Five questions to ask when choosing good proofing paper

For a proof to be successful, several factors must be considered - among the most important, the choice of proofing paper. An informed decision will ensure you avoid many headaches when printing. However, the choice of products is large and sometimes difficult to navigate. To facilitate your approach, here is a short list of five questions that will make it easier for you to make the ideal choice.

1. Does the paper dry quickly?

It occasionally happens that, after printing, we discover that our proofs are not dry. We are touching the printer paper and our fingers are stained with ink. That's a sign that doesn’t lie. Quality paper dries instantly and not just on the surface. In the industry jargon, we say that the curing time is quick. This prevents excess ink from appearing and altering the colour balance. A fact made even more important now that current technology enables colour printers to self-calibrate their colours through several iteration rounds preceding printing. Colours from non-calibrated readings harm the process.

2. Can the paper print in multiple colours?

This fact is not known to everyone, but the colour palette can be reproduced differently from one paper to another. Some bases offer a very broad spectrum. The more possibilities, the greater the paper quality! With this in mind, adding a lot of ink on proofing paper to create new colours is of no use. This will only create new zones flooded with unwanted colour and an unsatisfactory result.

3. Does the paper reduce the risk of bronzing, metamerism and parasitic reflections?

Some phenomena that alter the print quality may occur if the selected paper is not of good quality. You have to make sure to reduce the risks in order to have a proof that’s true to reality. Among the observed phenomena, we note bronzing. This term is used to describe the change of colour according to the viewing angle. The phenomenon of the diffraction of light of a drop of oil in a pool of water is such an example. Metamerism, for its part, is the phenomenon where two identical colours in a certain light become different in a different light. A situation that we often observe when we purchase clothes.

4. Is the paper available in large quantities?

It’s always important to select a paper that is as close as possible to the standard that we want. However, some projects take place over a span of several months, and it’s therefore important to ensure that it will be possible to buy the same paper throughout the process. Especially considering that the costs associated with the calibration of these types of printers are not negligible.

5. Is the paper opaque?

To prevent light passing through the proofing paper and providing false data when conducting a comparative analysis, it is best to choose an opaque paper. Be careful! Thick paper is not necessarily opaque. A quick test will help you in your decision. Place your paper over another colourful paper document. If you can distinguish the elements of the other document, the quality of your paper is not optimal.