Choosing The Right Paper For Printing Jobs
by: Maricon Williams
Choosing the right paper for a printing job is a very complicated
undertaking. It should not be that way though. You have overwhelming
options. All you have to do is to be specific. Paper influences
all the aspects of a print project, together with overall perception,
reproduction quality, durability and mailing cost. Choose defectively,
and you can spoil an otherwise great project.
To be specific is to consider a lot of aspects. First the surface
of the paper because it affects its look, feel and printability.
It matters because people are influenced by the appearance of the
paper, it’s that simple.
Second aspect is the paper color. Color is the most important characteristic
since it controls the hues and shades of the ink. At present, white
is the most popular color and is generally optimal for conventional
uses. Off-white paper produces fewer glares. It is usually used
in publications such as novels and manuals.
Brightness is another aspect that needs to be considered. It measures
the percentage of light that it reflects. Most papers reflect 60-90%
of incoming light. It is important because it affects readability.
High level of brightness can cause eye strain. Conversely, low brightness
can cause blurring effect.
The fourth aspect is opacity. It is the degree to which other printing
is visible through the page. High level of opacity minimizes the
visibility of printing on succeeding pages, as a result, it enhances
readability. Opacity is influenced by the other factors such as
bulk and weight of paper, paper color, ink color, coatings, chemicals
Grain, on the other hand, describes the direction or alignment
of its component fibers. It is either grain short or grain long.
When fibers run parallel to the width it is grain short. Grain direction
determination is critical to paper strength, flexibility, tack and
The basis of weight of paper is premeditated in pound of one ream
or five hundred sheets. Paper is sold by pound and understanding
paper weight is essential to a triumphant cost control programs.
Caliper means thickness. It is measured in thousandths of an inch
and referred to as point size (.001 inch = 1 point).
The eighth aspect is the bulk. It denotes thickness relative to
its basis weight. Uncalendared paper will have a higher bulk than
gloss coated paper. Keep in mind though, that paper may be bulkier
or thicker than another grade but may still have the same basis
The size of the paper depicts its physical dimensions. Ask your
supplier for specific information concerning the range of paper
sizes to ensure proficient usage.
The tenth aspect is the paper quantity. It refers to the number
of sheets. A ream is equivalent to 500 sheets. Cartons of paper
are typically weighing 150 pounds.
In purchasing paper, work side by side with the supplier. Paper
suppliers can help you in picking the best paper in terms of possible
weight, texture, tear strength and color for the printing surface.
Always discuss your paper needs with your paper supplier and your
printer at the earliest possible opportunity.
| About The Author:
Maricon Williams Book reading has always been her greatest passion -- mysteries,
horrors, psycho-thrillers, historical documentaries and
classics. She got hooked into it way back when she was but
a shy kid.
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