Before You Buy Inkjet Paper

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There are lots of different types of inkjet papers available. But actually, these different varieties only have four major differences among them which separate one type of paper from another: weight, brightness, caliper, and finish. You need to know how to select the right kind of inkjet paper for the job, and how these different types of paper compare to each other.
Brightness You may only see white on your paper, but how white is it? There are different levels of brightness for each type of paper. The brightness of a piece of paper is typically expressed on a scale of 1 to 100, with 100 being the brightest. The high-quality photo papers usually range in the 90s. However, you may find that not all papers are labeled with a brightness rating, so the best way to know how bright one paper is from another is to compare them side by side. When you look at a piece of white paper, it will appear white indeed. But when placed side-by-side, different white papers appear to have a variety of colors, ranging from very bright, cool white to a soft, warm, ivory white.
Opacity When you judge opacity, you try to check how see-through the paper is. If the opacity is high, that means printed text and images are less likely to bleed through. This is important to know, especially if you do double-sided printing a lot. Photo papers used for inkjet printers usually have high opacity levels (around 94 to 97), as compared to ordinary laser of inkjet paper, so bleed-through problems are rare.
Weight The weight of paper may either be measured in terms of pounds (lbs.) or as grams per square meter (g/m2). Bond papers, which include most inkjet papers, are usually within the 24 to 70 lbs. or 90 to 270 g/m2 range. The weight of the paper and its thickness will not have much of a noticeable effect on the quality of the printed image, if at all. The importance of paper weights lies in the impression that heavier paper creates a feeling of seriousness and importance not found in flimsier paper.
Caliper Typical multi-purpose papers are usually lighter and thinner than photo papers. The thickness of paper, or caliper, is needed in order to contain more ink content that is typical of photographs. The caliper of common inkjet paper can range from a thin 4.3 to a thick 10.4 mil. Photo papers are usually found in 7 to 10 mils.
Gloss Finish Photo papers have a particular coating which allows your printed pictures to look and feel like photographic prints. The coating on the photo paper doesn"t allow the ink to be absorbed by the paper quickly, so glossy papers sometimes dry a bit more slowly. However, it is becoming commonplace to find quick-dry glossy finishes today. The amount of shine on the paper gives it a description of high gloss, soft gloss, or semi-gloss. There is also a shiny coated finish called satin.
Matte Finish If you print images on photo matte papers, you will get soft and non-reflective images, not shiny ones. Matte papers, however, are not the same as regular inkjet papers. These are thicker and specially created to printing photographs. Many of the matte finish papers can be printed upon on both sides.


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