How to Choose a Paper for Colour Printing

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April 24, 2019
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May 8, 2019

Research shows that marketers and other decision makers prioritise print quality when it comes to colour printing.  Business Optimizer considers the important role your choice of paper plays in print quality and how to choose the best paper for a colour print job.


Paper isn’t always the easiest item to specify.  For a start, there are so many options from which to choose.  But each is designed to meet the demands of a different job.  So, with a little research, it is easy to find the right paper for you.


#1. Choose a quality product

Printer manufacturer HP recommends choosing a quality product.  It says, “Paper that is too thin, too slick, or too stretchy can jam the [printer].  Paper that has a rough or fibrous texture or that does no accept ink can cause printouts to smear, bleed or not be filled in completely.”


#2. Consider the weight

The greater the weight of the paper, the thicker and stiffer it will be.  For posted marketing materials, a higher-weight paper is usually preferable – around 100gsm or even 120gsm.

For newsletters, 90gsm is probably acceptable, whereas for normal office use papers tend to be around 80gsm.

FYI: the gsm measurement signifies the grammes per square metre.

Also worth bearing in mind: if you’re going to be posting your printed items, the weight of the paper holds another significance: how it affects postage costs.


#3. Coated or uncoated?

Another important consideration is whether to opt for a coated or uncoated paper.  If you want to write on the paper, an uncoated option is best.

However, if you are seeking to get a good colour finish, a coated paper is usually better.  You should also find that it should save on ink too.


#4. Will you want special print effects?

If you wish to add special print effects to your paper, this can affect your choice of paper.  For example, if you wish to add perforations, a thin, stiff paper will work best.  However, if you wish to add die-cut details, a thicker paper will deliver a cleaner cut.


#5. When quality is paramount, choose UHD

We’re all familiar with the notion of ultra-high definition, but it’s new to the world of paper.  Navigator Paper’s new UHD coating turns colours more vivid, improves contrasts, and makes printouts more real.

If quality is your primary consideration for your colour print job, choose a paper from the new range of ultra-high-definition papers from Navigator.


#6. Price

We all work to a budget and so, inevitably, price also has to be a consideration when deciding which paper to choose.  However, choosing a basic product can be false economy; as we’ve noted, it can cause printer jams, and end up costing more on ink.

Navigator Paper now offers a cost-effective choice for colour printing.  Its range of UHD Formula papers has a special coating that improves colour print quality without adding significantly to the price.  Studies of colour gamut area shows UHD Formula moves the Navigator range of papers from a 6000/6500 measurement to a 8000/8500 – in line with the best papers for colour definition.  So if you want to achieve great results at a competitive price, UHD Formula is the way to go.