13622854 - set of different paper“We can’t overestimate the value of computers . Yes, they are great for playing games and forwarding funny emails. But real business is done on paper okay? Write that down.” – Michael Scott, The Office

Paper will never go away, at least not in the foreseeable future. Michael Scott, from the television show “The Office,” had that right, at least. How do you choose the right paper for your printer? If you choose the wrong paper, you may run the risk of printer jams, ink runs or a bad final product. That’s why it’s important to know a few things about paper.

There are two kinds of paper: coated and uncoated. Coated paper is covered with a sealant that comes in a variety of different finishes, similar to paint. It doesn’t absorb ink as well as uncoated paper but is very good for high-quality jobs. The different finishes include:

  • Glossy: very shiny
  • Dull: smooth and less shiny
  • 13622854 - set of different paperMatte: Opaque and not glossy

Uncoated paper is not covered with any type of sealant. You can get it in a variety of different options and it will absorb more ink. Newspaper or stationery are typical examples of uncoated paper. It’s easy to write on and absorbs ink well for projects with lots of text.

Next you have to consider paper weight. The weight refers more to the thickness of the paper. The lightest paper is Bond, followed by Text, and then Cover. For reference, most standard copy paper is rated as bond while a business card is usually made of cover paper. Each type of weight is numbered for reference to the varying levels of thickness.

The last things to consider are the opacity and brightness. This refers to how much light is transmitted through the paper and how much light is reflected off the paper. Each of these factors can affect the design and readability of the paper once it’s been printed on.

How do you pick the right paper for your printer? Most printers offer their own branded paper that is designed for their machines. It usually works best, but you can still find paper that will work well with most printers. A paper salesperson can help you find the right paper for each type of project and the type of printer that you have.

The different types of paper may be confusing, but choosing a printer doesn’t have to be. With experts like us, you’ll get the right solution for your printing needs. Then all you have to do is find the right paper.