Forget about guess work when choosing which kind of paper is best for your next printing job. If you seek quality results at affordable costs, you need to make sure you’re using the right kind of paper.
Size. Choosing paper size is the first basic decision you have to make. Paper comes in a variety of sizes, from standard 8.5″ x 11″ for regular documents to 5″ x 7″ for photos, to wide format papers. The choice really depends on what you need the paper for. Legal documents call for 8.5” x 14” and tabloids usually need 11” x 17”.
Be reminded that not all printers can accommodate all paper sizes. Before you stock your cabinet with paper reams, check which paper sizes your printer can actually handle.
Weight and Thickness. Most regular users do not bother with weight (correct term is actually “grammage”) or thickness unless they need to print brochures, invitations or artwork. Using a heavier kind of paper increases resistance to crease and allows better form. Weight or grammage is often used to describe paper while thickness is used to describe cards or boards.
Finish. Having to choose if it’s glossy, matte or satin that you need may initially seem easy, but don’t be quick in making a final call. Many job applicants make the mistake of printing their resumes on glossy paper for better presentation. Resumes don’t go with glossy paper, though; the text may not be very easy to read. Matte works well with formal documents like business reports and resumes.
Printing on the wrong kind of paper not only compromises quality but also wastes precious ink. Porous paper consumes too much ink, so make sure you don’t feed your printer such paper when you need to print in full color.
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