Are You Using the Right Paper for Your Print Job?

When you hit the “print” button, you probably don’t think about much beyond going to pick up your print job. However, there are many factors that will affect the outcome of your printing, including paper weight. Using the wrong paper weight can lead to disappointing results, paper jams and increased costs.

Types of Paper

There are many types of paper that are suitable for printing on, and they’re measured by their weight (per 500 or 1000 pages). Some common types of paper stock include:

  • Bond paper, or writing paper, which is the standard kind of paper used in many offices. Weights range from 16 to 36 pounds.
  • Text paper, which is often used in commercial printing, letterheads, and stationary. Weights range between 50 and 100 pounds.
  • Cover paper, or card stock, is a stiff paper available in many colors. Weights range from 50 to 120 pounds.
  • Bristol paper is thick, heavy paper, suitable for book covers and formal invitations. It can weigh 67 or 120 pounds.
  • Index paper is used for items such as index cards and postcards. This stiff paper comes in weights of 90, 110, or 140 pounds.
  • Tag paper is extremely thick and durable an can be used for signage. Weights range from 100 to 200 pounds.

Print Results

Not all printers can handle all types of paper. Using paper that is too heavy can cause paper jams. Paper that is too light can also cause poor results. Before purchasing paper, be sure it is compatible with your specific printer.

For the best results, you want to match the type of paper you’re using with the type of project you’re creating. Standard 20# bond paper is appropriate for many office uses, but you should upgrade to a higher weight or text paper for brochures and presentations. These higher weights will give you a smoother finish for a more professional look.

Before printing, check your print settings and be sure to select the correct paper type for your project.

It may seem like a small thing, but the type of paper you use in printing can have a big impact on your final product. Because paper can be a big expense, choosing the right paper for the job not only creates the right impression, but also affects your bottom line.

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