Paper Buying Guide
Choosing The Paper That's Right For You
Printer paper is an essential component of any business or home office supply stock. The type of paper purchased should effectively represent the company's specific business needs, as well as its overall corporate image. Whether the printer paper is used for printing high definition images, daily office correspondence or binding contracts, selecting the right paper will ensure the final product comes out looking crisp and professional. There are three main attributes to consider when choosing copy paper: paper weight, brightness, and whiteness. Simplify the paper buying process by familiarizing yourself with each attribute and start stocking up!
Simply put, when choosing the correct paper weight keep in mind the function you want the paper to serve. As a general rule of thumb, heavy paper is effective for professional documents, while lighter paper is ideal for everyday use. In more specific terms, regular copy paper is often referred to as a "20 lb. bond" or "50 lb. text weight". On the other end of the spectrum, a sturdy stock is listed as "Index" or "Cover" followed by a specific weight. "Index" or "Cover" paper is frequently used to make postcards, menus, index dividers, brochures and more.
|Standard||20lbs||Faxes, draft documents, printed emails||Inexpensive, fits in most printers
& is jam resistant
|Mid||22-24lbs||Presentations, resumes, proposals,
customer documents, contracts
|Smoother finish, versatile, less
"showthrough" and fits all
|Heavy||28-32lbs||Signs & flyers, menus, greeting
cards & occasion cards, professional
presentations, double sided printing
|Offers best color, holds up well
to heavy ink, smoothest finish
& the end result is very durable
Color contrast is a key factor in producing good looking documents. The brighter the paper, the brighter and lighter the output. Although the official definition of brightness is quite technical, in layman's terms the brightness scale is used to indicate the amount of light refected from the surface of a paper. Paper brightness is numerically ranked from one to a hundred; the higher number indicating a greater level of brightness. On the brightness scale, standard copy paper has a rating between 80 and 100. When producing images keep in mind that on less bright paper images often come out much darker. These general rules can vary based on the model of printer used and whether the paper is inkjet photo paper, matte finish or glazed finish.
The term whiteness refers to the quality of light, or in this instance the specific shade of the paper. Generally speaking, the whiteness index is devised so that the higher the whiteness, the whiter the paper material. In order to differentiate between brightness and whiteness think of the following: brightness is equivalent to wattage, while whiteness indicates shade. Whiteness is a particularly important attribute to consider when buying paper for color printing. Overall, the delicate balance between ink/toner and paper shade will dictate the final result.