I recently purchased an HP Envy 5540 printer with original inks and noticed that none of the colours smudge when I run my fingers across them – apart from the black ink on the page which smudges very very easily. This is the case even after I leave the page for many weeks. When I come back to it, the black ink is still smudging and none of the other colours are.

My question is, if I get a more expensive dye-based printer will I encounter the same issue? Er is the issue just a result of me having a cheaper dye-based printer?

There are some dye-based printers on the market, especially the Canon Pixma range, that have all dye inks and one black pigment ink too. However, I have learnt that these printers will not default to using the pigment black unless the whole document is black, which is a shame.

  • What did you print it on? Did you change your print settings for the type of paper you were printing on?
    – Billy Kerr
    Commented Feb 7, 2018 at 12:35

2 Answers 2


If ink is not drying there is a mismatch between ink and paper media.

Your HP Envy should be able to output prints that dry correctly. There is no need to purchase another printer.

If your print is not dried after weeks than the machine put down too much ink on a media that cannot absorb it.

Some media travel more slowly through the printer with heat applied to make sure it's dried. If the printer wasn't prepared for that media it might not use the dryer or sloe setting, it may put down too much ink too densely.

Coated photo paper, gloss and frost is designed to keep the ink drops from spreading so lines and edges are crisp.

Matter paper is uncoated, the ink can spread widely. Prints are not sharp but it dries quickly.

It sounds to me like settings got off in the printer, your print software or the RIP. Illustrator can make ink saturation with 100% of each CMYK. This makes the blackest black but the ink is too thick and it runs and smudges.

Make sure you are using media appropriate for your printer and print settings and make sure you prepare your print in a way that will not over saturate.


Your HP printer is using pigmented (UV resistant) black ink which won't dry on certain media types. That's why it's important to select the proper media type in the printer or driver.

On photo papers or cotton, your printer will mix black using the (dye based) color inks.

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