Digital Printing Insights #7: Media Type Settings


the Media Type selection

Exactly what does the Media Type (or Paper Type in non-Epson drivers) setting control? Most importantly and critically, it determines the amount of ink coverage (or ink density) that the paper will receive (in addition to: drying time between printer head passes; paper thickness; platen gap, and many other variables). The Media Type selection is not something to be taken lightly – the quality of your prints depends greatly upon having made the right selection.

So you’ve got a new inkjet paper that you really like, but it’s made by a third-party vendor (not the same manufacturer as your printer). Naturally, the Epson printer driver Media Type selector (click the image at left for a larger view) does NOT include a media selection for your new inkjet paper since it is non-Epson. So how do you know what media type to choose? Check first with your paper manufacturer’s website. Most not only provide free printer profiles for their papers (more on this below), but they also share other technical specifics; including what media selection should be used in conjunction with their paper. What if they do not suggest a media selection or provide profiles for your printer? Time to start printing and testing! Select the most appropriate match to your media type (for instance, select Matte Paper if you’re printing to a matte paper), and make test prints with each of the specific media choices available under Matte Paper. Allow sufficient time for drying (I suggest 12-24 hours), and carefully analyze the subsequent prints. You’re looking for the most dense ink coverage you can get without any ink bleeding; that is, the inks are not running or bleeding into white border of the paper. The prints should be smooth and ink dots should not be visible to the naked eye. Once you determine which media type gets you there, record it and stick with this setting each time you print.

Now you’ve got your media type dialed in, but the paper manufacturer does not provide a printer profile for you to use. No worries! I create very high-quality and low-cost custom printer/paper profiles and getting one is very easy and fast. Please visit for more information and to order. Please be sure to read the testimonials of my many happy print-making clients.

Thanks for tuning in! If you have any suggestions for future editions of Digital Printing Insights, please let me know!

You are visiting the blog of fine art photographer Michael E. Gordon. For additional photos and information, please visit his official website

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