Not all paper is created equal. Lower quality paper may cause dullness of color or bleed on documents. You can count on regular copier paper being inferior in quality, so it should be avoided for color documents. Bond paper with cotton fibers or paper with ribbed, linen, or eggshell are also questionable for color printing. On the other hand, not all recycled paper is of inferior quality.
I know this can seem complicated. Who has time to research the subtleties of printer paper? We suggest you leverage your printer or copier provider to find the type of paper that best works for your color printing needs.
Beyond paper, the type of document also matters for color printing quality, as we show in our eBook Top 5 Worst Documents to Print in Color. We go in-depth in the eBook on the reasons for these documents, but we’ll give you some spoilers here:
- Web pages
- PowerPoint presentations
- Personal print jobs like recipes or vacation photos
- Big color documents on a small printer
The default printer settings are no one’s fault, except yours if you expect them to work precisely with the color printing need of your office.
As an illustration, you can quickly increase the print resolution to maximum dpi option in the print dialog screen. Furthermore, some printers need to be changed to a CMYK color mode in order to optimize color printing. How you change this setting depends on the printer software, but a mere Google search will yield quick results.
While we’re on the topic of settings, make sure your computer monitor’s color settings are calibrated to your printer settings (or at least are set to the highest quality). This ensures you don’t have a continual discrepancy between what you see on the screen and the color document that comes out of your printing device.
Printer cartridge quality
Like your printer paper, ink and toner vary in quality. This also means the quality of your color printing could be compromised.
Does this mean you should only trust name-brand ink and toner (or OEM as it’s called in the industry)? Not at all – especially in a time when technology makes remanufactured cartridges more reliable. As with any product, though, always do your homework. To understand and find the best quality remanufactured printer cartridges, we suggest you take a look at our article The Pros and Cons of Remanufactured Toner Cartridges.
We also advise you take our color challenge to see for yourself how the idea of OEM-superiority isn’t the case.
Also, taking care of your printer cartridges matters for high-quality printed materials. Such simple actions as storing printer products in cool places or properly installing cartridges can go a long way in the caliber of your printed materials.