When you think about it, paper represents practically all of our most significant life events.

From birth (birth certificate) through graduation (diploma) to marriage (marriage certificate), there is one thing in common: you will be given a piece of paper to commemorate the event.

While a newlywed may not pay much thought to the type of paper on which their certificate is printed, it is critical for a business to understand the type of paper required to print/copy documents on your machine.

This is due to the fact that using the incorrect type of paper in your printer might result in paper jams or poor-quality prints, as well as wasted money if you realise you purchased the incorrect type of paper and need to acquire the correct one.

During our nearly four decades in the printer/copier industry, we’ve learned a lot (maybe too much) about printer paper and want to fully inform you on what you need to know about the many types of printer paper and the features you should be aware of.

After reading this, you should have a good notion of what kind of paper you need for your machine, so you’re not left guessing when it comes time to buy printer paper.

Printer Paper vs. Copy Paper

Printer paper is simply paper that is used for printing. There are six popular types, which will be discussed in depth in the following section.

However, some people are unsure whether printer paper is the same as copy paper and whether they can print papers using copy paper.

When it comes to printer and copy paper, there are a few distinctions to be made. They are as follows:

  • According to Office Ink Blog, printer paper weighs about 24 pounds and copy paper weighs about 20 pounds.
  • Copy paper is typically less expensive than printer paper.
  • Copy paper is often used for regular printing, whereas printer paper is typically used for printing photos or papers that require a little higher quality.

The 6 Different Types of Printer Paper

Now that you understand the distinction between printer paper and copy paper, let’s go over the six varieties of printer paper you should be aware of:

1) Regular Matte Paper
The most common type of paper used to print documents is regular matte paper, which is suitable for most simple print jobs.

Consider this paper to be the classic “copy paper” that we mentioned in the preceding section. It’s not shiny, and the smooth matte texture absorbs ink and dries rapidly, preventing smudges and streaks.

2) Glossy Paper
This is the gleaming substance. Glossy paper is coated with a polymer, which gives it a smooth shine and helps it to provide richer, more brilliant colour output than conventional paper.

This paper can be used to print photographs or vibrant images, however it has a significantly longer dry time than conventional paper, thus smudges may occur if handled improperly. As a best practise, only use a laser printer to print on glossy paper.

3) Bright White Paper
Now I know normal paper could work. Although it appears white, this paper has been deliberately prepared to have an extraordinarily smooth surface and a beautiful white covering.

It’s considered “fine copy paper,” and it provides an aesthetic presentation, which is ideal for documents containing images that require a vibrant finish without a glossy shine.

4) Photo Paper
Photo paper, as the name implies, is primarily intended for printing photographs or images.

If you recall the last time you held a photograph printed on photo paper, you will recall that the front and rear sides have completely different textures and appearances. It is thicker than most other types of paper and has a high-gloss shine on one side and a matte on the other.

5) Heavyweight Paper
Cardstock is the most popular sort of heavyweight paper, which you may have heard of previously because it is a common paper phrase among print buyers.

However, you can select from a variety of paper weights, which will influence the thickness of the paper. Think of a paperweight as a thin or thick sheet of paper that is difficult to bend.

Pro-Tip: When choosing heavyweight paper, consider what your copier/printer can handle and which tray is advised for such material.

6) Inkjet Paper
The final sort of printer paper you should be aware of is inkjet paper, which is simply paper designed to work exclusively with inkjet printers, which are smaller desktop printers.

Inkjet printers utilise liquid toner, whereas laser printers use dry (powder-like) toner.

3 Different Printer Paper Features

Now that you’ve seen the six various varieties of printer paper, let’s talk about something else you should know about printer paper: its features.

Coating, brightness, and weight are the three major characteristics of printer paper. What do these three characteristics mean in terms of printer paper? Let we review them:

1) Coating
Coating is a sort of polymer, or synthetic substance, that is coated onto paper to make it shiny and dazzling.

If you’ve ever seen a sheet of paper that appears to have a sheen to it, that’s because of the paper’s coating.

2) Brightness
Brightness is exactly what it sounds like: it is the method used to determine how white and bright a page is.

The brightness scale is typically 0-100, with 80-100 being the sweet spot for high-quality prints. The basic rule of thumb is that the brighter the paper, the better the overall quality and appearance of the print work.

3) Weight
The weight of the paper is usually measured in grammes and refers to its thickness and weight.

While paperweight can vary greatly, the most typical paperweights are 75 grammes or 20 pounds of standard paper (like the copy paper mentioned in the first section.) Cardstock is the most often used “thick” paper and weighs around 176 grammes or 65 pounds.

Understanding why grammes and pounds are used to measure paper can be perplexing, especially when other weight classifications such as cover paper, bond, or GSM enter the picture.

What Else Should You Learn About Your Printer?

Choosing the proper printer paper for your printer will be far from the most critical task you complete during the course of your working day.

However, if you obtain the wrong kind, it can cause aggravation and annoyance because purchasing the wrong printer paper can result in paper jams and wasted money.

To help you decide which sort of paper is best for you, purchase the smallest sample size of the paper you’re interested in and test it to see if you like the results. If not, try another and keep looking until you’re satisfied.

As a long-term print seller, we understand how important it is to ensure that your machine is properly maintained so that it will last in your business for the long haul.

And we’ve learned from years of dealing with clients that knowledge is the most crucial component of having a sustainable office equipment, and selecting the appropriate printer paper is just one aspect of owning a printer.

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