Most inkjet and laser printers can print on a variety of surfaces, including labels, photo paper, business cards, stickers, and t-shirt transfers. However, most of your printing probably involves old-fashioned white paper and, when it comes to this medium, you may have more options than you realize. One of the advantages of laser printers is their ability to print well on almost any paper; if you own an inkjet printer, though, you should choose your paper carefully.
Inkjet printer paper
Although standard all-purpose paper will do the job for your scrapbook, printable calendar and so on, your results will probably be better if you use paper specifically made for inkjet printers. The quality of your printout is affected by two major factors: brightness and absorption.
When a type of paper is advertised as being brighter than average, that really means that the surface of the paper is smoother than average: it’s the smoothness of the page that determines how much light is reflected from it, which, in turn, determines how bright your images appear on the page. The brighter (or smoother) the printer paper, the better your printout will look.
Similarly, the less ink that is absorbed by the printer paper, the better your document (e.g. scrapbook) will look: as the paper absorbs ink, the tiny dots on the page feather, or spread outside of their borders. This causes the edges of images and text on the page to look fuzzy and soggy. To counteract this problem, better printer papers are coated with a waxy substance that prevents the ink from being absorbed by the paper. Since coated paper allows for much more precise detail in a print job, some printers will print at a higher resolution on coated paper than on standard paper.