Conservation DistList Archives [Date] [Subject] [Author] [SEARCH]

Subject: Scanachrome


From: Anna Endress <mail_at_anna>
Date: Thursday, July 5, 2007
In my diploma thesis at the University of Applied Science Cologne,
Germany, I am working on a so called scanachrome print by a
contemporary german artist. This is what I found out so far: The
scanachrome technique is a digital printing technique based on the
ink jet technology. It has probably been in use from around 1985
until 2000. Originally, it was used to print banners for (outdoor?)
advertisement. A slide, for example an ektachrome, was scanned line
per line and printed out enlarged. It was mainly used on natural and
synthetic fabric, but I heard that it was also used on paper that is
laminated with some sort of plastic afterwards.

    **** Moderator's comments: Looks like maybe it is still in use,
    at least in the UK: see <URL:>

The object I am working on measures 1.2 x 1.2 meters and is printed
on cotton fabric that seems to be pretreated for the print process,
but is not visibly primed.

The colours used are magenta, cyan, yellow and black. They are
rather matte and proved to be very water-stable. Very characteristic
for the scanachromes is a raster of parallel lines. The highest
resolution of these lines is a width of 1 mm per line. All inks
occur in every part of the picture, but the lines seem mainly
composed of cyan ink. The ink drops are different in size, but this
could also be due to the cotton that might have absorbed the inks

Obviously, the scanachrome technique has been more common in Great
Britain and the United States than in Germany; some hints in the
Internet also lead me to the thought that it might have been common
also in France and in the Scandinavian countries.

One of the problems concerning this technique is that there seem to
be many different expressions for it. The correct spelling must be
scanachrome, but often it is also spelled scannerchrome. The
resulting prints are called scanachromes, scan prints, or
scanaprints, and there might even exist more expressions for it; in
one publication I read scanamural but I am not sure wether that
means exactly the same technique.

As the scanachrome is not used anymore, it showed to be quite hard
to find out more about the technique itself and the canvas and inks
used. I lack of any written information about the technique.

Has anybody ever seen such a scanachrome print or a print that you
consider to be one after having read this information? Maybe someone
has used this technique or knows a printer who used it, or has read
something about it? It is also of great interest for me to get
information about artists who used the scanachrome technique.

If you need a picture for comparison, please let me know.

Anna Endress
Student at Cologne Institute for Conservation Sciences
Conservation of Book and Paper
Dasselstr.75 77
50674 Koeln, Germany
+49 221 3976893

                  Conservation DistList Instance 21:16
                   Distributed: Friday, July 13, 2007
                       Message Id: cdl-21-16-013
Received on Thursday, 5 July, 2007

[Search all CoOL documents]