Which Paper Should I Buy for my Office?


Monday May 14, 2018

With all the responsibilities that come with being a business owner, chances are you’re not too concerned about which paper you should buy for your office printers. But, each type of office printing paper has different purposes and advantages – some are even made for specific printers. Knowing which paper to buy and use for your printing needs will help you achieve better print quality.

Here are some common types of printer paper, which styles are best for each function and factors you should look for when buying paper:

Laser Printers

Many business owners prefer laser printers over inkjets, since they have lower operating costs. Laser printers are best for printing text documents that don’t include many pictures or graphics. Below are the best papers for laser printers:

  • Laser - Made specifically for laser printers, laser paper matches the features of a laser printer and holds toner powder better than most other paper types. Laser paper is perfect for printing mailing labels and checks.
  • Bright White - Bright white paper is what most people use when printing documents. Its smooth surface allows you to quickly and easily printing texts and simple images. Since it is non-textured, it’s also great for printing double-sided.

Inkjet Printers

Inkjet printers provide high-quality results when printing photographs, as well as presentations and graphic-heavy documents. Since inkjets are typically used for more artistic projects, there’s a variety of paper you can use:

  • Cardstock - Many people use cardstock for arts and crafts, since its surface is thick and sturdy. Cardstock is best for printing invitations, signage and business cards, or to add a professional touch to presentations, proposals and resumes. You can also use it for documents you’ll reference over time, since it’s more durable than most types of paper.
  • Photo - Photo paper is generally used for printing photos. Its glossy surface creates vibrant pictures, and it comes in different paper sizes, coating and weights. Since it is quick-dry, it’s also great for printing in a hurry.
  • Glossy - Most people tend to confuse glossy paper with photo paper because of their similarly glossy surfaces. Glossy paper is good for general use, but it takes a bit more time for the ink to dry, so it smudges easily.
  • Matte - Matte paper is preferable for daily and general use and works well with inkjet printers. Its surface is absorbent and quick-dry.

Factors to Consider when Buying Paper

The qualities you look for in paper will differ based on what you’re printing, but here are some general factors to keep in mind:

  • Brightness - A paper’s brightness refers to its contrast and reflectiveness, and how it holds ink and toner when printed on. The standard of brightness is rated on a scale of one to 100 – the higher the number, the better the paper quality. Typical office paper has a brightness of 80 to 100, and common photocopy paper generally has a 92 brightness rate.
  • Opacity - This quality refers to the transparency of the paper, and it determines how well a paper holds or passes ink through to the other side when printed on. The thicker the paper, the less likely the prints will be visible on the other side. So, if you frequently print double-sided, you’ll want a higher opacity.
  • Size - Most people are familiar with the standard 8.5”x11” letter size paper, but there are various other paper sizes and dimensions commonly used in the office:
    • 8.5”x14”- Legal size paper that has extra length for printing signatures at the end of documents.
    • 11”x17”- Tabloid size paper for printing magazines and brochures. It’s approximately twice the size of a standard letter sized paper.
    • 13”x19”- Super B or wide format printer paper that’s equivalent to two tabloid-sized papers or four letter-sized papers, typically used for printing newspapers.
  • Finish - Surface texture determines how printable paper is, as well as its ink and toner absorption, mechanical strength and resistance to tear. Paper finish is rated from one to five, with one being the highest quality. Finishing qualities include:
    • Gloss
    • Cast Coat
    • Dull
    • Silk
    • Matte

Of course, you don’t need to dedicate hours of your time to find the best paper, but by paying attention to a few key factors, you can significantly increase your print quality. Not only will this make your documents look more professional, printing on durable paper will also make them last much longer.

For more information on how you can improve your business with best printing practices, find a local Cartridge World near you. Our friendly, local experts are happy to offer you customized solutions to print in an efficient, eco-friendly and cost-effective way.