Your Comprehensive Guide for Buying Printer Paper

With a wide variety of products on the market, buying the best stuff can be difficult. Here are all the things you need to research before buying printer paper.

There are different types of papers optimized and formulated for a variety of uses exclusively with a wide format printer. Nowadays, we also have color printed paper. The paper you load in the regular copier of your office is different from the sheets used to print photographs, which are different from the ones used to print invites on; sometimes, a thick printer paper can get the job done better.

There is significant overlap between different types of printer paper, but having proper knowledge about all types of paper can help you save money and attain better print results. 

To help you get a better idea of what paper is best for your print job, here are some significant factors (regarding the printer paper-weight) to consider that will impact the look, feel, and overall cost of your print.

Various types of printer papers rolled up for picking

What is Printer Paper?

As the name indicates, printer paper is a type of paper that is exclusively designed to be used in printers. There are various types of printing papers that range from laser printer paper to inkjet printer paper. 

Based on the type of printer you use, you’ll have to choose a quality paper that is designated for use in a certain type of machine.

High-quality printing papers are made of scraps of wood (including sawdust), water, and sometimes chemicals. To make printer paper, wood chips are wetted with a certain amount of water and heated to separate them into long and short fibers. These fibers are then incorporated with water to create a paste-like mixture. This mixture is spread onto a large wire screen and processed through a paper-making machine. 

This machine drains the water out and helps the fibers stick together to form paper. This paper is then pressed to extract any additional water and smooth it out. Once the special paper for printing has been heated and dried, it’s cut into sheets.

Different Types of Printer Paper

Printing paper comes in a range of different types, each with different uses and its own set of advantages. Here are some of the most prominent types of printing paper:

Laser Printer Paper

Laser paper is best used with a laser printer. This is used more in business environments for tasks such as printing documents, cheques, and mailing labels. 

The laser printer paper is designed to be used in an office environment and is excellent for the daily printing of invoices, memos, and other standard workplace documents. 

Inkjet Paper

Inkjet paper is exclusively formulated for use with inkjet printers. These are multipurpose papers and can be assigned to any paper capable of running through a model of inkjet machine – including photo paper, glossy paper, and business card paper.

However, the name can include many types of paper that work with inkjet machines. The best inkjet papers are specifically designed to work with inkjet printers to create crisp color-popping images. Common uses for these papers include photography or business and greeting cards.

Special Paper for Printing

Papers and paperboards that have undergone certain processes such as coating, laminating, or other techniques to attain highly original visual and tactile effects are considered special printing papers.

Color Printed Paper

With today’s technologies, there are so many options for printing marketing and promotional materials. Whether you are a small business printing a new brochure or printing out invitations for events, it can be hard to determine a color design that will have an influence and attract the intended audience.

Matte Paper

It is one of the most commonly used high-quality printing papers. Matte papers are distinguished by their dull, luster-less coating and smooth surface finish. Due to the texture and absorbency of matte paper, the ink dries quickly on its surface, reducing the risk of smears and blemishes.

Glossy Paper

Coated in a high-shine polymer, glossy printer papers produce rich, vibrant colors and impeccable detail. These are an excellent choice for printing sharp, full-color photographs. The only downside of using glossy paper for printing is that ink dries slowly on its surface, increasing the likelihood of smudges and smears.

A man picking industrial papers for printing

Quality Printing Paper Features

In addition to different paper types, printing paper can also have different characteristics that can affect print outcomes like the size of printer paper and more:

Thick Printer Paper

Cardstock printer paper is thicker than ordinary paper most often used for scrapbooking or to print business cards and postcards as it is considerably thicker than other printer paper.

Printer Paper Weight

The thickness of a printing paper is measured in weight – more specifically, in grams. A typical copy sheet will weigh around 75 grams, while a poster paper can weigh anywhere from 90 grams to 150 grams.

Therefore, the higher the weight, the thicker the paper.

Paper Coating

Whilst some printer papers are created raw and uncoated, others are coated in a special polymer layer, which is used to give the material its specific properties. 

You’ll need to select the coated printer paper that suits them based on the specific printing project – whether that be glossy, smooth, or matte.

Some of the most common paper coatings are as follows:

  • Varnish
  • UV 
  • Aqueous

Paper Opacity

Another important consideration when purchasing printer paper is its opacity. It refers to how transparent or opaque the printing papers are, or how much light they let through.

The weight of paper generally affects the opacity of the paper, with heavier paper usually being more opaque.

The opacity of a sheet of paper is measured on a scale of 0 to 100. A sheet that measures 100 would be completely opaque. 

Metro Repro Has a Variety of Printing Supplies Available

Metro Repro can help you pick the most high-quality printing papers. Our services are available in:

  • Texas
  • Arkansas
  • Louisiana
  • Oklahoma 

Get in touch today, either via our contact form or by calling us, and let’s discuss your needs.  

Author: Metro Repro