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How Is Your Printer Paper Choice Affecting Your Prints?

Whenever companies have to save money, the consumables they use are one of the first cost
reduction efforts they employ. This includes reducing the number of prints to save on toner, ink, and
printer paper costs. As paper is still one of the most expensive office supplies used by employees,
simply reducing the number of prints may not be enough to sufficiently drive down costs.

Choosing the right type of paper for the different business functions is important to ensure the
business remains productive while achieving their intended cost efficiencies. Whether producing
promotional material or simply distributing hard copies of a new company policy, each print affects
the organization’s bottom line. Therefore, knowing what the best paper choice is for different
business requirements will help establish a balance between saving money while remaining
productive.

Printer Paper Requires a Consistent Finish

Depending on the type of material the company is printing, all the associated pages require a
consistent finish. This is especially true for printing promotional materials, where coated paper
provides color prints that have sharper details and denser colors.

Coated Paper Applications

When producing marketing material such as brochures, business cards, or catalogs, it’s best to use a
type of coated copy paper. Depending on the desired effect, there are different types of coatings
that deliver varying results.

These include:

  • Dull Matte
  • Non-Shiny Matte
  • Gloss and Cast Coated

Any of the above will have a different effect on the finished product. If different types of products
are required, selecting one type of coating will probably ensure the consistency across all the
mediums. For instance, if the company is printing both business cards and brochures, they may alter
the thickness of the paper but shouldn’t change the coating used.

Non-coated Paper Applications

For regular (or throwaway promotional) materials, choosing a non-coated printer paper type will
suffice. The primary difference is that non-coated paper absorbs ink, reducing the vibrancy of the
colors on the page. Additionally, non-coated paper is easy to write on (which is not the case for
coated paper) making it ideal for employee forms and other general office functions.

Non-coated paper is best for the following applications:

  • Standard Office Forms
  • Newsletters
  • Flyers or other throwaway marketing materials

It’s clear that whatever the intended final product is, deciding on the correct type of paper early is
critical to ensure a consistent finish. If the cost-saving practice includes changing the type of paper
used for promotional material, there may be a drastic difference in the quality of the prints
produced. Similarly, printing general office documents on thicker, high-gloss coated paper may
render the cost-saving effort useless.

Specialized Coatings

There are also post-printing coatings that companies can apply to paper, ensuring the print quality
doesn’t change, and improving the durability of the pages. These include aqueous, ultraviolet, and
soft-touch coatings that can improve the lifetime of the printer page.

Implications from Paper Weight and Thickness

The thickness of paper influences not only the quality of the print, but also how much ink is used to a
certain degree. As non-coated paper absorbs the ink into the fibers, the thicker the paper the more
absorption it has. There are different weights in pounds per five hundred pages that determine the
thickness, and each type of paper weight produces different results.

Different types of paper and weights include:

Bond Paper

This is for general purposes, and the best copy and printer paper. The weights include 16, 20, 24, 28,
32, and 36 pounds.

Text Paper

Used primarily for stationary and letterheads, text paper comes in 50, 60, 70, 80, and 100-pound
weights.

Cover Paper

The thicker cover paper type works well for business cards or postcards and comes in weights from
50 to 120 pounds.

Additional Paper Considerations

There are additional considerations such as brightness and opacity for different printer paper types.
Whenever high-quality color prints are required, the higher the brightness rating the better the
results will be. Brightness is a measurement of the reflective capability of the page using a
specialized blue light.

Similarly, opacity determines how visible the prints are from the back of the page. If the job requires
double-sided prints, having a low opacity rating will be essential. If the content is visible from both
sides, it may be distracting and make the content difficult to read.

Are Expensive Types of Paper Always Better?

As illustrated above, the functional application of the print should be the primary driver when
deciding which paper types suit the needs of the business. Notwithstanding all of the above, coated
paper may, in fact, be cheaper than non-coated due to the amount of raw materials required to
produce it. Coated paper will have a lower fiber count, meaning it requires less pulp.

For expert advice on both Multi-Function Printers and copiers as well as the best paper types to
use, contact QBSI-Xerox today for expert advice and a comprehensive list of services. As recognized
leaders and a one-stop shop for all printing related needs, QBSI can assist with any documentation
requirements your company has.