Solvent, UV, or Latex…

Solvent, UV, or Latex…

Which wide format printing technology is best for you?

We have helped G-Tec customers find their perfect printing fit for years, let 

us help you too with our expert guide…


This digital technology has been on the market for years, and most of the inks 

you can now buy are the children – or grandchildren – of the first generation s

olvent ink sets.

Solvent is still being tweaked and improved to provide the most long-lasting, 

durable print quality.

It works well for vehicle wrapping because the ink keys to cast vinyl keeping the ‘

stretch’ factor needed.

Customers love:

The huge colour range

The colour vibrancy

The print quality

Print stays glossy on glossy media

Print stays flat on a matte finish

Customers should consider:

Although the latest generation solvent inks have a less ‘chemical’ smell, 

compared to UV and Latex there is still a solvent odour. This means the print 

media needs time to ‘gas off’ to let the solvents evaporate.

This process can take up to 12 hours. So, if the print job requires lamination, 

Solvent can add an extra day to your schedule.


UV technology cures ink onto the print media using ultra-violet light. It’s a 

popular choice for flatbed direct printing. As the UV light unit passes over the UV 

ink, the effect is instant, with only minimal heat transfer from the lamp meaning 

no vinyl shrinkage.

UV inks are easy to use on roll-to-roll machines to create window graphics and 


Customers love:

The strong bond quality

No smell – No need to ‘gas off’

Cost-effective white ink options

Customers should consider:

Potential lack of colour vibrancy compared Solvent inks.

UV inks are not as stretchy as Solvent, so may not be the perfect choice for 

vehicle wrapping.

UV inks do not penetrate the substrate – they sit on top. Depending on the level of 

inks used, UV options can result in an uneven finish. This can then mean a high-

coat weight laminate is required to finish the product.


Hewlett Packard first brought Latex inks to the market more than 20 years ago, 

and they remain a popular choice because they have lower running costs than 

Solvent inks.

Like UV inks, Latex options cure instantly and with no odour to ‘gas off’ media 

can be finished and laminated immediately.

With the current need to consider eco-friendly products, Latex can be an 

environmentally conscious choice because the ink’s water-based technology has

the ‘green cred’ that the other options lack.

Customers love:

No smell – No need to ‘gas off’

Instant drying

Cost-effective choice

Customers should consider:

Latex cannot match the colour vibrancy of Solvent.

Latex cannot match the stretch quality of Solvent.

Latex does not offer a white ink option.

Lack of integrated print and cut Latex machines – so Latex inks are not an option 

for customers who need stickers and decals.

Solvent, UV, or Latex… was first seen on TouchShield