, more expensive but the quality is the best of the best. Inkjet printing uses pigment-based ink rather than dye-based ink, which means it can print a wide range of colours in 12 different inks.
Inkjet printing takes much longer than digital press printing, but is incredibly precise – colours and resolution can stay accurate and brilliant at larger sizes (up to 24x60), meaning those large wall prints will still look amazing!
When uploading an image for print, you’ll want to keep in mind that as you go up in size, you’ll begin to see a small loss of quality. Most phones and cameras aren’t capable of capturing images at large sizes like 24x40 or 24x60, so blurriness will likely appear in prints of that size.
But here’s the good news – when you hang your print, friends and family probably won’t be inspecting it up close like they would a book. Instead, they’ll be viewing it from farther away, so that blur will likely not be noticed.
Our inkjet is a roll-feed machine, which means that it prints onto paper coming out from a roll. So if you find your large prints are slightly curled, that's why. In fact, if you receive a large format printer that's not curling, I'd bet that they are not being printed on an inkjet.
Here is a quick video showing you a free and simple way to de-curl your print.