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Welcome to the DT&G Design and Creative Department - Design Topic: Paper

Choosing The Right Paper for Laser Printing with Benjamin Frank

What happens to toner?

The electrical properties are important in ending up with a good print since they control how the toner "feels" the pull off the drum in the imaging section of the printer. Uniform electrical properties in the paper help the toner transfer to the page cleanly and directly. If the toner does not feel the plate charge uniformly the image can end up with voids (areas where there should be toner, but it is missing) and speckles (dots where toner went where it should not have) because the toner got pulled to the wrong location.
__ These are apparent in picture, where the G has areas without toner (voids) and is surrounded by small black dots (speckles). If the paper is too dry and picks up static charge this charge can disrupt the image in a similar way. The image can also end up with voids if the paper is too rough and the toner rolls from the "hills" to the "valleys" on the sheet before the paper reaches the fuser section.


Just like any other purchasing decision, what paper to pick depends on how you value your end result. In the best of worlds, when it came time to print there would be several different papers available and you could pick the best one for the job. When you wanted a superb image you could pick an opaque, bright paper. A sheet which is more opaque is harder to see through, and a bright paper supplies better contrast. Both make the image easier to read. Conversely, when you were printing a draft you could use whatever was cheapest.
__ Multipurpose paper is the least common denominator among papers. It is inexpensive and will work passably in both laser printers and ink jet printers. It will feed through laser printers and accept toner, but it is generally lower brightness, lower weight, and less opaque. Also, using multipurpose paper might result in some printing defects because it does not have electrical properties optimized for laser printing. For those reasons, multipurpose paper would be ideal for faxes, drafts, and other documents where the actual appearance of the print is not so important, but where cost may be a factor. Because it is not optimized for laser printing, plain ink jet paper will generally behave like multipurpose paper in a laser printer. However, you should never use a coated ink jet paper in a laser printer. The coating may be abrasive and could damage your equipment.
__ For letterheads, reports, resumes, or other premium text documents you should use a paper designed for a laser printer. A good laser printing paper will have controlled moisture and electrical properties and be appropriately smooth and stiff. This will insure a uniform transfer of toner and jam-free behavior. Additionally, laser paper is often higher weight so that it is more opaque and feels more substantial. Finally, good laser paper is bright, giving you better contrast between your text or image and the background. With a paper designed for laser printing, your print will look crisper and cleaner and give a much better impression.

Where To Go For More Information:
Check out the following web sites on line to learn more about paper and desk top printing methods:
http://www.internationalpaper.com
http://www.hammermillpaper.com
http://www.gwpaper.com

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