If you want a high-quality image, you need a high-quality paper. Superior ink used with inferior paper will not produce the level of professional appearance you expect from an HP photo printer. There is a huge range of HP printer paper, with many different options to ensure a good fit between your project and your finished product. It is important to consider the paper’s thickness, the finish of the paper, and also the compatibility between the paper and the ink you are using. Different papers will be suitable for different projects, and the right balance needs to be found between quality and economy.
While thicker paper tends to be of higher quality, and more expensive, it might not always be appropriate for the project at hand. If you only need to print a draft-quality image, or a document with only text and no graphics, standard printer paper is perfectly suitable, not to mention inexpensive. However, if you need to print digital photographs, you would be better off choosing thick paper. If you need to print detailed documents full of graphic design, such as invitations, flyers, or marketing hand-outs, a thicker paper will give your finished project a sturdier, more professional appearance. HP printer paper comes in all thicknesses, ensuring that there is always a product available to suit your project.
Finishes available with HP printer paper include luster, pearl, gloss, semi-gloss, or matte finish. When printing photos it is of course advisable to use photo paper, as it is specifically designed to accurately reproduce the colors of your image and provide the professional appearance of a true photograph. In a photo album, a glossy image is very attractive. Luster or pearl may be appropriate for portrait photos or for commemorating an event, as the printed image will have a ‘professional studio’ appearance and can be sent to friends and family with pride. Semi-gloss is more appropriate for large-scale images such as posters or display boards. This finish ensures a professional appearance as well as the durability required for projects which will undergo wear and tear.
There are two main kinds of inks on the market. There are dye-based inks, which print colors more crisply and resist fading with time, and there are pigment-based inks, which dry more quickly and are less likely to smudge when printed on the glossier papers. If your ink is dye-based, it is wise to avoid the glossier finishes of paper, as the ink may not penetrate them fully, leaving it wet enough to smudge for some time after printing.
When buying HP printer paper, it is wise to consider for what it will be used, and to plan ahead. Buying a larger quality at one time reduces costs, so if you know what sort of projects for which you will need paper over the next few months, you can save money by buying a larger stack. Stack sizes range from 20 sheets to 250 sheet, and a myriad different colors are available. Using colors rather than white sheets can draw attention to a flyer, provide an eye-catching party invitation, or allow categorization of office paperwork. In addition to a variety of colors, paper can be purchase pre-printed with attractive borders, adding beauty and style to your project.