I often get questions about using Digital "stamps" or digital collage images. Most ask about how much ink they use and if they are really worth it.
First let me address if digital "stamps" or collage images are really worth it?
YES - In my opinion they are very much worth it. My thoughts on digital "stamps in particular has changed over the years. I was under the impression you had to be really tech savvy to use these types of images (like trying to digi scrapbook). Not so...if I can do it, anyone can! Trust me on this - I'm not a computer whiz but I can handle the basics which is all it takes!
Benefits of a digital "stamp" or digital collage image:
By manipulating the image in either a photo editing software or even Microsoft Word you can change the size of the image to whatever you need for your project which you can't do with a regular stamp.
You can easily print a mirror image if desired which you can accomplish to some degree with a real stamp but it can be tricky and difficult to replicate if more than one image is needed.
If desired, you can select to print a portion of the image with a digital stamp and collage image alike. Yes, you can use a mask to stamp a portion of a rubber stamped image but it does take additional time and steps.
When needed you can print multiple copies of an image quickly and perfect every time. Stamping a perfect image multiple time can be tricky - even the most experienced stamper has trouble with reproducing perfect images every time.
Now don't get me wrong - there are some techniques that you just cannot reproduce with a digital image. I would never trade-in my ink and rubber stamps for digital but they do have their place.
How much ink does it take to print the digi stamps or collage image?
Not much...I don't have an exact quantity to give you but a digital "stamp" is basically just a solid line image (think of a coloring book image). I have never used any special setting to print an image - just your regular settings work so it's not like you're printing with the fine or photo setting.
Yes, a digital collage image does take a bit more ink because you're usually printing in color but again, I don't use the photo or any other special settings, I print with the normal every day settings and my images always come out just fine. I believe digital collage images have something over store bought or pre-printed images because again you can re-size or crop the image to fit your exact needs. This saves you having to change your project to fit the image as you would have to do to with a pre-printed/store bought image.
What can you use to color a digital "stamp" image?
I use just about any color medium I want. I usually print my images on Georgia Pacific cardstock (not copy paper) or watercolor paper and I've not had a problem with the images bleeding after they have dried. I use dye inks, watercolor paints, colored pencils, acrylics, alcohol based markers, Distress Inks, etc. and they all seem to work fine.
I actually have a couple examples of this that I will share with you later this week for my Altered Playing Cards. You can see for yourself how a few different coloring mediums look when paired with digital "stamp" images.
One additional benefit of purchasing a digital collage image is that you can use it over and over and over unlike packages of pre-printed or store bought images - use it once and that's it.
I hope this has helped to answer some of your questions on digital stamps and collage images. If you have any other questions, please feel free to ask...I'm always happy to help when I can.