Definition of Digital Prints

What is a digital print?

A recent IPI survey of the professionals in the cultural heritage field determined that there is currently no common definition for the term digital print. In fact there are contradictory definitions in use that will ultimately make clear communication difficult to impossible. It is important that the field take responsibility to address the confusion regarding this term.

However, despite the confusion, it is important for IPI to provide clear and consistent definitions for the print types under investigation in this project. While those definitions may not be acceptable to all, they will at least provide a context for users of the site to find, interpret, and utilize the information they individually need.

So, for the purposes of this project, the term digital print will refer to that class of prints created using the most common modern, non-impact printing technologies: inkjet, dye sublimation, and electrophotographic. Pictorial images generated with silver-halide, light-sensitive papers using laser or LED exposure from digital files will also be included. The printed material can include pictorial images, text, line art/graphics or any combination of the three. Printing substrates will be limited to paper (uncoated and coated) or polyethylene laminated papers (also referred to as resin-coated or RC papers).

For more information regarding the variability in definitions for the term digital print, see the following:

What Do You Mean When You Say “Digital Print”?
by Daniel Burge, Douglas Nishimura, and Mirasol Estrada and published in the Society of American Archivist’s Archival Outlook April/May 2009

Read the entire article

Summary of the DP3 Project Survey of Digital Print Experience within Libraries, Archives, and Museums
by Daniel Burge, Douglas Nishimura, and Mirasol Estrada and published in IS&T’s Archiving 2009

Read the entire article