Hardcopy is a picture produced from electronic signals involving visual
information, although its scope has been gradually expanding to cover the whole
permanent visual images printed on the recording media. The coloration of hardcopy
started in the middle of the 1960s. During the past three decades, various
kinds of hardcopy systems have developed. The output pictures of those systems
have extended from documental pictures expressing simple textural images of
numerals and words for business use (documental hardcopy) to aesthetical images
of impressive color photograph-like prints (pictorial hardcopy).
The main requirements of the documental hardcopy systems are to realize the
dry and fast processing, safe and maintenance-free performances on the
equipment. Those of the pictorial hardcopy systems are to realize the high fidelity
or favorable tone and color reproductions on the output image.
At the first stage, the images on every hardcopy had shown the documental
contents. The development of the pictorial hardcopy started at the beginning of
the 1980s. Recently, the advanced technologies for the pictorial hardcopy have
fed back into the documental hardcopy system and various types of color
equipment have appeared on the market.
This paper deals with the current competition between the pictorial and the
documental color hardcopy systems.