All of our booths use dye sublimation printers and this article below explains exactly why!
The difference between the ink-jet printer and the dye sublimation is not only the quality of the photo prints but also the process used to create the photo. An ink-jet printer uses a printer cartridge that creates an image that is 300 x 300 dpi (dots per inch.) Most printer cartridge brands do not create a resolution that is true photo quality. Most customers also complain that the printer cartridge does not contain enough ink to print more than 20 or 25 photos before needing replacement.
The dye sublimation printers use a ribbon that can print at 5760 x 1440 dpi, and can print 16.77 million different colors. It can also print 256 colors on one dot with a square resolution. That means the color is the same on both sides. The ink-jet does not have this capability.
Some ink-jet manufacturers claim that their printer cartridges print photos that will last for centuries. However, customers have complained that the photos fade after only a few years, and if the photo gets wet–the colors run. It seems that almost all printer cartridge brands have this problem. In factory tests, the dye sublimation printers create an image that does not fade, and the colors do not run when wet. If a wet coffee cup is placed on the photos, it will not leave a ring.
Dye sublimation is a process that defuses the dye, not ink, onto the paper. The dye is in the form of a ribbon that creates a defused gas when heat is applied. The special receiving layer on the paper absorbs the dye. Using different heat settings to create the colors needed creates the different shades. The print head is capable of printing 256 different shades of each color. The dye is sealed onto the paper using a special over coating layer. This protects the image from fingerprints, water damage and UV light. As soon as the prints leave the printer, they are dry and ready to touch. This eliminates running, smudging and blotching of the colors.
Since dye sublimation printers can produce a continuous tone, the need for a higher resolution is not necessary. Dye sublimation can fool the human eye so that a resolution of 300 dpi will be equal to an ink-jet printing at 4800 dpi.
Dye sublimation, which is often shortened to dye sub, is known for high quality and continuous tone output. All graduations of color are used to create the continuous tone process. For example, when showing the scale from white to black, a continuous tone printer will print all the shades of gray that occur between true white and true black. Ink-jet printers use half tone colors.