View Full Version : Paper for digi printing

01-08-2010, 03:35 PM
I finally have some time to work on some digi stuff and I was trying different types of photo paper on a hybrid scrapbook page. Of course the glossy photo paper came out the best with rich colors and a great photo. The matte paper (epson matte premium presentation paper that was recommended here) came out quite a bit less vibrant but much better than regular cardstock. The glossy paper is a bit too heavy for my taste, is there a way to get better results from the matte paper?

01-08-2010, 08:53 PM
The only thing I can quickly think of is checking the settings of the printer. My printer has settings for type of paper (matte, glossy etc) and will adjust the quality/amount of ink depending upon which you select...

01-08-2010, 09:50 PM
And, in case you are anything like me lol, check that you are printing on the correct side of the matte paper!

01-14-2010, 01:51 PM
Thanks for the tips!

01-14-2010, 05:43 PM
I finally went two days ago and invested in the Epson double sided matte presentation paper and made sure that color enhance option was checked and the color is unbelievable. from the muddy cardstock colors to a beautiful vibrant color - that and I always add a little brightness and contrast to my projects before printing.

the apple on this project was my first presentation paper print and I can tell you, I will never go back!!!! it just looks soooooo much better IMO!!

http://www.thedigichick.com/gallery/data/655/rollo_pencil.jpg (http://www.thedigichick.com/gallery/showphoto.php?photo=47039)

01-16-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks LuAnn, what type of printer do you have, I can't seem to find a color enhance option on mine. That pencil is soooo cute!

01-16-2010, 05:55 PM
I have an Epson - as soon as your print screen comes up, there should be some sort of properties or advanced printing options button. you could always do a search of your printer for online info on how to enhance your printing.

01-17-2010, 02:31 AM
You also might want to try just using bazzill scrapbooking cardstock for elements and paper for a real hybrid layout! ;) That's a tip!

02-22-2010, 01:27 PM
Do you mean just their white or cream papers? Do they make any without texture? Or does Bazzill have a special printable line?

02-22-2010, 05:03 PM
Paper, paper—one of my favorite subjects!

Epson on-line has a great sale (50%) specialty papers through today(22nd). the coupon code is SAV50. Just google Epson. And there is a screen where you can input your printer model # and it will list all the Epson papers for your printer!!!

I have a 2200 Photo wide-format. It was top-end consumer a couple of years ago; it has been replaced with newer, fancier models since then, but I'm perfectly satisfied with it. It has the matte and glossy black cartridges, plus the light cyan, magenta and black inks. I do think you usually get the best results if you use the manufacturer's paper with the same printer. And I love the matte presentation paper (both double and single-sided). And this model works better with the semi-gloss paper, rather than the standard high gloss paper. If you have a computer store (or sometimes even an art store) near you, look for the sample packages. They're a good way to try a different brand to see how it works with your printer. You may wish to check on-line to see what is available. I have a paper supply company, where I used to shop all the time, who will send samples free of charge to our metro area. You may check into this as well. I haven't used them for years—I have a lifetime supply of paper (sort of like a fabric stash, or even a digital scrap stash).

Generally, when you go to print, you will have access to “preferences"—I checked this with PSE, Photoshop and PSP (they're all basically the same), where you will be able to set the quality of your print (and, in my case), which of many papers I am printing, including their art canvas, water-color paper, etc. And, usually, every box of paper has directions on this. Also, you may need to check the paper settings on the back of your printer in order to properly feed the heavier paperstock.

Now, for the fun stuff. The reason most cardstock doesn't look good is that the structure of the paper absorbs the ink, which makes the printout dull and usually too pale. If you increase the dpi, it just makes an inky mess. I never print at more than 720 dpis on cardstock. The specialty papers all have been coated in a way that works well with the ink designed for that particular printer. There are products made to treat fabric (I love them) to make it work with your printer; there may also be ones specially made for paper products. Here's a little “secret” from the old days, when ink-jet printers prints were slow to dry and were always smearable (?-is this a word?). We sprayed them with a workable fiixative (an art product used with pencils, charcoal and pastels). There are many different brands and they come in gloss and matte finish. Right now I have Krylon and Blair (both matte). Sometimes you can lightly spray cardstock or other paper stock before you print and it will work. You will have to experiment on this.

But the magic comes in post-printing. The fixative prevents smudging, but it also sort of “pops” the color! I use it all the time for home-printed items when I am not using Epson specialty papers. And my second little trick (I just discovered this a few months ago, working on some hybrid Christmas projects) is that I can print on Epson's Bright white 24# paper (you really don't want anything thicker), then spray both back and front with four to five coats of the fixative, letting each coat dry a few minutes in between. It will change the composition of the paper, making it almost completely water-proof and very flexible (think wrapped around a foam-core or used as a book cover, glued around a set of canisters, to cover a box). For one baby gift I glued the cute little baby layout with photo onto a large ceramic tile, then used high gloss medium/varnish on it. Because the paper was just 24#, it really (sort of anyway) looked like I had used a transfer…ort maybe hand painted the decoration… on the tile. I've also used ModPodge.

Anyway, just experiment! Sometimes you'll love the result and sometimes you won't. Another paper saving recommendation (and a way to make a sample board) is to just print a section of your layout (maybe a 12"x2" band) to check your settings, etc. This way you can continue to print additional “proofs” until you get what you want. I then hand write the settings, so I can duplicate the next time I want to print something. I have a three-ring binder with these experiments!

02-24-2010, 04:46 AM
Wow Jean, thanks for sharing your expertise! I just got a sample pack from Red River Papers, and I'm absolutely enchanted. As soon as the new kits come out on Thursday I'll upload my first hybrid experiments... =) Next time I'll be using that fixative, though--I did notice just a touch of smearing!

02-24-2010, 12:18 PM
oooh, Jean, that sounds like great info! I've been using matte double-sided paper (from Staples) and I've been really happy with the prints that I get with it, but I use a heck of a lot of ink. I need to look into the fixative!