Once you have finalised your design, you need to pick the paper you will be using for printing because the paper used in the office will surely be different from the paper used for printing photographs, wedding cards, or party invites. Yes, the paper selection can puzzle you with tons of varieties, but choosing the right fit will double the visual appeal of your project.
6 Properties to Consider While Buying a Paper
You would be able to create an impressive piece of art only if you got the quality paper suitable for your task. It will help if you consider the following characteristics for printing paper.
There are plenty of sizes available, but their selection should be based on:
- The size of the printer for effortless page placement
- The size of the design as the paper must print completely
Generally, a regular printer will adjust two standard printer paper sizes: 8.5″ and 11″. You cannot expect your printer to accommodate paper of any size. And remember, not every page type is found in the same range of sizes.
2. Types of Finishes
When it comes to paper finishes, you can have a wide range, including:
- Smooth finish – soft and waxy to touch
- Bond paper – a higher grade paper with the twist of a rag content (25-100%)
- Vellum – a unique paper type with a slight roughness
- Embossed finish – a fantastic moulded look
- Linen finish – similar to linen fabric used for clothing
- Cockle – a classic style with a homemade paper-like texture
- Metallic finesse – paper covered in either thin plastic or metal films, giving the paper a metallic glow and glossy surface
Choose one per your preference or the nature of your task.
Always look for the opacity to ensure how opaque or transparent your paper will be and how much graphics will be visible or bleed to the backside. On a scale of 0 to 100, paper with 0 is translucent, and 100 is opaque. A quicker way to estimate the opacity is to check the weight. The heavier sheet will always be more opaque.
4. Whiteness or Brightness
The brightness for printer papers is measured from 0 to 100 – the brighter the sheet, the better the quality! Everyone is advised to buy within the range of 80-100 as 100 will appear brightest to the eye with the blue hue, but you will find the most premium quality paper within the 90s. The brightness of the paper defines its quality in terms of the reflectance of blue light wavelength. That’s why a paper with a maximum brightness adds a blueish tint to your designs. Cheap-quality papers with a low brightness count seem cream-shaded.
According to the AF&PA paper standards, the No. 2 sheet comes with a brightness of 83-84, whereas the No. 3 sheet has a brightness of 80-83. Luckily, you can choose one with a lower brightness as sheets will not show any noticeable difference when placed closely. BUT…the difference in the sharpness of design will be clear. No. 1 sheet is the real OG with incredible brightness and perfect runnability.
5. Tone or Shade
Never compromise on the paper shade, or else your design will lose its worth and look cheap. It might sound shocking, but white does have several different tones making it either look warmer or colder. The paper shade changes according to the red and blue light blend.
6. Weight and Thickness
We measure the weight of the paper to define its thickness as they are related to each other. Greater weight means a thicker sheet, which must be your first choice as it not only feels sturdier but gets less wrinkly. Grams per square meter is the most commonly used criteria for weight. One can get:
- A standard sheet weighing more or less 75 grams at an inexpensive price tag.
- A mid-weight sheet weighing within the range of 90-150 grams.
Talking in lbs, you can categorise them into four types:
- 16-20 lb
It is the lightest in weight bond paper useful for printing internal documents, copy paper, or lengthy projects. Unfortunately, it fails to work against gravity, getting all crimpled and curled in no time. Another drawback is that it can lack the capacity to absorb ink properly.
- 24 lb
It is an ideal weight for printing letterheads, official reports, or other copies that will be handled roughly. Sometimes, the ink can bleed through the paper to the reverse side.
- 32-36 lb
Slightly heavy but most reliable bond paper for résumés, legal projects, and confidential documents.
- 65 lb
The heaviest of all – a cover stock is a top-tier hard-wearing sheet. It is mostly used for producing business cards, brochures, folders, or project covers.
The Best Quality Paper Collection
Neo Online provides a wide range of multiple high-resolution papers that indeed deliver stunning prints whether you need it matt or glossy for office and home use. You are welcome to browse our extensive printing supplies, such as toners and cartridges. We help you make the most out of your printed work.