Fun Fact! Did you know that black inkjet printer ink is in the top 10 most expensive liquids on the planet? If you use inkjet printers often for work or at home, you want to have the best paper to go with that kind of quality ink. With all of the options available, though, it can be tough to decide which is the right choice. Learn a bit about plotter paper and which options to go for.
Common Questions About Inkjet Printer Paper
Before buying inkjet printer paper, it can help to know a bit about what it is. Here are some of the questions you may be asking about inkjet paper.
What Is Large Format Printing?
Large format printing, also called wide format inkjet printing, is any printing project that requires printing equipment that is specialized and can allow for the preparation of large items like posters, store displays, banners, blueprints, large maps, building wraps, other large advertisements, and more. As the name suggests, you need a wide format printer to take advantage of this.
What Is the Size of Plotter Paper?
Most inkjet printers use rolls (though some, like HP DesignJet T200 series, have a sheet fed option) so plotter paper is available for purchase in rolls. The usual sizes are 11, 17, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, and 42 inches wide, by 100, 150, or 300 feet long. The first number in the roll’s specification will refer to this width, then the 2nd will refer to the roll length. The most common option that paper suppliers see people purchase is 24″ plotter paper.
Conversely, some users prefer to print on cut sheets when available, and switch between rolls and sheets as needed. Here are the ISO 216 sizes, the international standard used in most countries, for finished print sheet sizes:
Standard Architectural sheet sizes:
- 9” x 12” – ARCH A
- 12″ x 18″ – ARCH B
- 18″ x 24″ – ARCH C
- 24″ x 36″ – ARCH D
- 30″ x 42″ – ARCH E1
- 36″ x 48″ – ARCH E
Standard Engineering sheet sizes:
- 8.5” x 11” – ANSI A
- 11″ x 17″ – ANSI B
- 17” x 22” – ANSI C
- 22″ x 34″ – ANSI D
- 34″ x 44″ – ANSI E
Is There a Difference Between Plotter Paper and Regular Paper?
The easy answer is: “plotter paper” is any paper that can be printed on a large format printer/plotter, purchased in rolls or sheets. When someone refers to “regular paper”, they typically mean a type of plotter paper, specifically “plain” 20# bond paper.
Inkjet Printer Paper to Consider
When choosing paper for large format printing, we’ve listed some of the best options below. Depending on what you intend to use the paper for, one of these options will be the right choice.
Bond paper comes in coated and uncoated options. It is an inexpensive option great for everyday projects. Bond paper is printable on both sides and can be used for inkjet or xerographic renderings. This bright white plotter paper is acid free and has a matte texture with high opacity. Bond paper is suited for printers that use aqueous ink or toner.
There are premium coated bond paper options that can handle heavier ink loads because of their specialized clay coating. This also makes it faster to dry and much sturdier than other options.
Uncoated bond paper is a good choice for architectural designs that do not require color. It is a strong paper option that is economical and still offers presentation-quality results. All bond paper comes in standard sizes and it is one of the most important wide-format supplies to have.
This kind of plotter paper is an affordable alternative to vellum, offering crisp lines that allow for more complex drawings, as well as maps. It is a lightweight paper perfect for design and engineering professionals. Cut sheet sizes available for purchase follow Standard US Architectural and Standard US Engineering drawing sizes, and are available to inkjet printers using aqueous ink, or xerographic printers that use toner.
Translucent bond paper offers fast drying times, too, which is important for large printing projects. It is a smooth, matte option that comes in white and that works with most wide format inkjet printers or xerographic. It is available in the standard sizes of 11, 17, 18, 22, 24, 30, 34, 36, and 42 inches, and the thickness is 18lb.
Vellum paper tends to be a bit more costly than other options, but it offers archive-quality results. It is made of cotton fiber that allows for uniformly solid areas as well as sharp text and lines, and it accepts pigment inks perfectly. Vellum is a transparent paper that is perfect for architecture and engineering, especially if you need blueprints. It comes in all of the standard sizes and it is a durable option. Find more info here: Inkjet Vellum and Engineering Vellum.
Double Matte Mylar
Although not technically paper, this is another excellent choice if what you want is durability. Mylar is a plastic media that is used in architecture and engineering for plans and drawings. It comes in calipers of 3 mil or 4 mil. Made for large printers that require lighter materials, this is also an option if you want long-term storage options. The double matte coating on both sides gives this option the stability and toner adhesion you want. You do not have to worry about the heat from copiers shrinking or distorting the image with double matte Mylar, either.
Mylar is also sometimes referred to as film, and the Plotter Paper Guys’ 4 Mil Optically Clear Inkjet Mylar is a great solution for producing transparencies and overlays. With an easy to remove side stripe and fast dry time, our product is the absolute perfect choice for your printing needs. Additionally, we have a 4 Mil Optically Clear Engineering Mylar available for purchase.
How to Choose the Right Paper for Inkjet Printers
Here are some tips that can help you choose the best option for your inkjet printer. Before you purchase, you need to:
Know The Intended Purpose
You need to have an idea of what you will use the paper for. For example, bond paper is a good choice for quick, everyday drawings, but it is not durable enough to use for archival purposes or for professional presentations. If you are looking to print maps, posters, and other heavy projects, you want to go for a thicker matte paper, since it can offer sturdiness and durability. Remember that uncoated options will not be able to handle excessive ink. For overlays, choose vellum, and for archival purposes go for Mylar.
Consider Your Budget
Bond paper is a budget-friendly option, but sometimes it can be better to spend a bit more and get paper that is longer-lasting. If you need presentation-quality results without emptying your wallet, you should go for a premium coated bond.
Rolls or Sheets?
Although most people prefer rolls of paper for inkjet printing, if you are looking to do some drafting or if you want to print only a couple of designs or drawings at a time. What you print will remain flat and you will not have to trim, as you would have to do with a roll. Keep in mind that rolls of paper are less expensive than buying the cut sheets. Think about what paper format will be most efficient.
Want More Options?
If you would like more wide format paper or wide format supplies options, you can find all of the selections you need online. If you are asking yourself “Where can I find large format paper near me?” you do not have to look any further. Register with us today and find the right format paper rolls or sheets for your inkjet printers! Don’t see a size that you need? We offer Custom Sizing and Quantities!