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How Does Paper Affect my Copier/Printer?

Jul 24, 2018 2:17:00 PM / by

You have designed a fabulous marketing piece for your company.  The colors are vibrant and the graphics are on-point.  The next step is taking it from your computer screen to your multi-function device to print. However, as you select the print icon you hold your breath saying a silent prayer there will be no issues. After all, why would there be issues? The copier/printer is brand new; the special paper you are using was just delivered this past week.  Nothing could go wrong, right?...   Wrong!

Each model or series of copier/printer devices have a recommended media guide.  It is important to understand, not all types of paper and paperweights can be placed into all machines. There are limitations in thickness, as well as the texture.  In order to know what works well in your particular machine, it is best to contact your vendor for a media guide for the model of machine(s) you have in your office.

Here are some guidelines on types of paper you may see in your office supply store or online.


Inkjet Paper

Inkjet paper is exactly as it states…it is ONLY to be used in inkjet machines.  This is not recommended for laser printers or copiers because the coating could melt causing you havoc and your machine a service call. This coated paper will give the best results on your inkjet device as it does not allow the ink to be absorbed into the paper. Use this beautiful glossy paper in your inkjet device to do high-quality glossy photos it is intended to produce. 


Laser Paper

Laser paper will work best in copiers or laser printers. The most cost-effective is the 20lb weight paper, which has many uses for day to day business printing.  However, when creating output which has color, it is best to use a brighter white and a heavier weight. Normally the 24lb/98 brightness is the recommended starting point for color printing. This offers a smooth finish which allows the color to be more defined.  Obviously, you can go with heavier weights depending on the project, but this is where having knowledge of what your machine can handle comes in handy.


Specialty Papers

Papers with textures or Linen paper fall into the category of specialty papers. These papers can cause problems in both inkjet and toner printers. In inkjet, the ink will soak into areas and leave spots of darker color. The opposite happens with toner-based machines. Toner is deposited on the high spots and not in the lower areas, leaving areas without color.


Paper Weights

Paper uses a measurement called GSM (grams per square meter) to calculate the density of paper.  Manufacturers of copiers and printers use this measurement to determine what each model is able to process based on the specifications of the machine. As mentioned above, your copier vendor should have access to these “media guides” which will provide the recommended media a particular machine is able to run. Please be advised, there are also settings which must be chosen on the copier or printer itself to “tell” the machine what type of paper is being used for a particular job. 


Paper Storage

How your unused paper is stored may play a role in the efficiency of your equipment.  Paper absorbs moisture!  Humidity is a huge factor in contributing to paper jam frustration because it may cause the paper to curl. The best option is to keep your paper in a climate-controlled environment.  If this is just not possible and it is stored in a warehouse, then try to keep several reams in the office area so it is able to “dry” before being placed in your copier or printer.

By taking the insinuative to determine the recommended paper types, weights, and media your copier or printer is able to handle may reduce several issues with your devices.  This will hopefully lead to fewer service calls, more uptime, and best of all fewer headaches for you!

Michelle Wise

Written by Michelle Wise

Michelle has over 20 years of experience with Phillips Office Solutions in various positions within the organization. The last 11 years have been in the Document Management division where she advises clients on finding the best solutions to meet their needs and budget. she also has been known to go by the name Michelle Wise, shh...

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