Musings on Photography

Box sizes/paper sizes

Posted in digital printing by Paul Butzi on June 18, 2008


For years, I’ve stored prints in Light Impressions “TrueCore” boxes, 1.5 inches deep, sized for the various size of prints I generated.

Since I’ve switched to digital printing, the sizes of boxes have changed. Most of the prints I’m making now are 10×15 prints on 14×17 paper, which gives a print size I like and gives generous margins. To store these prints, I’ve been using boxes which are sized for 14×18 prints – I can live with the extra inch in length, which just makes it easier to get the prints out of the box.

But now, Light Impressions seem to have stopped making the 14×18 boxes in the 1.5 inch depth. So I’m looking for a different source. The annoying thing is that they list two different 14×18 boxes, both 3″ deep, but with different product numbers. I suspect one of those is actually the 1.5″ version, but I sent mail to Light Impressions last Wednesday and here I am, still waiting for a reply to my email. Talk about customer service. Don’t get me started.

I suppose I could switch to 10×15 prints on 11×17 paper, which still lets me use 17″ wide rolls and saves 27% on paper use. But then the margins are .5 inch, which is a little skimpy.

I see archival boxes which look very much like the Light Impressions boxes at Archival Methods. And they have 14×18 boxes, but only in 3″ depth. Hmm. One wonders who is making boxes for whom.

Sigh. There’s probably one company making all these archival boxes, and all these companies are just sticking their brand on them and reselling them. But I don’t who the manufacturer is.

6 Responses

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  1. Sam Murphy said, on June 18, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I’ve settled on 10×15’s on 13×19 sheets, it gives a really nice margin and the prints are easy to look at unframed, especially nice if you use a paper with a pleasant touch, but probably wasteful if they’re framed.

  2. Oren Grad said, on June 18, 2008 at 5:41 pm

    Dealing with Light Impressions has become such a hassle that I’ve started obtaining some supplies from other sources. For boxes in particular, most recently I’ve obtained them from University Products and from Hollinger.

    One thing that’s been on my mind since I started doing some color is that the LI boxes appear to be all carbonate-buffered, which is probably a no-no for chromogenic or dye inkjet materials, though I’ve not been able to get a straight answer from anyone as to whether it matters for pigment inkjet. The University Products catalog offers some boxes made of unbuffered stock.

  3. George Nichols said, on June 19, 2008 at 8:26 am

    My current Light Impressions catalog, p. 33, lists Tan TrueCore Drop-Front Boxes, #5026, size 14.5″ x 18.5″, Depth 1 1/2″ @ $16.00 for 1-4 and $14.35 for 5-9.

  4. Paul Butzi said, on June 19, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Thanks, Oren. I’ve ordered a bunch of boxes from University Products.

  5. Colin Mattson said, on June 20, 2008 at 9:36 am

    Oren—Buffered is kosher; nearly all of the available matte fine art papers, for example, are internally buffered already.

    If anyone happens to be storing matte inkjet prints with chromogenic prints, now would be a great time to break them up into separate boxes. None of the RC or fiber papers are buffered as far as I’m aware, but it probably wouldn’t hurt to store them apart from c-prints either.

  6. Oren Grad said, on June 22, 2008 at 9:51 am

    Thanks, Colin. Lo and behold, the fact sheet for the HP Hahnemuhle SFA that I’ve been tinkering with in my B9180 says “Acid-free buffered paper with 100 percent cotton rag substrate for long-term durability”. I need to be paying closer attention.

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