Finding Quality Products Starts with You

March 22, 2021

When we think about quality, we often think about how well or poorly something is made. With paper, that’s partially true. The manufacturing process is important in creating a quality sheet, but what’s more important in determining total quality are performance and outcomes – how well-suited a paper is for what you need to accomplish. You want a paper that’s optimized for the job. Across the board, paper that doesn’t jam, holds ink well, and is consistent time after time is a must for any project.

In an office setting, if you’re printing something in black-and-white for internal use only, a Jam-Free® guaranteed copy paper designed to be an everyday workhorse will deliver trusted results in all copiers and printers. The urge to cut costs by buying the least expensive reams – without a performance guarantee – is understandable, but what you save on procurement you’re likely to lose in employee productivity and frustration as people spend time every day clearing paper jams and reprinting.

When you move from black-and-white to color printing – maybe as part of an important presentation or to create documents that will go outside your organization – you could be spending an additional 15¢ in ink for every sheet you print. Because it only costs an additional 1¢ per sheet to step up to a premium paper, it makes sense to invest in a heavier, smoother, and brighter paper that was made specifically to hold color ink. Otherwise, you won’t see the payoff on the money you’re spending on ink when the color doesn’t pop the way you want. Matching your premium paper to the specific printer you have is critical, because inkjet and laser papers are treated differently.  Not sure which you have? If you’re buying toner you have a laser printer, so use laser paper; if you’re buying inkjet cartridges, use inkjet paper.

  • In a high-speed printing environment, all the same considerations hold true with some additional factors in play that someone in an office doesn’t have to consider. Margins are tight, competition is fierce, and it’s hard to overstate the importance of a high-quality result. Often, when people make the decision to use a high-speed printer, it’s because the documents they need printed are high-value, customer-facing pieces. When corporate image is key, weight, durability, and ink permanence are all critical factors to consider. Typically, smoother, thicker premium papers best meet those requirements and help create a finished piece that stands out from the crowd and represents the company well. Due to the complexity and sophistication involved in high-speed settings, key factors to consider when deciding on what paper to use for a job include:
  • Is the paper compatible with the ink chemistry of your press?
  • What are the print quality requirements of the market?
  • At what speed will the press be running?
  • What are the drying capabilities of the press?
  • What is the porosity of the paper?
  • What is the brightness of the sheet?
  • What color gamut is required? Will the paper hold the chroma?
  • What is the ink coverage?
  • What is the ink density? What level of detail (such as small, sharp text) do you need?
  • What are the finishing requirements? What level of dimensional stability is necessary?
  • How efficiently can the paper be loaded?

There is a commonly-held misconception in the industry that sheet-fed paper is more expensive than roll-fed paper, but that’s not true in all circumstances. Getting a roll-fed product into the sheets that the customer ultimately needs can get expensive.

Regardless of the setting, knowing what to look for and understanding what high-quality means to you and your business will make finding the right paper easy.

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