Big Brand RC Photo Papers Compared with Pebble Paper™

It’s official: Pebble Paper can compete with the big players when it comes to resin coated (RC) photo papers. These are the highest quality papers on the market and our target to accelerate the expansion of stone materials for printers.

Key Insights

  • Pebble Paper™ was launched in November of 2021 as the first inkjet-compatible stone-based printing substrate.
  • The first test, done on a Fujifilm JetPress 750S, was approved by a G7 expert in Dongguan, China.
  • Further development of our coating aims to make a competitive material with resin coated photo papers.
  • Manufacturing cost of our paper is competitive with traditional RC papers while offering notable advantages in sustainability and quality.
  • Our first release of Pebble Paper is competitive with Epson, Canon, Kodak, and Office Depot matte photo papers.
  • We are actively seeking partnerships with large brands to improve their photo paper portfolios.

What it means for stone paper investors

Our newest Pebble Paper™ was originally planned to be a competitor with traditional coated inkjet papers. But a closer look at our costs and coating made it obvious that we were competing in a higher class of paper products. When one looks at resin coated photo papers, the pricing is dramatically different and presents an opportunity for our material. Based on our research, resin coated photo papers are sold for at least four times the price of traditional coated printing papers. In fact, Epson RC photo papers are sold for nearly forty times the price. Looking at our cost structure, we are likely to be cheaper than the cheapest RC photo papers available in this area while offering a similar or higher quality.

During comprehensive testing with most major photo paper brands, our niche was made even clearer. The high gloss papers available from major brands are clearly laminated with a thick layer of PE, making them as reflective as a mirror. This required us to take a second look at the papers we considered to be glossy, which turn out to be more comparable with luster (semi-gloss) and matte papers. That is why we are first and foremost offering this new material as a competitor to matte papers.

At this stage in development, we have reached a high level of confidence in our printing performance as a resin coated photo paper. Now we will be actively pursuing partners to continue improving the material and bringing it to the commercial market.

Observations About Ink Consumption

When we first printed Pebble Paper using an Epson P9000 and the Epson Ultra Premium Matte color profile, we noticed that the dark shadows with high ink coverage did not dry quickly, and the details were lost in the oversaturation. This is similar to the printing results we were getting with previous printing tests, where ink coverage was reduced by 30% to achieve the same printing result as traditional paper. By slightly reducing the ink coverage in the shadows on Pebble Paper™, we were able to achieve a better printing result than the other papers on Epson’s color profile. The tonal range was also extended noticeably.