Monday, 16 November 2015

Different Printer Paper Types

Buying paper didn’t always seem so complicated. There was a standard type of paper that worked for printers and that was that. Today, most current printer models have the capacity to print on a variety of paper types and different types of media. While there are plenty of specialty media types, for ex. iron-on transfers, stickers and labels, even traditional paper comes in an assortment of types these days.

The type of paper you use can tailor the output of your print job to meet your specific needs. With a little information, you can expand your printing and move beyond boring plain prints if and when the occasion calls for it.

Typically, the thicker the sheet of paper, the higher the quality of the print and the heavier it feels in one’s hands. Especially for businesses that rely on printouts to market and represent their company, it’s important to use paper that has greater durability and that touch of flare rather than just a standard sheet.

Here are a few different paper types to consider when thinking about your print jobs:

Standard Paper

For everyday printing, standard paper is your best bet. This paper is generally the least expensive option, and is great for office memos and tasks that don’t require an impressive finish.

Recycled Paper

Manufactured from post-consumer waste, recycled paper is your environmentally-friendly option.

While some recycled paper may appear brown in color, white recycled paper is always available as well. It functions the same as standard paper, but the option is generally a bit more expensive because of the processes needed to recycle the previously used materials.

Glossy Paper

Generally the most popular alternative paper type, glossy paper is often used by most people to print photographs. The glossy finish enhances color tones while providing a shiny finish. It is often more water-resistant and durable than plain paper however, the smooth surface is prone to collecting fingerprints and dust.

For something with a little less gloss, you can always use a semi-gloss paper.

Gloss Laminated Paper

Think of a postcard. While one side is a standard glossy paper type with vivid colors and shine, the backside is like cardstock. This gives it the benefit of being less-expensive than two-sided glossy paper, and it is also quite durable.

UV Gloss

UV Gloss is not its own paper type but rather an additive to glossy paper. It is basically a compound applied after printing to enhance colors and provide an extra layer of protection. Often it is only used in certain spots. For instance, someone making business cards may apply UV gloss to the business name so it stands out a little brighter than the rest of the words.

Matte Paper

Matte paper is thicker and stronger than standard paper but free of shine. The colors are less lively but it will not be as easily damaged by fingers and sunlight. This is a good paper choice for advertising in a lighted spot, as the matte paper will not cause reflections. It does tend to be more prone to water damage than glossy varieties, however.

Cover and Card Stock

Cover stock and card stock are heavier weight papers - you can feel the increased density when you handle them. They are often used to create covers for bound reports or things like place cards that need to be more rigid than standard paper.

Magnetic Stock

This type of media is used to create magnets for advertising. This media generally requires a specialty printer, however, and may not be compatible with a home or office machine.

When discovering the different types of paper out there, make sure to consult your printer’s manual to view the types of paper it supports – taking note of sizes and weights. Some printers will also have an alternate paper path that can be used to reduce the bending of thicker paper stocks. Be sure that the paper you select is compatible with your printer. Some paper is designed to be used strictly with laser models, while others may be designed only for inkjet printer use.

By researching the different paper types available, you can make the best choice to dress up your next printing project.